© Gaye Wilson 2009
I’ve just discovered a really wonderful online tool if you’re a writer who gets easily distracted. I found it through Ankesh Kothari’s blog: http://www.blogclout.com/blog/cool-tool-writing-without-distraction/ .

The tool is called Writer. When you enter the site, you are faced with a black page with green writing. You simply start to type, and you will see your words appear on the screen, just as if you were in a word processing document.

Ankesh’s suggestion of using it as your home page is an interesting one. If you do that, he suggests that you will then get the impetus to actually write something. He might be right. When I went there, it was impossible not to try it out.

This page allows you to start and save as many documents as you like. It will also print your writing, or send it to you by email. It was actually quite fun to play around with it.

It has a pdf button, which didn’t work when I tried it. It also has a Download button (I didn’t try that one), and a Send button, where you have a choice of sending it as an email, or to a blog or other places.

How can the use of this online tool help you?

  • If you use it as your home page, you will always get the reminder to write.
  • You can use it to jot down notes while you’re online, without having to open your text editor.
  • You can make to do lists, and email them to yourself.
  • You can write a book, or an article, or notes to yourself.
  • You can copy and paste interesting URLs.

You can change some options, such as the colour of the writing, the font type, and the spacing. You can create an account, although you don’t have to. You can delete your writing. You can even get a word count. 

It also seems to remember you when you close the page and come back in again.

Use is free, but there is a donation button at the bottom of the screen. I think it would be well worth a donation if you find it useful. 

As with all online tools, there may be privacy issues. Read the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy to decide whether it is for you.

As a fun way of getting yourself writing, I think this is a good one. If you are having trouble getting to writing, it might be worth checking it out. Here it is again:

 Writer at http://writer.bighugelabs.com/.

 

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Comments

4 Responses to “Writing without distractions”

  1. David Brennan on June 1st, 2009 4:37 pm

    Hello Gaye

    Great blog! Congratulations.

    ‘Writer’ is a fascinating idea and, as you say, could be a useful tool for people who are trying to get something written. One problem with word processing programs is that they have so many bells and whistles that it’s easy to get distracted fiddling with the formatting or solving problems that don’t really exist yet (at least in your particular project).

    However, as a Mac owner and user, I’ve discovered a word processing program that offers at least a few of the features that this site does. It’s Apple’s Pages, which has a setting whereby you just see the blank page on a black screen without the formatting paraphernalia. I bought it, used it for a while and was rather unimpressed with it at first, but with familiarity I’ve come to like it rather more. And if you open it first thing every morning, it would do all the other things you suggest above.

    Of course, if you don’t have a Mac, my suggestion isn’t much use, and Writer is the way to go.

  2. Gaye Wilson on June 1st, 2009 6:03 pm

    Hi David,

    Thanks for that very helpful post. I guess one of the main differences between Writer and Apple’s Pages is that Writer is online, whereas Apple’s Pages is a program you have on your computer.

    I wonder if using Writer as I suggest in my post would help with internet procrastination? If you see Writer as your home page, would you be more likely to write something, and then be in the mood to work, or would you click away immediately to surf aimlessly?

    Of course, you could also set your computer up so that your text program loads on boot-up – NotePad or Pages or whatever. That might help too.

    The whole point of this is to actually get yourself into the habit of writing as soon as you boot up or access the internet.

    If you’re a writer, you probably need all the writing help you can get!

  3. Hez on June 1st, 2009 11:14 pm

    You are right, as soon as you open it, you can’t resist typing *something*!
    I wish I had heard of that while I was still writing essays etc for uni. Just how long it will actually keep me off facebook (aka procrastination central) may be a different story – my usual solution to that was to disconnect my internet temporarily.
    I can certainly see how having it as a home page may get the creative juices happening more though.

  4. Nala Sandrasegaran on June 2nd, 2009 2:23 pm

    The writing tool with black background and green writing gives an alien feel but cool. Thanks Gaye for linking to this tool. It surely blocks out evrything but the writing.

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