New software alert for writers who struggle with distractions… Focus Writer is a free program with a dynamite, simple interface. It comes zipped, and can be loaded to a usb drive to use on the fly.
A screen shot, reduced in size:
What you see above is what you get—the colors are customizable. I like purple, obviously, but you select the background you want… even an image. The idea is that all you see is the text in front of you unless you move your mouse UP or DOWN. Your Windows desktop and taskbar are also obscured unless otherwise configured.
Move the mouse UP and you’ll get a taskbar like this:
The taskbar is also customizable. I recommend the MINIMIZER, since it allows you to get back to your desktop quickly and doesn’t tempt pauses, since it’s not visible unless you go looking for it. The menu vanishes the minute you move your mouse away. Better yet, the footer bar, which also auto-hides, keeps track of your stats, and these are all customizable, as well—work toward a daily goal of words, characters, pages, etc.; set your own time allotted, etc.
This info, including the file name, appears on the left.
The percentage of your daily goal, which you set, appears in the center of the footer bar.
The far end of your footer bar will show the time. The minute you move your mouse away, it vanishes, just as the top menu does.
So what is the benefit? I was curious, too. I started a brand new file on a short story and gave myself a daily goal of one hour, 1500 words. With the screen completely “purpled out,” nothing but the white space and my text in front of me, I banged out an RTF file that was formatted, ready to copy and paste or simply re-open, that exceeded my goal significantly. 1,872 words in an hour... and I was playing, not trying. Another lovely feature—spell check on the fly and this program automatically uses proper quotes in dialogue.
Users can elect to have old-fashioned typing noises (which I found weirdly neat as white noise) and customize the experience in a ton of other ways.
Super sleek, portable, and FREE… this is my new first draft stand-by.
Get it HERE for free!