A space to write.

OmmWriter. Creating a digital space in which to write haiku.

The haiku.

Open horizon,
Calls me over,
Swimming slowly.

Other haiku written in this environment…

Mild wind,
Scent of thyme,
Winter passes.

Mountain top,
White with snowfall,
Icy breeze.

White space,
Minimalist as ever,
Breathes more easily.

OmmWriter aims to provide a distraction-free writing environment, with various switchable visual and audio options. I have used many different text editors on the Mac over the years, and have had OmmWriter in my toolkit since it's first release. Needing a clear-mind space to write haiku in for a new project, I looked to OmmWriter Dana II. Yes, I could use WriteRoom, or even the full-screen option in Notational Velocity Forked. But this just seemed to be the perfect time to pull OmmWriter out of my toolkit. I've been exploring the possibility of editing some of the background images for OmmWriter Dana for a while, and this was the perfect excuse. A root through my image archives [an advantage of my former career as a photographer], showed up this subtle ocean image, with soft ground swell and grey monochrome tones. Perfect. I tried it out and wrote a couple of brief haiku. It worked for me.

The interface.

How to customise your OmmWriter experience. Firstly, ensuring that you quit it first, locate OmmWriter Dana app on your computer. Duplicate it, so you can edit the duplicate, leaving the original unharmed. I renamed mine OmmWriter Dãna III β. Control-click or right-click on the application, selecting 'show package contents'. Click on > Contents > Resources > and you will see in the file list, a number of background image files used by the app. For example, background_white.jpg, which brings up the plain white background, or paisaje_azul_1920x1200.jpg, another background image file. Yet again, you may wish to duplicate the file before you edit or replace it.

Moving to Photoshop, or any other image editing app of your choice, create a file 1920x1200 pixels with your chosen background image. Things that work are subtle images, soft tones, blurs, light tones, but you will have your own ideas here, that's the whole point. As I used to create and sell texture and blur files for photographers before I became a writer, I have a vast archive of such images at my disposal. I may even release a couple as free downloads here at a later date. When laying out your image, bear in mind the working area, as seen in the image above.

Save you image as a .jpg file, you will need to name it as one of the existing images, so one of the two file names I mentioned earlier would work fine. The file should be saved in place of the original, in your new, edited version of OmmWriter, back in the Resources folder of the package Contents of the application. Finally, spark up OmmWriter, select the background you edited, and go create.

Yes, this takes a little work, but the bliss of working in your own custom writing environment is quite something, and one I found to be well worth a few moments of my time and effort. You could add an image, as I have, or alternatively, a texture, a solid colour, or a gradient would work equally well, depending on your taste and needs. It would also be possible to replace the MP3 files too, and that is something I'm currently considering also. I'll share any edits with you here.