Photo Credit: Darwin Bell

One of the most helpful tools for developing my creativity, processing my thoughts and talking to God is to journal.

I can sit down with a feeling that I don’t even know how to name, sit down for awhile with a journal, and after a half hour:

  • Know what I am really feeling
  • Know what is causing that feeling
  • Have an idea of what God would say to the situation
  • Have the start of a plan of how to respond to the situation
Or I can look at a passage of scripture that has been assigned to me to teach and have no idea what to do with it.  But when I sit down and write everything that comes to mind about the passage for awhile I walk away with a pretty good idea of what God is showing me and asking me to teach, or apply to my own life.
The problem is – I do not have the best self discipline.
While I love writing a journal entry, there are times when I’ll go weeks with out doing it.  I know that it is one of the primary ways that God speaks to me, but with other things competing for my time and attention (*not to name any names FACEBOOK) I forget to do it.  Or I can’t find my journal.  Or I quickly write out something meaningless – “Dear God please help me have a good day, I’m so tired, what should I have for breakfast.  Amen.”
I found a website that has been really helpful in my developing discipline around journaling.
750words.com is a private online journal.
Here’s how it’s described on its own site:
I’ve long been inspired by an idea I first learned about in The Artist’s Way called morning pages. Morning pages are three pages of writing done every day, typically encouraged to be in “long hand”, typically done in the morning, that can be about anything and everything that comes into your head. It’s about getting it all out of your head, and is not supposed to be edited or censored in any way. The idea is that if you can get in the habit of writing three pages a day, that it will help clear your mind and get the ideas flowing for the rest of the day.
Unlike a blog, facebook or twitter, the content stays private unless you deliberately share it. The site keeps track of your word count, and even looks for your most frequent topics, and mood.  It lets you know how fast you typed each day’s entry and whether you were distracted during the writing process.
And here’s the Number One reason that it’s helped me with my discipline to journal.
It’s a game(if you want it to be).  Most months I don’t use the site competitively, but I signed up for the October challenge.  Each day that I write I get a point, each day that I write and complete 750 words I get an additional point, each day that I get 750 words with out getting distracted I get another point.  There are points that you get for keeping a streak going.
There’s been a lot of talk lately about how making something a game or a story will keep us engaged longer.  750words.com and its points, while totally meaningless, gives me just a little extra motivation to sit down and journal.
Are there “games” that have helped you with self discipline?  Let me know in the comments section.
Happy Tuesday.