Writer's Grove


October 26, 2016

I’ve never “won” NaNoWriMo—that is, write 50K words in the 30 days of National Novel Writing Month—but I dig participating anyway because of the camaraderie. Lots of people telling stories and encouraging one another—what’s not to like?

Thought I’d share an app that has been working well for me recently and may (or may not) work for you. It’s called OmmWriter and I found it in the App Store.

What OmmWriter does is provide you a distraction-free desktop to write. Your dock disappears so you’re not tempted by all the many ways you can multitask. This is all about focusing on the task of writing. I know that other apps will lock down your social media or whatever, but then you’re still stuck looking at a desktop of distractions, or at the oppressive white nihilism of Word’s blank page. OmmWriter’s a bit different. Here’s what the default background looks like as I typed on my laptop:


Nice, eh? Snowy trees. The lack of bold or italics might be a nonstarter for some writers, and hey, that’s fair enough. That’s an easy fix for me; I will have to import into Word and do an editing pass anyway, so I can add that formatting later in exchange for focused writing now.

Move the cursor in OmmWriter and the bounding box appears with the minimalist controls:


The music is Zenlike ambient stuff, no lyrics, just soothing. You can turn that off and listen to whatever on your headphones or whatever, but I’ve been enjoying it. And you can also choose from fun little keyboard noises for extra clickity-clack, or turn that off.

Here’s a look at how you can customize the look a bit:


This has been great for me recently in terms of productivity and of course your mileage may vary. Just thought I’d share in case it looks like the sort of thing that might work for you too.

Hope you have a turbo-successful NaNoWriMo if you’ll be participating! TELL US A STORY!



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