BY indefiniteloop

Over the course of this year, I’ve become an writing evangelist of sorts. I keep telling, asking, and advising people to write; I keep experimenting with writing techniques, methods, and what have you. And I certainly love writing apps.

There are a ton of apps on the Apple App Store that are great for writing. But very few that do things differently, or that try to experiment with the methods used for writing. FreeWriter is one that I’ve seen, and used that changes things around quite a bit. And in a great way. FreeWriter’s premise is a simple one, where you see only a single line while typing whatever it is that you want to write. The line remains steady right in the middle of the screen as you keep typing. The moment you slow down, or stop, or use the backspace that’s when the line begins to drop down to the bottom (as shown in the gif embedded below) Apart from that, you’ve five minutes to type the maximum amount of words that you possibly can while keeping the line centered on the screen in front of you. The combination of this decides your writing focus, and creates flow. It’s fabulous.

There’s not much in terms of an interface or a blank white/coloured page to start with. But once those five minutes are up, it automatically launches a white screen with a “sidebar” of sorts. You select the words that you want to edit, and start editing (again, as shown in the gif below). Not much in terms of preferences, or options either. The app has two main screens - the screen mode which essentially makes you focus, by forcing free writing. And the revise mode screen, where you can edit what you’ve written while you were in the screen mode. Apart from closing those modes, there’s almost nothing more that you can customise. Which again is great, and keeps things minimal; clean.

Freewriter - Free Mac App For Free-writing
Freewriter - Free Mac App For Free-writing

Freewriter is built around the premise of Free writing. Free writing is a method that was used to put words onto paper by Jack Kerouac. It is a prewriting technique in which a you keep writing non-stop, for a set period of time without any stops, or corrections/editing. More often than not, this form of writing produces a very raw, maybe unusable material (depending on how you will want to use what you’re writing). Essentially this prewriting technique is a great way to have fun, experiment, and test your writing skills. Or just clear your mind, at times.

On a personal note, I find that Freewriter is addictive, and can be fun at times. But there are times when you do feel distracted, when the line in front of you - which is the only thing you will see for the set periods of five minutes, every time you free write - keeps bobbing up, and down. For me, that was the most difficult aspect to get over with respect to Freewriter.

According to the developer of the app - Morten Just (A product designer at Google), Free writer combines the act of writing, with gaming. I, yet, cannot say for sure that it feels “game” like, but Freewriter does an awesome job of interpreting, implementing, and providing an interface to free write. I would definitely suggest giving Freewriter, and the prewriting technique of free writing a try.

"Be submissive to everything. Open. Listening. No time for poetry, but exactly what is." - Jack Kerouac.

Download Freewriter for OS X

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