WriteRoom: Two Thumbs Up

I’ve mentioned WriteRoom before, and I’ll probably mention it again. I love the idea behind this software: if your entire screen is taken up by your writing, you are less likely to get distracted.

Personally, I’ve found that WriteRoom is my best option for pounding out fiction, especially short fiction. It isn’t as good for non-fiction, though, or really anything requiring research.* But I’m very prone to distraction, especially on nifty little websites I may have find.

WriteRoom takes a very simple approach to the whole scenario. When the program is open, you can’t see toolbars, other programs, etc. You see only a black screen with green letter, reminiscent of the old IBM word processing programs. You can shift to the equally old school options of amber letters on a black background or white letters on a blue background.
WriteRoom is Mac only, and is a free download. The makers do ask for fans to pay for a license to help them keep making great software. I haven’t seen too many comparable options for Windows.

*I’ve found a sorta useful work around with two monitors. WriteRoom only operates on one screen, so I can keep my research window open on the other monitor. However, Word still seems more effective for articles, etc.


  1. veinglory   •  

    I seem to recall word having a full screen option that produces this effect — or am I just over-generlising this from the browser full screen option?

  2. thursday   •     Author

    I believe that it does, but not quite to the same extent. In Word, as I remember it, you still have tool bars and other distractions. Personally, I also seem to be able to concentrate better on a black screen. That’s just me, though.

  3. Sam   •  

    I like writing in this distraction-free environment, too. It reminds me of my old computer, the one that had no hard drive and had to be run from a start-up disk. I’m using Dark Room on my Windows machine, which does essentially the same thing as Writeroom.

    It’s like giving your brain room to sigh.

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