Yesterday I came across some of my writings from six or seven years ago. I am reminded how far I have veered off the course of establishing a routine writing habit. The old works, dated and not as exciting to me now, remind me of how much I enjoy the process of writing and editing to get a tight, reasonably well-written little story about some of the things I notice in the world around me. It is a way to share my point of view, humor and some quirkiness. More than once I have firmly resolved to write blog articles routinely with the result that each event has resulted in exactly one and only one article.
Reflecting on this sorry state of affairs, grasping one more time for a way to get in to that writing chair and write, I happened across a new software product. Zen Writer 2.0 by Beenokle may be the one for me. It is a simple, low budget, low feature set product that creates a stage for a productive writing session. As I sit here writing this, a dimmed view of a foggy forest covers my entire screen, soft music is playing in the background, and as I depress the keys a sound reminiscent of the old keyboard noises accompanies the motion. While all the other applications - Email, Facebook, Toodledo, Evernote, Feedly and whatever else has my attention today - are running in the background, no interruptions of any kind are coming from them. I am totally focused on my writing task.
I can select the music, the background scene, the font and size. I like to set it up to show me the time and sometimes the word and page count at the bottom of the page. When so inclined, I may minimize the screen and return to the rest of my computer world. Frankly, it seems more compelling to stay here.
Are there limitations to this product? Of course. This is not a replacement for a full-fledged word processing application. However, once you've written and edited the words, it is just a matter of copy and paste to a more full-featured, but distracting, application.