And then Tumblr in its usual glorious and life-improving fashion guided me through the blog of a good friend towards an amazing program called Zen Writer, the writing platform designed specifically to reduce stress and eliminate distractions so you can focus on what really matters - your thoughts and the worlds you are trying to narrate in.
Zen Writer uses a minimalist set of tools to give you just the basics, making it easy to get to work without fiddling with silly things. It comes with a variety of soothing backgrounds, which all come in Morning or Night options. I find Night to be easier on my eyes. You can import your own backgrounds if you like too. In addition to the nice things to look at, Zen Writer utilizes a small list of soft music for you to choose from, things I'm pretty sure most folks meditate you, to give you enough noise to drown out distractions, without anything too lyrical, catchy, or repetitive to be a distraction unto itself.
The best part: it devours your screen to literally eliminate all distraction. You wanna do something else? There is no shrinking of this beautiful window, you either minimize it to a tab on your task bar, or you get off Zen Writer. Its as simple as that.
Now, I was skeptical about this being anything more than a program that is truly an ease on my eyes, but as I began using it about a week ago now, I discovered something remarkable - I started writing better. I wasn't distracted, and nor was I simply typing up my handwritten pages to get them on the computer and over with. I was playing with words, altering sentence structure, and removing parts that were unnecessary without for one second questioning my choose. Being a calmer writer, makes for a more confident writer. And when you write confidently, its the same as anything else in your life, you will simply do it better.
Zen Writer is available for a 15 day free trial, and is only $9.95 to purchase. If you can't afford it, the creator of this darling program has a link on his website to help you out. Don't worry about copy and paste errors from other programs, there is a nice simple Import option, so you can move files from anywhere onto Zen Writer with ease. Whether you are looking for a stress-free way to write essays next term, or are an aspiring novelist who feels anxiety over the blank white screen of Word (I know, it mocks you with its empty spaces), give Zen Writer a try, and you may be surprised at the difference it makes.