My first experience with OmmWriter didn’t go well. It was a blank screen that popped up, with a cursor. What were these strange buttons on the side? No text? No explanations? Okay, great some of them had little icons, and I did get ‘T’ on one button was for text, but what about the button with two T’s? And the musical note? And the circles? Not even a little helper text explaining things when I held the mouse over the button?
And OmmWriter stopped my notifications when it started, but it wasn’t that it stopped them, it was how: so “I can get back to concentrating.” Did I ask you for that? “Use headphones for a better experience.” How about you use text for explaining these buttons if you were really concerned about my experience?!
OmmWriter took up the whole screen. All I saw was a snowy landscape with a few barren trees. And that damned cursor, blinking.
It really wanted me to write and I really didn’t want to.
OmmWriter is amazing.
I like minimalism, but this app takes it to a whole other level. And I realize right now that half of you have already left to download it, recognizing in my description how it’s going to fit perfectly in your software shelf.
But I digress.
On the far right, hover an x and a dash to close and minimize the window that takes up the whole screen. Below that rests a shaded, slim vertical line which serves as a scroll bar. Press a key, any key (or even press nothing for two seconds), and it all disappears, and it’s just you and the cursor. Blinking. A horizontal cursor, because “… as a vertical line, the cursor visually translated into a kind of wall or stopping point at the end of your line of text.” That’s from the Frequently Meditated Questions page at the OmmWriter site.)
You’re still here?
There are six buttons in closer proximity to the cursor you’re trying to avoid looking at. Blinking in silence like your therapist when you’ve just made some particularly poignant revelation and have to take a moment to re-order your world. And they disappear (not your therapist; the buttons) if you don’t do anything. Leaving you with the cursor. … Blinking.
You sure you want me to go on? Believe me, it’s more fun experiencing this for yourself.
Alright. Mousing over the round black buttons produces more buttons. There is a button for font styles, giving you some variety, but not so much that you spend hours searching for the perfect font for that book you’re going to write. (Have you seen Sabon? A friend introduced me. Lovely Times Roman alternative. Book Antiqua was so brittle and Palatino had no kick. But let’s get back to Omm.) You have a choice of script, serif, sans serif, and fixed width.
You can increase the font size if you wish. Again, no fine-tuning, but enough so that the cursor seems a little less threatening. A little less intimidating. Almost welcoming. Wait. Or is that you?
You can change the barren snow landscape. A few choices.
And then there’s several selections of ambient music that I wish they played at my yoga place. Or in the subway while I’m waiting for a train. (Play the music. It will distract you from the cursor.)
If you like the feedback of clicking while you type, you can have that too.
And finally, you can save what you wrote. Text, PDF, or Rich Text. Or you can refuse all extensions and let the program give your creation .omm. (It’s the same as text, and yet, it feels like writing.)
By then, you and the cursor are friends. The kind of friend whose place you hate to leave.