Writer, the internet typewriter

I recently extolled the virtues of OmmWriter, a minimalist-resembling word processor that did a very good job of causing me to produce a huge quantity of text, much faster than I likely would have, otherwise. Unfortunately, as I also recently mentioned, my computer has undergone some fail.  I'm currently working out of a Chromebook my friend lent me while he figures out what went wrong with the computer, and while I love working out of a Chromebook, it can't do a lot of the stuff I want it to -- like run OmmWriter.

So I decided to check out something else, instead.  GoogleDocs is sort of fine, but I end up spending too much time worrying about the formatting.  And while I blog straight out of the built-in word processor in WordPress, that's not how I want to draft a story.  (Especially considering the risk of accidentally posting it.)

But I have discovered an alternative!  A web-based, minimalist word processor called "Writer," which looks like an approximation of an old computer monitor, and can be set to make typewriter noises.  Which is fun.  (I once heard a writer say something to the effect of, "A writer's job is to sit down for four hours a day and make clacking sounds on the keyboard.")

It auto-saves your files, and you can set up an account so you can access them from any computer.  You can also adjust the color of the text.  I set mine to 9dft7a, because (a.) it's a nice green color, and (b.) I enjoy the pun.

OmmWriter: a not-really-minimalist word processor

I'm checking out a new word processor today, called Ommwriter.  Its creators describe it:

OmmWriter emerged as an internal tool to help transport us away from the humdrum noise; allowing us to be at one with ourselves and our ideas. All said and done, after having created something so valuable, we figured that OmmWriter was just too good to keep to ourselves.

It fills up your whole screen right away, and doesn't let you out of that as long as you're writing.  You're either writing with Ommwriter or you're not.  It's a great advantage.  I've got two computer screens, and I often leave video up in one screen while working on something in the other.  Ommwriter won't even let me do that, blacking out the screen I haven't got the text up on.

I read about it at BuzzFeed, in an article titled 5 Minimalist Writing Applications: Which One Actually Helps You Write Better? Ommwriter was the winner at the bottom.

The reason I can forgive OmmWriter for being so far up their own ass about what is essentially an unadorned notepad on top of a new age-y screensaver is because, well, it works. The Sofia Coppola-esque musical score and lightly pulsing blue background do in fact make me less distracted. My fingers don't itch to Cmd-Tab away to check my Twitter feed. For me, this is a minor miracle. So if that means accepting that chromatherapy has subconsciously stimulated my tranquility core and purged me of writer's block toxins or whatever, so be it.

What OmmWriter really has going for it is what it doesn't let you do. Unlike WriteRoom, Byword, and iA Writer, OmmWriter has no mode other than full screen view, which doesn't allow you to access the dock and only lets you have one document open at a time. With no pop-ups, only mouse over options, not even preferences tinkering will take you away from what you're working on.

It doesn't seem like much but all these little touches add up to an experience that keeps me focused on my writing. And this time I didn't have sell my soul to Ray Bradbury to make it happen.

She's right -- those little touches are the difference between a word processor that lets you slip off into distraction land and a word processor that drags words out of your head before you realize what happened.  I'm looking forward to using Ommwriter to do a lot of my upcoming work in the next few weeks.