what it's time for is up to you--

Wednesday, August 8


Several years ago, I became obsessed with productivity blogs, software, David Allen's GTD, making lists and did  more reading about productivity than actually putting any one thing into practice.  It seems there are unlimited variations of planners, all sizes of to-do forms, software for your PC, for your phone, forms to print from the Internet, cute notebooks to buy. . . 

None of this really helps a writer's life, especially if one doesn't adopt the system that works for her and then implements.

One of the productivity suggestions was to write without distractions.  Turn off the pings for new e-mail, Facebook, Twitter, etc. I found word processing formats that block out everything on your screen except the text that you are writing.  Gone are the distractions of the icons, news feeds, post-it notes on the desktop and even the beautiful picture of clouds and ocean that I have as my wallpaper (always conducive to several moments of daydreaming). 

There are a number of software programs that accomplish the full screen format, including Word which you can easily make full screen.  But, a productivity addict (recovering) wants more--she wants bells and whistles, something that signals her scattered brain--hey, it's time to only write!

Launching the Camp NaNoWriMo August 1st, I remembered a program I had installed on my laptop a couple of years ago, that I used at my office when writing grants.  It is a minimalistic word processing program that goes full screen.  What I love about it (and what some people would hate) is that the program produces the clickety-clack of an old fashioned typewriter.  I wear noise cancelling headphones and when the rhythm of the typing begins, I am in the zone.  It sends the message to my brain: 'I'm writing.' Thoughts of checking Facebook updates evaporate.

It's a free program called Q10.  It has a timer feature, gives you word count, a target count, perfect for NaNoWriMo, and provides some customization--yes, you can turn off the sound if it's not as soothing as I find it. 

Have you found a productivity software that works for you?  Do you have a favorite writing software? More on other writing-without-distraction options in the next post.  


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