March 7, 2010

Explore Your Creative Side With WriteRoom

images.jpgThe first time I launched WriteRoom, I wondered whether I would ever actually find a use for it. For those who have not yet made the jump to Mac, WriteRoom is a stripped down word processor that fills the screen with what appears to be a 1980s word processor - black background and green text with no menus to distract the writer. There is no bloat, and virtually none of the familiar formatting features with which we are familiar in modern word processing software. It really does feel like going back in time, and you know what, it is brilliant!

When I fire up WriteRoom, my computer desktop disappears and I am staring at a black screen with only a blinking green cursor. All I can do is type, and type I do. I am transported back to a creative writing course I took in college where the professor would regularly have us take out our notebooks and write with no purpose or focus other than to fill as many pages as we could as quickly as we could. It is a liberating experience.

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As my open windows disappear, the mental clutter recedes too. I am left with nothing besides the reassuring hum of the Grateful Dead from my studio monitors and my thoughts, forming words on the screen as quickly as I can type. I really need to do this more often!

I never would have bought WriteRoom on its own because I couldn't understand why I would want it until I had used it a few times. It came in a bundle of inexpensive Mac applications, and it turned out to be the one I have ended up using the most.

If you are a Mac user, consider giving WriteRoom a try as part of your blogging workflow. You just might be surprised with how it can clear away some of the cobwebs and let you explore a different side of yourself.

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