The moment Flowstate users stop typing, the text they have been writing begins to disappear. If they do not hit a single key within seven seconds, the page goes blank. It sounds intimidating, but for some it really helps.
Flowstate is an app co-created by filmmaker and screenwriter Caleb Slain and software developer Blaine Cronn from Overman. The app is meant to remove distractions and make writers simply write. It is guided by what the company describes as a “simple philosophy: flow, then react.” It is meant to keep writers focused and off of Facebook, YouTube and all the cat videos on the internet, while also helping them to dig into their streams of consciousness.
It works simply. The app opens up into a full screen window, which prevents users from leaving it while the timer is on. Users then pick a font and how long they want to write for. They can write for anywhere from one minute to three hours. During this time, users are expected to write nonstop. The only way to save what has been written is to write continuously for the time period chosen.
During the time users are writing, they are meant to enter into what Slain and Cronn refer to as the flow state. The flow state is a psychology term that was coined in the 1970s by Hungarian psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalhi. It means a state of mind in which one disconnects from his or her sense of self and enters into a focused mode of being. Most people have felt this before, and people typically describe it as being “on fire” or “in the zone.” It is something writers try to achieve frequently. Slain and Cronn believe that this app will help writers reach that point and thus be more productive in their writing.
Those interested in giving Flowstate a try can purchase the app for either their Apple computer for $15 or iPhone for $10. It is not currently available for PC or Android phones.
Emily Ramser is an undergraduate studying English, Creative Writing, and Religion at Salem College in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. She is currently pursuing her Bachelor of Arts in English and Creative Writing, and is expected to graduate in May of 2017. Some of her inspirations include Thornton Wilder, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Bhanu Kapil, Andrea Gibson, Gabriel Gudding, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Gail Simone, and Alfred Lord Tennyson. Check out her black out poetry collection I Forgot How to Write When They Diagnosed Me. You can find more of her work at her blog.
Read more of Emily’s work:
- Technology and Writing are Getting Together in 2016
- 2015 Literary News Review
- Condemned Writers, Poets, and Protestors
- The Gender Gap in Literary Awards
- Amazon Books Opens Its Doors to Customers and Bad Press
- Hello November- I Mean NaNoWriMo