I was meeting with a colleague today, teaching him how to begin to use WordPress and as I was going through the user interface I saw the hotkey help bubble show up that said that icon would offer “Distraction Free Writing”. We both looked at each other with that tilted head of lack of understanding.
Sure, the words are English words, but when put together like that, neither of us understood what it meant.
Perhaps it was because we were both parents, but more likely because we were both writers, it made no sense. After some thinking that resulted in contorted facial expressions, some deep signs, and continued confusion on both our parts, I was the first to speak. I said I simply don’t understand that, and I don’t see why that is something one would voluntarily do.
For writers, writing is all about the distraction. It’s releasing the voices in our heads (we call them muses to keep those offering medications and white jackets at bay), and allowing them to argue amongst themselves providing us the ability to act as a conduit to get their ideas on paper, or screen in this case.
How then would removing these distractions, these very elements of creativity, be a good thing?
Well then I did the obvious thing and clicked the button. And then we both got that same “oh, right” look that we’re so used to giving others when it becomes painfully obvious in a split second that we so totally over thought the whole situation.
According to WordPress, Distraction Free Writing Mode is full screen. I don’t know why it had to be written differently, and I don’t see how full screen writing is any less a distraction than regular mode, since it does nothing to stop the dings and beeps alerting that someone is talking to you (and not just the voices) or emailing you or demanding your attention or posted a kitten video. It just seems silly.
So after that distraction we had to regroup and figure out where we had left off. We did realize that we had just met another writer in each other, and vowed to be friends over a shared level of accepted crazy.
On a good note, it did give me something to post about that wouldn’t cause hemorrhaging.