G ood writing requires imagination, skill, and a distraction-free environment. Though Google hasn’t debuted a web service that can magically provide the first two requirements — I’m sure they are working on it — the development team at herraizsoto&co. has provided the last requirement. Their software — Ommwriter — provides a serene, distraction-free writing environment. It’s just you and your writing. Ommwriter creates this magical environment by eliminating computer-based distractions. The software combines a stripped down word processor — it has only basic functions such as cut, copy, paste, etc. — with a selection of soft, non-distracting visual backgrounds — soft colors; muted landscape, etc. — and a choice of sounds — the tap, tap, tap of typewriter keys; soft musical bells; cafeteria noises, etc. — or, if you prefer, no sounds at all. The final touch is the way it dominates your computer. It hides the other software programs by taking up the entire screen. With Ommwriter, say goodbye to multitasking, say hello to monotasking.
“I See Nothing!” – Sergeant Schultz
The screenshot below is the clean and distraction-free Ommwriter window.
Moving your mouse makes several buttons appear on the right-hand side. See below.
When you want to format your document for print or other purposes, you can save it as a plain text or RTF document. Then you can open that document in a full-featured word processing program for more stylized formatting.
Ommwriter is available for Windows, Mac, and iPad. You can try it for free and when you are ready to upgrade (the upgrade provides more backgrounds and more sounds), you determine how much you want to pay. See: Ommwriter.com
To see Ommwriter in action, watch the video below. I recommend going to full-screen view.
Distraction-free environment: Some people like non-distracting noise that, nowadays, can be found in many coffee shops. An overheard conversation can become ‘research’ for your current writing project. The computer, however, creates a different set of distractions that can pull your attention away from the task at hand.
I’m sure they are working on it: I’m sure that Google will develop an algorithm that creates something that looks like imagination and skill. This does not mean that imagination and skill are reducible to algorithms. More likely, we will reduce the meaning of those concepts to coincide with the product of the algorithm.