Nov 09 2011

Setting up a writer’s ambiance


I don’t know about you, but I’ve got to be in a certain state of mind before I can start writing.
I need quiet music, low lighting (or super bright if I’m going the pen and paper route), a comfortable chair, and no distractions.

I’ve found tools on the web that can help me with 3/4 of these things (still waiting on that comfortable chair app).

img from flickr


1. Shades (mac only)- This is a great application that I just found the other day.  Sometimes I like to have my screen really bright, but not while I’m writing.  However, I can never find that happy medium between too bright and too dark.  Shades gives you a slider that you can adjust to change the brightness of your screen.  But I think my favorite feature of this app is that you can change the tint of your screen.  Instead of dimming to a dark black color as usual, you can dim it to purple, pink, yellow, orange, any color you can think of.  I like yellow because it’s akin to writing on old parchment.

2. Spotify – Spotify is a lot like Pandora, which I’m sure you’ve heard of, but it’s kind of way better.  You can search for playlists, star songs you like, play a genre specific radio, and even make your own playlist.  I like classical music when I write and it’s super easy to find a lot of it at once.  Spotify is also very social networking based so you can share what you’re listening to on facebook.. or not.

3. WriteRoom (mac only.. although there is a windows version out there somewhere) – This is my favorite of all three of these.  WriteRoom gives you a big, giant, happy plain text screen where you can just writewritewrite.  I might have written about this before.  I don’t care.  It’s the best.  Are you one of those people who starts writing and says “Wellll I’ve written for five minutes, ooh look, a shiny open Facebook tab!”?  Because I am.  WriteRoom takes up your whole screen so you can’t explore the other things floating on your desktop.  The format reminds me of the Terminal on the mac, very clean.


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