Boosting your creativity with free apps: OmmWriter

Back in the glorious days of an Austin winter (glorious mainly because of the dead landscape, whose lack of pollen didn’t inherently tip off my allergies and require heavy OTC medication), I mentioned a free app that had inspired a few of my winter haiku. The freebie in question? OmmWriter, a Zen-like writing application that will help get a writer’s creative juices flowing and the words flying across the page like they were meant to be typed: freestyle and frenzied.

Ommwriter from herraizsoto&co on Vimeo.

The biggest pro regarding this app is, naturally, its free-ness. I can’t pass up a freebie, as those who read my Shoestring Austin blog might know, and when it comes to free software, I feel it’s worth downloading and giving a go. In the case of OmmWriter, it’s worth the five minutes it’ll take to download, and that’s not me damning with faint praise. (Sometimes, after all, you get what you pay for with free apps. But not here.)

I am also a big fan of any software that reduces a writer’s tendency to flit back and forth between applications, as I know that I am a huge procrastinator, as well as one of those types who are totally unable to just “block out” the rest of the stuff on a flickering screen. Why not check my email for the 477th time today? It’ll only take a second! Annnnnnd I’ll see you about three hours later, dazed and confused about what the heck I was originally going to do with those three precious hours. Oh, writing maybe? Whoops.

The fact that OmmWriter will go full-screen and help you escape from the desktop’s shiny, flickering enticements (not to mention three-bazillion windows) is excellent, but the way it also incorporates music and repetitive sounds that are linked with the tapping of your keys on the keyboard is truly genius. I am a distracted sort, and one who always pines for some type of music to engage and inspire, but I hate having to set up new “lyric-free” playlists on iTunes every time I’m in a writing mood. No worries! OmmWriter offers wordless repeating sound patterns that will keep you going on loop, without taking you out of your creative mode. Perfect!

OmmWriter reminds me of a computerized version of a device my husband has been doting on for years, the Buddha Machine (also available in iPod app format for $2.99, but “it’s the crusty little speaker and analogue output that gives it James Brown-level soul,” according to him; there’s also a Version 2.0, and you can play them together for maximum tranquillity), which plays a variety of repeating musical patterns on loop in order to help Buddhists (or, actually, the controversial devotees of Falun Gong) in their meditations. It cuts through the chatter of the mind with peaceful, harmony-inducing musical snatches, allowing you to more fully concentrate on writing. And really, anything that can still the “monkey mind” is hot shit in my books.

Try it out, for free, at