my favorite writing tool.

I’ve decided to write more this year. Not just this year, but in general, writing is something I want to take seriously and grow in. Malcolm Gladwell, in the book Outliers, talked about the 10,000 hours theory – the majority of people who succeed at a certain skill/craft do so because they’ve practiced and practiced and practiced. The suggested number of hours for becoming truly excellent: 10,000 hours. In his own words, “The point is simply that natural ability requires a huge investment of time in order to be made manifest.”

I think the 10,000 hours theory makes sense in writing, at least it does for me. I know there are people like Annie Dillard who are the exception to the rule. At 29 she won the Pulitzer for her book Pilgrim at Tinker Creek. I own the book and have been in the process of reading it for a year now. It’s one of those masterpieces that has to be digested oh so slowly to be appreciated. If Annie debunks the theory, I think I may prove it right back again.

I am a baby, like, “just started solids”, writer. I’ve been writing in dear diaries and journals since I was eight years old but I haven’t been writing for keeps for long. For whatever reason, I’m noticing there’s a different kind of cadence to the work I know I’ll be sharing. I don’t like that, and I’m working on learning my way around it, but I’m nowhere near 10,000 hours. I see it when I try so hard to put my own voice on the page, share it with a writing group or friend, and the feedback is something like, “prose-y.. flowery..” UGH. Gross. I, clearly, have my work cut out for me.

Which is why I’m really thankful to have a writing tool I am in love with, to encourage me to keep coming back every new day and practicing. Sharing it feels like I’m sharing my best kept secret as a writer in the trenches. But it’s our job as humans to share and make one another better, so here it is – The magical unicorn writing tool for all y’all fighting the good fight alongside me: It’s called Ommwriter, and these are the things I love about it:

As soon as I open the app it welcomes me with a message:

It’s like a secret Narnia room opens up to me because it keeps me from being interrupted. It automatically turns off all notifications while I am writing. Pure, focused, Magic.

It might sound silly but the fact that I can change the sounds of the keys when I type is a feature I really enjoy. I’m pretty sure there is an added dopamine release because that sound keeps me happy to be writing, and I feel carried along by the friendly sound.

No offense if you like the music in the background, but I can only write to certain types of music and the built in tunes on Ommwriter just don’t do it for me. Luckily I can mute their music and turn on my own.

Even though I write on a white backdrop in Ommwriter, there’s something nice about the way they lay out the margins and the use of tools that feels welcoming to me. It also feels novel, which helps, since I am the queen of hunting down new experiences.

There is no spell check that I have found, so there is no annoying red underline, letting you know you’ve spelled something wrong. This also means you will misspell things without realizing but I have found freedom in just letting my fingers fly and then, if the piece is something I’ll actually share, transferring to a word doc to make spelling and grammar changes later.
*thanks, anne lamott.

It was free when I first got my version, I think. These days I think you can name your purchase price and receive a license or something but I haven’t done that. I am pretty sure I downloaded it for free or donated a very small amount. Then I simply “x” out of the screen where I enter the license key and it takes me directly to the screen where I start typing.


This is the magical part. Not because it’s hard to save work elsewhere, but because if you don’t, the piece you wrote disappears forever. Once you log out, Ommwriter welcomes you back to the real world with a message like, “Your mind, a wild monkey!” I also like that, because of the separate and secret nature of the platform, I can write in a certain way that I wouldn’t anywhere else. Then these particular drafts all go into a file folder somewhere in the deep recesses of my computer, many to never be seen again. This makes it the perfect practice tool!

Just for fun, here’s a video I found online of someone reviewing / using Ommwriter. It’s kind of silly and they have the music going but it will give you a general idea of how to use it and the look and feel.

Ommwriter from herraizsoto on Vimeo.

Click here to visit their site, and let me know if you end up using it!

One last thing. I’m sure I don’t have to mention this but at the risk of sounding like a saleswoman, let me say: I have like ten readers, so, no, this post is not sponsored. I just want you to know about this. 🙂


show hide 2 comments

ash parsons So glad to hear it, Penny!
YAY for tools that help and don’t hinder free creative thought!
xoApril 4, 2017 – 3:24 pm

Penny Burns Well, this is a good addition to my life. Thanks for sharing! It’s provided some good mental clarity for me!April 4, 2017 – 11:53 am

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