I’m not a big app guy. I also don’t get excited about new updates to software or programs. I put off iTunes updates as long as I can. I’m not a “tech” guy and could care less about finding new ways to make life easier by using apps, software, and so on.
Or so I thought.
See, I’ve seen countless writers rave about Scrivener. I gave it a whirl last year and did not like it. I would get too bogged down with trying to learn the tricks and organize everything in a way that was perfect for my writing style. It was too distracting and, in my opinion, made the act of writing a little harder to concentrate on.
Then earlier this year, I heard about Ommwriter. It’s essentially a minimalist approach to writing, with the tagline of “distraction-free writing.” Just to try something different, I checked it out (hey, it only costs $5).
I am now sort of obsessed with Ommwriter.
Make no mistake…a lot of writers will hate it. But for me, it has totally changed the way I write my first drafts for both my ghostwriting and my own work.
In terms of writing novels, it’s perfect for first drafts. There are no real editing capabilities. There is no bold, not italics, no formatting. It’s just a blank screen that takes up the entire screen-space. So you don’t have a taunting toolbar or a clock to remind you how long you’ve been working. It removes all distractions and that’s something I have desperately needed.
Oh, but it gets better. There are multiple backgrounds to use…simple, minimal, and a surprisingly effective way to set the tone and mood of your writing. You can also choose the size of your writing space (from very thin to nearly the entire screen), font style, and font size.
You also have the ability to choose the kind of keyboard sound you want. This sounds like a stupid and useless option (trust me, I thought so, too) but it’s weirdly helpful and productive. From the clattering of a laptop keyboard to the hard strokes of an old-school Royal typewriter, you have a pretty deep well to choose from. Or, for those that need absolute silence, you can choose no keystroke sound at all.
Lastly, and this was the key feature for me, Ommwriter comes equipped with built-in background music. You can choose from rainfall, ambient, moody classical, and a few others. Or you can mute their music and plug in your own (which is what I do most of the time, although their ambient and classical streams are quite good).
Basically, Ommwriter is a great tool for writers that are easily distracted. I’m sure there’s some sort of psychological reasoning behind why it works, but I’m not too concerned with that. All I know is that my wordcounts have drastically improved in the two months I’ve been using Ommwriter and I’d highly suggest trying it out for your first drafts, outlining, or blog writing.
Here’s a decent video to give you a better glimpse than I could. And if you’re interested, you can download Ommwriter here.