The Friends & Members of 750 Words

750 Words exists because of mutual good will between the people that run this site (Buster & Kellianne) and the people who use it (you). The site wouldn't exist without the generosity, patience, and humor of everyone involved. For the first 3+ years that the site was running (Dec 2009 to May 2013), the site was free to use but with some encouragement to donate. That served us well (and most importantly, generated enough income to keep the site up), but as the site grew the need for support also grew.

On June 12th 2013, all existing users of the site were given lifetime free accounts (we hope you'll continue to donate when you can). New accounts created after June 12th, 2013 are now required to become members within 30 days after signing up in order to keep writing. Everyone will always have access to previous writings, stats, etc, even if they choose not to become members.

We're listening to your feedback and want to make sure that first and foremost, we offer a friendly and safe place for people to dump their private thoughts. I expect that we'll continue to adjust the way this all works for the near term. Thanks for being an awesome community!

Who runs this site?

Our names are Buster and Kellianne, we live in Berkeley, California with our two sons (Niko and Louie) and this is something we've built and run in our spare time.

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Notes of inspiration from members

2 cups

I let my morning pages go for a few months, and my life suffered, so now I’m back to doing them, and it’s really helping me. I use them for thinking through problems from all parts of my life – work, home, hobbies, relationships. This is really such a great service, Buster – it’s changed my life!

I was happy to see the 250k words badge – gave me yet another accomplishment. Now I need to get the 100 days in a row badge – I fell about 12 days short on my last run – just forgot to do the morning pages one day! And my latest personal challenge – do 1,000 words every day. (I don’t know if there’s a badge for that yet.)

Testimonial Note from Nils Davis on Mon, Mar 28
2 cups

Wow! 250,000 words! I am amazed, thrilled, and surprised. Mostly though, I am so very grateful to for the opportunity to practice a bit of self-discipline everyday.

Testimonial Note from Steve Ellis on Mon, Mar 28
4 cups
Double Down on Charity Note from Melissa Shearer on Sun, Mar 27
6 cups

In celebration of my Pterodactyl badge, I’ve decided to take a moment and leave a short note about how important 750words has become to my workflow.

I am a graduate student working on a dissertation in philosophy. I am the sort of person who needs to write to think. In some of my earlier work, this meant writing endless drafts of papers as I worked out my ideas. This was cumbersome though, as I wrote as if I were writing a paper, and so held myself back from more aggressive claims, worried a lot about sentence structure, etc. The whole point of the exercise was to think, not to write and that processed confused the two.

Writing my Daily 750 has been very helpful precisely because it allows me to distinguish these. When I write about an idea I have, a paper I’ve read, a problem I’ve encountered, or a teaching question I’m wrestling with, I can write freely and unencumbered by style. I write to work out ideas, and getting into the habit of doing this every day has helped me develop ideas that might have been lost on a scrap of paper before, and helped me clarify my positions and arguments before committing them to a chapter draft.

So I raise a cup (or six!) to 750words and to another 200 day streak!

Testimonial Note from Jeff Maynes on Sun, Mar 27
3 cups
More badges for accomplishments
New Feature Vote from janet chant on Sun, Mar 27
4 cups

A few days ago, I finally got my pterodactyl badge. I was so happy about that. I’d never imagined that I’d be able to stick with something for so long. It’s not like me.

Yesterday, I spaced out, my pterodactyl went extinct and I now find myself back to being an egg. Frustrated? I probably should be, but it actually doesn’t bother me. What I’ve gotten from the site, it goes beyond these badges and it can never be lost, it can never be reset like my streak. The progress has been real, and I plan on sticking with it for a long time to come.

To Buster, I say thanks for giving us such a great tool of self-discovery. To all my fellow users, I say stick with it. To the people who are still dinosaurs, I say keep at it and look out for meteors! And to my pterodactyl, I say, ‘see you again someday, buddy.’ =)

Testimonial Note from David Habib on Sat, Mar 26
6 cups
More text analysis

In particular, I’d like to see “smarter” text analysis for things currently handled by LIWC. I’ve seen people complaining on the support boards about their entirely secular writing being tagged as “Concerned about Religion”; myself, I’ve seen some of my in-depth rants about music theory get this label applied to them. It seems like there are actually a lot more concerns than the ones available to be categorized; in particular, one related to the arts would be more meaningful than the current categories. I went and looked at the way my past entries have been analyzed, and couldn’t help but notice that it seemed to skip over “big” words and only counts the more common words. Moreover, for words that have multiple meanings, it picks a single one of them to count. For example, it thinks my use of the word “keyboard” is related to “work” when I’m actually talking about practicing on a piano keyboard.

I think the text analysis could be made more useful if it tried to discern the context of the words used before assigning meanings/concerns to them. This could be accomplished by detecting infrequently used words that have specific meanings, and then using that to extrapolate. For example, the words “keyboard” and “counterpoint” may have more than one meaning, but the words “tritone” and “harpsichord” are pretty specific to music so the text analyzer could properly interpret the surrounding words as also being related.

One problem I can see, though, is that a more sophisticated text analyzer might also require more processing power, which could lead to more server strain if enough people use it. Given the recent need to move servers, this is understandable! I still think it would be cool, though. Maybe make it a patron-only feature?

New Feature Vote from Stephanie Van Aken on Sat, Mar 26
1 cup
An iPhone/iPad app
New Feature Vote from Jesse Hession Grayman on Sat, Mar 26
1 cup
User Search Feature

Currently the “follow users” feature is entirely useless. You cannot follow specific people—or even find them. What is the point of following somebody you do not even know, and never will? The solution to this would be to implement a user search feature that allows users to find their friends by a simple username (or e-mail) search. That way the feature would be useful as a way to foster good-natured rivalry among writerly friends, and so forth.

New Feature Request Note from Stewart C Baker on Fri, Mar 25
1 cup

750 Words hasn’t yet cleared my mind – but it has hurdled me past some writer’s block! w00t!

Testimonial Note from Anonymous on Thu, Mar 24
2 cups

I am a phoenix! A PHOENIX!

Testimonial Note from Richard Porter on Thu, Mar 24
4 cups
One Month Challenge Bounty from Anonymous on Wed, Mar 23
4 cups
Double Down on Charity Note from Anonymous on Wed, Mar 23
1 cup

That one empty box will annoy me every day until March is over. Good luck to everyone still in the challenge, and I’ll join you again in April!

One Month Challenge Bounty from Karen Lissa Ingram on Wed, Mar 23
3 cups

I love the idea of a charity that teaches kids how to write. Thanks for the opportunity to be a part of that.

Double Down on Charity Note from Suzanne Wayne on Mon, Mar 21
3 cups

Keep on writing!

One Month Challenge Bounty from Suzanne Wayne on Mon, Mar 21
3 cups

Thanks to Buster for the great site. And thanks to the mysterious Mario Smith who corrected the streak counting issues we experienced earlier this month.

This site has become my own little space where I can journal, write stories, build todo lists, vent, and explore ideas.

I am writer for a higher ed institution, so even though I write all day, it is never for myself.

I am grateful for this site since it provides a space for me to write for myself.

Testimonial Note from Suzanne Wayne on Mon, Mar 21
3 cups

I have just finished my 202nd day of writing in a row :) It was a great satisfaction to cross that line yesterday. Now I have a real peace about my daily writing. It has really become part of my life.

I use it for a lot of different things but mostly I journal and write out the day that is ending. But there have been some times of reflection and prayer and looking ahead and dreaming too.

I am thankful to Buster for working out a couple website kinks that threatened to interfere. Everything worked out!!

I have a published book already, but I wasn’t writing a lot after it went to press. One day I woke up and said, “Writers write! I need to look up that 750 Words website and get busy!!” I haven’t looked back since!

Thank you Buster for helping me to stay a writer. I know I am one, because writers write, and I have been writing for over 200 days now :)

Peace & Love,
Holly M. <><

Testimonial Note from Holly White Roddam on Sun, Mar 20
1 cup

I just hit over 20,000 words since starting in late February. Getting back to daily writing is really helping to clear my mind, so Thank You, Buster!

Testimonial Note from Elizabeth Weiden Philipbar on Sun, Mar 20
1 cup

I just finished writing my words. I love this time to myself, where I can just let it all out. Thank you for this wonderful site.

Testimonial Note from Lea Woolf on Sun, Mar 20
1 cup
More badges for accomplishments

I just reached 200 days in a row, and with it my Pterodactyl badge. I’m so happy I cannot even put it down in words… yet, what happens after the Pterodactyl? Are there more badges for 350 days, for example? They are such a simple method to motivate people, it might appear na├»ve but I cannot believe we’ll be moving on past 200 without any more badges to be granted! Thank-you for this wonderfully life-changing site!

New Feature Vote from Beatriz on Sun, Mar 20
2 cups

I just earned my Phoenix badge! Amazing how a virtual badge can be so motivational, just as much (if not more than) those embroidered patches I earned in Girl Scouts. On nights when I was tired and just wanted to succumb to sleep, I forced myself to type my 750 words to make sure I didn’t forfeit my chance at that Phoenix. Doing so has taught me that I need these 750 words each day to confess to myself, to vent, to dream, to babble, to come up dry and find the flow again after a couple of paragraphs. The structure of this site is genius, with the word countdown and the badges. Thank you for creating it to enable me (and others) to persist in our own creativity.

Now on to the Ptero…ok, I can’t spell that one. Going for 200 days in a row… would be nice to have something at the 150 mark in between, but then that will just send me to the other badges in attempts to continue collecting them!

Testimonial Note from La Flaneuse on Sat, Mar 19
6 cups
One Month Challenge Bounty from Moira K Guthrie on Sat, Mar 19
4 cups

Having missed 6! days in a row, I just couldn’t believe that I could get started again. Yet here I am. I have to say it was close.
It helped to read the notes of inspiration. Especially, for some reason, the notes from those folks who have written for 365 days in a row. There should be a badge for THAT for sure. What though? ANGEL? Maybe—they fly. Or perhaps a special Fairy Queen/King of words. I’ll write a suggestion to Buster, perhaps. I mean, pterodactyl is pretty awesome—and there is the super flock badge for 200K. Still, I think we need a “DID IT FOR A YEAR!” badge, too.
Not that I’m not already inspired enough to make it back to Phoenix.

Testimonial Note from Donna Grace Noyes on Sat, Mar 19
1 cup

One interesting thing that the mindset metadata has taught me is that I tend to be above-average in negativity. So I’ve been consciously trying to use negatives (not, no, don’t) less in my entries, and sure enough, my negativity score has gone down. I think it’s a good thing. It’s like smiling to make yourself feel better-don’t knock it!
But the other mindset categories are less transparent to me: what determines if I’m “uncertain”? or “introverted”? What are the criteria for those categories?

Testimonial Note from Miruna Stanica on Fri, Mar 18
10 cups

I passed 365 days in a row last week, and did not even notice for a couple of days. I remember back last October, making a cross-country trip of the US, worrying about how I was going to find wifi access in order to keep the streak alive, and being relieved at working out the logistics. And here I am now, over a year into this, averaging over 1,000 words per day. It’s something I could not have imagined myself doing before, and this website, with its badges, and statistics, and challenges, and the ability to see other users’ progress, has been the great impetus for the bulk of it. Thank you, Buster, for this life-changing venue.

Testimonial Note from David Schwartz on Fri, Mar 18
1 cup

I am starting to author a book next month, and is invaluable help in prepping me to make that dream a reality. Thank you for helping my dreams come true!!!

One Month Challenge Bounty from Starfighter Simon on Thu, Mar 17
1 cup
Double Down on Charity Note from Angela Gunn on Wed, Mar 16
1 cup
More badges for accomplishments
New Feature Vote from Angela Gunn on Wed, Mar 16
5 cups

Hey! So today marks my 365th day of writing! It’s so strange to realize that the most consistent thing I’ve done all year is write three pages every day. Some days I didn’t eat, some days I didn’t sleep, but every day I wrote 750 words. I feel like I know myself better now than I ever have before — both the good and the bad — and I’m extremely grateful to have had this space to work it all out in.

The single-minded dedication to writing every day also gave me some good stories to tell. My family went on vacation to a small coastal town over the summer, and at one point we had a 36-hour power outage. No electricity for my laptop, and no wifi to send in my words! I ended up convincing my uncle to drive me to the nearest town with power, and I begged the use of a computer off an irritable hotel night clerk. It occurred to me later that I probably could’ve asked Buster for an Act of God streak-repair dispensation, but oh well! If anything, it convinced my family to take my love of writing a little more seriously.

Testimonial Note from Brook West on Wed, Mar 16