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As a writer, I sometimes find myself struggling to spew out a proper sentence. Every profession has its drawbacks. In my case, it’s writer’s block — a creative dry spell that I desperately need to overcome. It’s not always easy. To be creative, one needs to be inspired, centered and focused. The tiniest distraction can break one’s concentration. That’s why most writers tend to write in the late of night or seclude themselves away from society. They need to be with their thoughts and block out the rest of the world.

I’ve tried doing many things to help calm myself and churn out creative thoughts. I’ve turned the lights off. I’ve switched my phone off. I’ve selected a playlist of soothing music. Yet somehow, something always manages to pull me away from my writing. A window will pop up. A notification. A system update window. A lot of writers I know have resorted to using those full-screen distraction-free text editors like Dark Room or JDarkRoom. I’ll be honest, the green on black theme doesn’t really do much for my creativity.

When I came across OmmWriter, I was intrigued. The concept took writing productivity, mixed in some solitude and added a dash of zen. The results? A beeeautiful and calming full-screen, distraction-free writing application with its own soundtrack.

I wrote this entire article in OmmWriter and I tell you, I’m loving it.

It’s basically very simple and intuitive. It has a main screen which displays a truly scenic background. Hover your mouse around the screen and the writing area will reveal itself. To the right, you’ll see a couple of vertically-arranged icons. The first one lets you select your font type. Don’t be too picky because there are only 3 to choose from. The idea is not to give you loads of options but to choose the one you’re most comfortable using.


The next icon will allow you to adjust the font size, making it bigger or smaller. Nothing fancy here. The third icon switches the background from the white, snowy landscape to a textured sheet of paper to a plain white screen. Again, the idea is to pick one which relaxes you the most. I stuck with the snow. I liked the fact that even though I’m writing, the background doesn’t make me feel like I’m working.

The fourth icon lets you select your choice of music from seven different soundtracks. Among the sounds are some repeating, very zen-like tunes you’ll hear in classy health spas; to the sounds of nature like birds chirping and rivers flowing. You can also choose to turn off the music althogether if it makes you uncomfortable.

Another very interesting feature of OmmWriter is the addition of typing (key) sounds. I remember when these were a hit way back in Windows 98, for me at least. Somehow, they seem to have been forgotten. I supposed they contribute something to the zen-ish theme. Actually, it’s a pretty nice feeling to hear the keystrokes click away as my creativity gets imprinted on the screen. The experience is magnified with the use of headphones, blocking away outside noises and sealing yourself within OmmWriter’s serene environment.

When you’re done with your writing, as I am now, you can easily save your work by clicking on the last icon. By default, it saves a OmmWriter document keeping your background, font and sound settings. You can still open it using TextEdit or any other text editor. You could also save your work as a text file.

Like I said earlier, I wrote this entire article in OmmWriter and I have to admit that I’ve never finished my work so quickly. The quiet, soothing atmosphere that it provides leaves nothing else to be desired. All that’s left are your thoughts. I love this app. If you’re a writer and if you’re going through a dry spell, download OmmWriter and give it a go. I guarantee that you’ll enjoy it.

Watch it in action.

Ommwriter from Herraiz Soto on Vimeo.

OmmWriter is available for Mac OS X 10.5 and above (Intel only); and it works perfectly fine on Snow Leopard. It’s currently in limited beta but you can easily visit this page and request a copy; they’ll send it to you via email.

What do you do when you’re having writer’s block? How did you get over it?

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  1. Matt
    January 9, 2010 at 8:39 pm

    This falls under the green text on black background kind of distraction free writing system, but 1) you can change the color presets, 2) it's free, and 3) it's cloud-based and doesn't care what your OS is. I like to use it sometimes cuz it's so easy.

  2. Varun
    December 8, 2009 at 12:27 am

    Hey. Nice article. Do you have any Windows app in mind which is on the same lines?
    My writing setup in Word - I change the page colour so that it doesn't glare, play a white noise in my pod.
    Actually, mty writing involves lot of formating and I think because of this i will not be shifting to Ommwriter.