Like many writers out there, I often find myself seduced by the internet. Either mail, various forms of chatting, or surfing the web can sometimes just be too compelling and distracting when we want to get creative work done. To solve this problem, there is a host of different fullscreen programs out there these days. Filling your screen with simple blackness with white or light text can be wonderful for eliminating distractions, and I've tried my fair share of these, from WriteRoom to Apple Pages. These are solid programs, but I'm finding myself particularly excited by Ommwriter, which takes a different approach to the distraction problem.
Ommwriter doesn't just want to give you a black screen, which I often find to create little haloes around the too-bright text. It wants to give you a more immersive writing experience that even feels fairly Zen. Open Ommwriter and you'll be presented with a soothingly blank landscape of a snow field with a single tree in the corner. The rest of the screen is a simple text field for you to type, undistracted. That's not the only feature Ommwriter has, however. On the right are a series of buttons to help customize your focused writing experience. You can have your typing make sounds like a typewriter if you like the productive click-clack of letters going on the page. You can even include soothing sound effect loops of wind chimes or soft throbbing beats. For someone who enjoys using meditation aids like the Buddha Machine, I found this especially helpful. Total silence isn't actually ideal; a little background noise can help with focus and concentration.
Ommwriter can have your files saved in its native format or as a .txt file that can be opened by any other text editor. While this program is still in Beta, I'm very excited about the very Zen experience it can turn writing into. If you need a way to focus on your writing in a serious but non-stressful way, I highly recommend Ommwriter.
Because it's in beta, I'll also mention what I'd like to see in the next version. It would be nice to have rich text support (so I can use italics), and to have an unobtrusive word count somewhere would also be helpful. I look forward to seeing the continued development of this excellent product.