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Distraction Free Writing With WriteMonkey

Updated on June 10, 2011

Writing Software WriteMonkey

I have mentioned the writing program called WriteMonkey on several occasions. Each time I bring it up, I also include the tagline that contains the developer's purpose for creating and coding WriteMonkey. The pupose of Write Monkey is to provide, "distraction free writing." Usually whenever I bring that up, I do so in quotes (as above) and I also add a little qualifier along the lines of "whatever that means," or something similar. I may sound like I am mocking WriteMonkey or its intended purpose. Nothing could be further from the truth.

What Is Distraction Free Writing

The reason I qualify the conept of distraction free writing whenever I mention it is because I don't think that it can exist, at least not for me, and I would think not for most writers. Don't get me wrong. I completely understand the concept of distraction and just how easy it is to get distracted. I have adult ADHD and take enough Adderall each day to make a small rhino jittery. It's just that writers need to be distracted in order to write well.

There are many different ways to go about writing quality articles, papers and essays. Some writers choose to outline their writing ahead of time. Other writers jot down notes, either electronically via a program like Office OneNote, or on paper or note cards and write from those. Still other writers choose to write without notes of any kind. All of these methods can be used to create quality prose. However, in each and every one of them, several things must be happening in the writer's brain at the same time as he writes.

The writer must be, of course, actually be creating words and these words must be recorded via typing, pen and paper, or even voice recording. But that is not all that is happening in a good writer's head.

A good writer also has to be thinking about what they have already written and what they still want to cover. They also have to be considering what is the best way to get from where they currently are in the sequence to where they need to be. Finally, they must also ensure that they are keeping the same flow, tempo, and style, all while making sure that they are using proper grammar, sentence structure, paragraphs, and spelling. Oh, and there is that little issue of getting the length right.

In addition, a writer must choose what to include and exclude as they write. There are many great ideas some of which could be germaine to what is being written, but might be better served as their own topic later, or which might not quite fit the flow, style, or intended audience of what is being written. Furthermore, important details and facts cannot be left out.

In other words, the writer is constantly distracted by what is happening in their mind as they write.

Cute Girl Writing Distraction

Eliminate Distractions While Writing

Now, of course, this is not what the software developer means when he talks about distraction free writing. What he means is that there are no fancy icons, pop-ups, or help screens to distract you from your writing. I find this just as meaningless. Are there actually people out there who are writing along and glance over and see that little Internet Explorer icon on the desktop and think, "Oh, I need to go check my Farm on Facebook Farmville?"

I am sure there are such people, but the question is, would such people not think about their farms if there were only green letters on a full black screen? If they did, would such an austere writing environment somehow prohibt them from succumbing to the temptation to Alt+Tab or Ctrl+Esc or just flat out exit the program?

All I am trying to say when I pose the question about what distraction free writing is, is that no writing program, no matter how simple or complex can eliminate the stream of brain chatter that occurs in the writer's head. Furthermore, anyone who finds themselves routinely distracted by the italics button or View tab in Microsoft Word will find plenty of things to distract themselves even if those icons are replaced by a plain text editor.

"Hey, is that lint? Excuse me..."


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    • HeatherBlesh profile image

      Heather Gomez 3 years ago from Monterey, CA

      I would say I get distracted pretty often, but as you said; Writers need a little distraction. It actually helps to buzz our brains for different subjects. I actually have a hard time staying with one subject too long. I tend to jump around. Most of the time I have partial article outlines written out and when I decide to write I go with whichever one I feel more motivated to finish. Although I've never been diagnosed with ADHD I am curious about whether or not that might be the real problem. My daughter was officially diagnosed with the disease, and she is somewhat like me. Hmmm...revelation. lol

    • EnergyAdvisor profile image

      EnergyAdvisor 7 years ago from The nearest planet to Venus

      Interesting article! I usually write down my notes on paper and I then work it out in word. Although I still prefer to do everything on paper. But sometimes it just takes too long before it's on the screen. But I find the concept interesting, distraction free writing. For me, distraction free is when I put some classical music on. Somehow my mind works good with it. But I'll take a look at the software you're mentioning out of curiosity.

      Thanks, voted for useful and I voted up!

    • angelenastanford profile image

      angelenastanford 7 years ago from Riverview, FL

      Thanks for the information, hopefully this can help me out some!

    • Sheila Kemp profile image

      Sheila Kemp 7 years ago

      Thanks for the tip. I've been using DarkRoom for the distraction free writing but I'll check out WriteMonkey. WriteMonkey seems to have a lot of options while DarkRoom is just a green text on black background, full screen.

      Have you used some other software for distraction free writing and can you compare it to WriteMonkey?