I am prone to being distracted, and when I say prone, I mean really really prone. This fact doesn’t help one write 50,000 words over the course of a month, I’ll write half a sentence, check my email or Twitter lose my train of thought follow a link to an interesting website, look something up on Wikipedia, SQUIRREL!
All of a sudden an hour has passed and I’ve only managed to add 6 words to my word count, that’s less than ideal.
Last year I tries to mitigate this using a tool called DarkRoom, and it really helped. It provided a no frills text only full screen interface for me to write in. The problem was the interface was a bit to minimal, I’ve grown used to spell checkers and word counts and the like and though they can be distracting, so is having to copy and paste your document into a word processor every time you want to find out how close you are reaching your target for the day.
This year I’m trying out a little program called Focus Writer, it like DarkRoom provides you with a minimal interface in which to write without distractions, except it has more features, move the mouse cursor to the top of the screen and you are presented with a file menu with a slew of customization options, including ones that allow you to customize what options are visible, themes, and font sizes.
Move your mouse down to the bottom of the screen and you can see a workout, character count, and progress towards a your goal.It also allows you to have multiple documents open in tabs which are also hidden until you mouse down to the bottom of the screen which is pretty nifty for keeping notes.
All in all its pretty nifty, I’ve only used it for a couple of hours but during that time I definitely spent less time faffing about on the internet, which is a bonus.
In case anyone is looking for other distraction free word processing environments here are a few I’ve not tried:
jDarkroom: A Java implementaion of DarkRoom
WriteRoom: DarkRoom is actually a reimplementation of this OSX Application.
OmmWriter: Is another OSX only writing tool that follows the principles of Zen and simplicity.
DarkCopy: A web based version of WriteRoom.
Writer: Looks like a promising web based tool which allows you to save, export to PDF and email documents.