Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Distraction-free blogging

OK - well, time to start finding time, so to speak.  I really need to write some entries, as I would like these pages to become my 'main' website, while I remodel www.spiritvisions.com to be more of a showcase for the oil paintings. So i've decided to try writing entries using DarkRoom (from http://they.misled.us/dark-room).  It's a bare-bones word processor - the idea being that all you have is a blank screen with your writing on - no bells and whistles to distract you - no worrying about format ting or how pretty it looks.  By default it comes up full screen with a black background and green type similar to an old ASCII terminal - the sort of thing I used for writing 'C' code twenty years ago.  I've changed my settings to a nice amber colour text with a clear proportional font, similar to my beloved DEC VT220 terminal from so long ago!  From what I can tell so far (this being the first thing I've typed on it), it works just fine.  Just me and the text... maybe all aspiring writers whould get a copy.  I tried changing the screen background to something a little lighter and found even that was a bit of a distraction.

The psychology is interesting - maybe if we are presented with a whole lot of choices about how our working environment looks and feels, we have some pre-programming which means we are constantly checking that everything is OK.  As soon as the choices are limited, we are more able to focus on the task in hand.  A case in point - my dear wife is doing a lot of blogging at the moment (http://vivimaricarpelan.blogspot.com/) and when making entries dfirectly into blogger, seems to get sidetracked into worrying about whether the header looks good enough, whether the colours are right, etc.  I am sure (previous experience) that I am exactly the same - we're artists - we can't help getting stressed about how things look all the time!  Remove the distractions and the choices and it's not a problem any more.  Well... it's a theory - I'm planning to carry on using Dark Room to edit texts and add the bells and whistles later... we'll see how it goes - maybe an update in a couple of months?

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