As a writer during NaNoWriMo, it can be very challenging to find a way to write that works for you. You can write on paper, which has the amazing pro of being just about what you’re intending to write, easy to transport to any cafe or other location but obviously requires you to type everything up afterwards. This is both time consuming and can be very tedious so I dropped this as a method for writing a while ago. But who says writing on a laptop or computer is any easier? We’ve created both to be the pleasure centre for any procrastinator, often featuring our favourite music, TV shows and -good lord- the INTERNET! It can be a nightmare to even go for half an hour of writing without getting waylaid by checking your email, Facebook, Twitter, favourite blogs, YouTube, News websites, forums, webcomics, stats for your own blog (if you have one), Deviantart (again, if you have one). It really does just go on and on, plus we have the unique ability to lie to ourselves, convinced that we’ll just take a break “for a minute” and then, 40 minutes later we’re on the Wikipedia page for Psycho with no idea how we got there. So, to this end, I have sought out writing programs that take up a full screen so that, like with paper, I can only see what I’m working on and to give myself the best atmosphere for a productive writing session.
OmmWriter is my program of choice for NaNoWriMo and has been my favourite writing application for about two years. It blanks out the entire screen with a choice of wallpapers, which you can control, and you write on the blank slate. You have a choice of four fonts, four font sizes and you can save at any time. This sounds pretty boring and even limiting if you were hoping to be able to write in your favourite curly-wurly font but just wait for it. OmmWriter is a great piece of software for creating a zen-like state for your writing, which is why they invite you to try it with earphones. You can choose between several relaxing background sounds, ranging from ambient traffic, a heartbeat, chimes and a lovely piano piece that I could listen to all day. You can also opt for different sounds as you hit the keyboard, from stone to antique typing machines. I really enjoy both these features, though you can also turn them off if they’re not what you’re in the mood for during that particular writing session, as they can really help tune out all the millions of distractions that are also within easy reach on my computer. I also appreciate that this program is really attractive, allowing for a more aesthetically pleasing way of writing. Considering that writing is an art form (shush, it is!) it’s really nice to see such a slick piece of software that’s actually considered this fact.
You can choose between the free version, which has a small selection of the wallpapers and sounds or the paid version that has several more. What I love though is that the people behind OmmWriter allow you to choose how much you want to pay! Their suggestion is for merely $5, which is insanely small if you live in the UK. You might have paid more for a game on your phone! That’s just one more reason why I love OmmWriter. So, to sum up: blocks out the distractions, gorgeous to look at and very relaxing if you’re interested in something to listen to that won’t distract from your writing. It also comes with a helpful word counter that only appears when you move the mouse, thus partially ending the issue I often have with NaNoWriMo where I log on to update my word count every 100 words, extending how long it takes me to write ANYTHING as well as opening myself up for internet shenanigans. Try OmmWriter for free now on Mac, PC and iPad if you’re a budding writer and upgrade to the paid version if you love the features and want more, it’s certainly my recommendation for best writing software around!