I’m trying out this new thing, you see. I’ve decided to try my hands at writing these blog posts using different platforms. I started using Windows Live Writer, which was generally satisfying.Then, I decided to go Au Naturel and actually type my posts on the WordPress website, just the way God intended.Just for kicks, I also tried JDarkRoom.Yesterday, I wrote the blog entry from my iPad and today, I’m writing this blog entry using OmmWriter Dana I.
I never actually thought there could be a sensory experience linked to writing. To me, writing always has been a bit of a struggle, an internal fight. In High School, I always had the hardest of times whenever we’d be doing sentence analysis and grammar analysis. Yet, as masochistic as that sounds, I decided to study litt in Cégep (in french though, so if my english grammar is not awesome, gimme a break). Then also, writing was a struggle. I was always postponing it. It’s not that I don’t enjoy it, I do. But there’s a bit of a brain battle going on. The battle to stay focused, to keep my thoughts clear and linearly organised.
What’s this got to do with writing platforms?
Ha! I’m so glad you asked. Well, different writing platforms will mean different things to different people, but each has got their preferences. To great novel writers prefering this typewriter to another to certain other novelists who would only use lead pencils, everyone’s tastes and writing needs are different.
Personally, I need an interface that’s uncluttered. That will keep me focused as much as possible. Having tons of separate windows open only makes me wander more. I need an experience that will draw me in and keep me in for the duration of the task at hand.
Using the iPad to write provided a bit of a relief from the clutter of multiple windows. Using a somewhat modal OS means that you are not distracted by various applications open on screen at the very same time. You are left (somewhat) alone with the app you’re running. So if you’re writing text, then it’s just you and your word processor (and maybe the onscreen keyboard, depending on whether you accessorised your ‘pad’ with an external keyboard or not).
On the PC though, it’s a bit harder to keep focused on the sole task of writing. Even when maximised, you always have the taskbar challenging you, prompting you to go check out something in Chrome or switch the song in iTunes or ‘oh hey, I got a message on MSN!’ That kinda stuff. That’s where the next two fellows come in.
JDarkRoom is a simple text editor that takes up your whole screen. No windows, no menus. Just you and whatever you type. On a stark black background with green lettering (which is customizable, by the way). A nice little retro writing experience for people who need to eradicate distractions while writing.
OmmWriter Dana is a full on ‘writing spa’. Upon starting the software, you are prompted that you get the best experience using headphones. Then the application takes up the whole screen. Contrary to JDarkRoom, instead of a black background, my screen is decorated by a white winter photograph. Very soothing. There’s calm, somewhat minimalistically new ageish music playing. But it works really well. Text appears in black, using a nicely standard-feeling sans serif font. Of course, you have a selection of backgrounds, soundtracks and fonts available. Overall, a very nicely engaging experience.