Latest weekly Insing column is "mrbrown and the distractions"
I recently purchased a piece of writing software for my iPhone and my Mac called Writeroom. In fact, I am writing on it right now. What it does is turn your very sophisticated computer into a 1960s-era dumb terminal, leaving you with just a black screen and your text in green.
It is supposed to promote “full screen distraction-free writing”. The premise is that your computer now contains so many distracting applications and windows that it distracts you, the writer, from writing.
I know it sounds really odd, but once you try it, it is very liberating.
At any one time, the following things scream for your attention: email, instant messaging, Twitter, Facebook and the latest YouTube video of a guy singing a Chinese New Year version of the Lady Gaga song Pokerface.
So you can appreciate the Zen-like feeling when Writeroom takes over. It does not even give you any traditional word processing formatting tools and menus onscreen. The thing does not even have scroll bars.
To complete the experience, I often listen to Korean and Japanese music in my headphones when I write. I don't understand a WORD of what is being sung (they could be singing about a head of cabbage, for all I know), so the language-processing part of my brain does not need to pay attention to it. I used to listen to spoken word podcasts but found I could not concentrate on the words on the screen and the words being said in my headphones at the same time.
I wish I could do the same thing with the rest of my life. I think I will get more things done. (cont'd)