I signed up for 750words.com.
For those unfamiliar, which included myself up until two days ago, 750 Words is a site which is sort of an online, private journal. It really goes out of its way to encourage you to write everyday (you can guess how much you need to ride to be able to mark a day as “done”). It sends you e-mail reminders (well, you can set it to that), and it tracks your progress, giving you little trophies and a running score. The longer you maintain a streak, the higher your score goes in increments (kind of like bowling, where if you get a strike, it adds your previous scores). The interface is also really clean, there’s no fancy buttons or anything to distract you. Just white space and a blinking cursor. With a word count at the bottom.
Secondly, it’s private. Which means you won’t ever be able to see what I wrote (unless I share it) – there’s plenty of other places online you can go to see my writing (mainly, Writer’s Ink and Half a Picture, if you’re interested). This is for me, it’s a thought buffer, an emotional dump, anything I want to be without the fear of prying eyes.
Thirdly, and probably the best incentive to join is the funky stats they give you over time. The site uses all sorts of sophisticated text analysis tools to give you information about what you write. Besides typing speed, word count and time spent writing, which is standard, it tells you things like what themes you discuss most or what sense you make use of. Do you talk more about the past or the future? About yourself or other people. I’m sure that as the site develops (it’s still pretty new) these things will get even more sophisticated. If the explanation wasn’t clear, here’s an example of a statistic page for my writing yesterday (without the actual writing).
If you’re interested, check the website out. Sign up. It may take a few days, as the website is still fledgling. Here is the link again, for those who don’t feel like scrolling.