I’ve been writing for quite some time through blogging, article marketing, and a fiction thriller novel, and I’ve used programs from WordPerfect to Microsoft Word, WordPress’ in-line editor to offline blog-editing platforms, and even long-document apps like Scrivener and Storyist.
Sometimes, I’ll even pop open a new notebook in Evernote and start typing away (mainly for the syncing capabilities).
But if I have a choice, I usually prefer a minimalistic editor that supports full-screen modes. I can write much quicker this way, and I end up getting a lot more done. Currently, I use a nifty Mac- and PC-based application called OmmWriter, though I also like Byword (Mac-only, I believe) and iAWriter.
Why do I prefer a full-screen, so-called “minimal” text editor?
- Full-screen writing. First, the full-screen mode of these apps allow me to block out everything else on my MacBook Pro—and if you’re a geek like me, there’s usually a LOT going on between my desktops, TweetDeck, Mail, and other “perpetually-open” programs. Rather than quit them all, I can just open OmmWriter and not have to worry about losing momentum.
- Minimalism. Ah, what a catchy buzzword these days. Minimalism is one of those words that are thrown around a bit too much, kind of like “Web 2.0″ and “synergy.” But true minimalism should actually promote focus, concentration, and distraction-free writing. OmmWriter takes the full-screen mode a step further, by adding in built-in ethereal music (I promise, it’s not annoying) and typewriter sounds.
- Editing. When I’m in the zone, I can pop out a few thousand words without a break. If there are multiple blog posts or ebook content that I’m working on, I’m often tempted to just press “Publish.” OmmWriter and other writing tools are a step removed from the publishing process, meaning I’ll have to Copy-Paste at least once before I’m able to push my content into the world. This forces me to look over my text for errors, typos, and weird sentences.
- Desire to write. I really should be tempted to write 24/7, but truthfully, as many writers can relate to, I simply don’t want to all the time. Minimalistic writing programs really make me WANT to write—as I know I don’t have to log in to any online tools, close programs, or do anything other than open up a new document.
- Better writing. Overall, I’m not just noticing a huge increase in my productivity (on a 3-hour plane ride, I produced about 5,000 words of publishable content—not “first draft” kind of stuff), but also better quality in my writing. I’m getting more succinct and to-the-point, and when I pause for a second to think, I’m not tempted to check email, Facebook, or Twitter.
I could probably go on, but you get the point. OmmWriter (and other similar programs) have really helped me see what I’m capable of as a writer and content producer (which is great when you need to pump out a bunch of articles, stories, and posts on a regular schedule), and it’s helped me to know my potential.
If you have a similar experience (or a different one!), drop a line in the comments section and let us know. Everyone’s different, and I love hearing about other ways to increase writing output and quality!
(Photo credit: Keyboard on a Notebook via Shutterstock)