“Silence is golden.” Or so we’ve heard for centuries; a proverbial saying that’s consistent across cultures.
The question is, in an amped-up, caffeine-fueled, texting/tweeting world of constant distractions, is there a place for silence in business? That is, can a more beautifully silent space lead to better writing?
Or is this a question whose answer varies by age, with time for silence or contemplation a concept that appeals more powerfully to people over 40?
Do people write better, think more clearly, if they have the luxury of doing so in an environment that screens out noise and distractions? Does focus lead to better writing, content that’s more likely to resonate with others? Can a blank canvas invoke more creativity?
It’s an interesting question, one that I think is best answered on an individual basis. It’s also possible that individual preferences are more situational, linked to time and place, or what you’re thinking or writing about. Or: who’s paying for your time and why…
A writer’s haven
If you’d like to experience the impact of distraction-free silence while writing, there’s a minimalist tool for Mac, PC and iPad users called “OmmWriter Dana.” It’s kind of a zen-like, Steve Jobs-inspired approach to the act of writing. Its Barcelona-based creators call it “a writer’s haven.”
The minimalist version can be downloaded for free to your Mac; a paid-version offers a broader selection of color schemes and audio themes designed to cultivate focus, contemplation and enhance creativity.
I’m using the basic version of OmmWriter to draft this blog post. OmmWriter enables me write the basic post, hiding the rest of my Macintosh environment (including turning off my secondary display where I normally scan incoming emails, tweets, etc.)
To turn this draft into a blog, I copy my draft, and then paste it into WordPress where I’ll add the appropriate HTML tags, category tags and so on. This separates the writing process from the markup process.
Whether this two-step approach enhances creativity is too soon to say definitively. What I do know is that the actual experience of writing with OmmWriter is more delightful than when writing a blog inside WordPress, LiveWriter, NotePad or any of the usual word processing tools.
Try it yourself, and see how it helps your writing.