If you currently keep a Recovery Journal, if you plan to start one as part of your plans for the New Year, or if you’re a spouse who is keeping a journal of your feelings and observations, you might want to check out a site called 750Words. 750Words is a site designed to allow you to write and privately store a daily writing entry. It was originally intended to provide a creative warm-up exercise for writers, but my husband and I have both found it incredibly useful for private journal entries as well.
The interface is simple; after logging in, you get a blank word-processing screen (without any formatting and style options) on which you can write your entry for the day. The site auto-saves your words as you go or lets you save manually when you choose, in much the same way most blogging interfaces do. What you write will be saved so that you can see it later, but it will stay completely private; the site doesn’t even have an option to publicly post your writing for the day.
Although all you really need for a Recovery Journal is a place to write, 750Words also offers some interesting extra features, which I have found to be useful.
- Rewards for writing often. The site awards a series of badges (each with pictures of a different animal) for multi-day writing streaks and other achievements. They are a little silly, but fun (and clean), and I have found myself scheduling time to write each day so that I could maintain my streak and get the next badge. This can be a good way to encourage yourself to form the habit of writing in your journal regularly and often.
- Monthly challenges. At the end of every month, 750Words users can sign up for the next month’s “One-Month Challenge,” which is another way to give yourself an incentive to write in your journal regularly. The challenge sign-up form asks you to decide how you will reward yourself if you succeed (usually something fairly small but fun, like a new book or a dinner out) and what you will forfeit if you quit (the default is a small donation to the site, but you can choose your own). The challenges are a fun incentive, and my husband and I had a great time encouraging each other to keep writing every day.
- Cool analysis tools. Sort of like Google’s advertisements, 750Words analyzes the content of your daily writing. You can view a word-cloud which shows you the words you used most frequently in each day’s entry, or you can view the software’s estimate of your mood based on your word choices. It’s not always very accurate, but it is somewhat interesting and can sometimes give you worthwhile insight.
If you’re interested, check out 750Words.com. Again, it’s not an addiction-specific resource, but it is clean and relatively secure, and I have found it personally useful.