Distraction Free Writing

When you’re trying to get in the zone, it’s important to eliminate as many distractions as possible.

But how do you eliminate distractions when you’re writing on a computer, a device which is itself a distraction? A distraction free writing tool might help. These full screen text editors do their best to remove everything that is not important to the task of writing. In this post, I’ll have a look at five of them in an attempt to find the right one for me. Let’s see what Left, Ghostwriter, iA Writer, Writemonkey 3, and Calmly Writer have to offer.

Left

Left is distraction-free plaintext editor designed to quickly navigate between segments of an essay, or multiple documents. It features auto-complete, Markdown support, synonyms suggestions, writing statistics, markup-based navigation and a speed-reader.

The application was initially created to help Rekka with the writing of the upcoming novel Wiktopher, and later made available as a free and open source software.

Left isn’t truly full-screen. In Windows, I can still see the menu bar, which annoys me like crazy. The auto-complete and synonymous features are very nice, but they have an unfortunate side effect. As you write, information flashes along on the bottom of the screen, where both the auto-complete and synonym suggests appear. This is a distraction in itself, which is unfortunate for a text editor that aims to eliminate them. Also, there is no way to control the width of the text in full-screen mode. This means that on a wide-screen monitor, you have to move your eyes a lot from side to side as you write.

Left

A Gallbladder Update

It’s been a while now since my surgery, so I guess it’s time for an update. Be warned, though; this is going to be both detailed and messy.

The keyhole surgery (laparoscopic cholecystectomy) went just fine. I laid down, was told to take a deep breath, and then I woke up again without my gallbladder, but with four surprisingly tiny bandages on my stomach. The gallstones they’d pulled out of the gallbladder was sitting neatly in a container on a table besides the bed. They ranged from pea to marble in shape and size, so there was no doubt about the cause of my stomach pains. The round shape of the gallstones has probably saved me from some pain. The same amount of gallstones in a more gravel like substance – which is common – would potentially have caused a lot more agony. Then again, less pain had allowed a chronic inflammation of the gallbladder to get a foothold.

Anyway.

This was not something that would go away by popping pills. Even though having had an internal organ removed feels pretty damn weird, I’m glad it’s out.

So the surgery went fine, but the recover phase has been a bit more interesting.

December One-Liners

It’s the first of the month, which means thereโ€™s time to add some more funny one-liners to the ever-growing collection. The majority of the one-liners this month is lifted form Mr. One-Liner.

  • Junk is something you throw away three weeks before you need it.
  • “The hardest job kids face today is learning good manners without seeing any.” — Fred Astaire
  • A job is nice but it interferes with my life.
  • What goes around usually gets dizzy and falls over.
  • A spouse is someone who’ll stand by you through all the trouble you wouldn’t have had if you’d stayed single.
  • It is important to stay cool, but be sure to not get frostbite.
  • Middle age is when you choose your cereal for the fiber, not the toy.
  • People tell me I’m childish but I think they’re just being poopyheads.
  • The best way to get rid of a telemarketer is to ask them what they are wearing.
  • “Don’t accept your dog’s admiration as conclusive evidence that you are wonderful.” — Ann Landers
  • “Youth is stranger than fiction.” — Marcelene Cox
  • “The best way to escape from a problem is to solve it.” — Robert Anthony
  • Those who live by the sword get shot by those who don’t.
  • If there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s intolerance.
  • I may have a vacuum between my ears, but at least it’s better than nothing.
  • You’re not a complete idiot. There are still some parts missing!
  • “If winning isn’t important then why keep score?” — Vince Lombardi
  • If we are what we eat, then I’m easy, fast, and cheap.
  • How many roads must a man travel down before he admits he is lost?
  • Celibacy is not hereditary.

Gallbladder B Gone!

So, over the last six month, I’ve had increasing problems with my inner plumbing. Sometime, after meals, I’ve felt a weird pressure in my upper belly. Four or five times, particularly after eating a lot of food in the evening, I’ve woken up in the middle of the night with a pretty severe bellyache. A couple of times it’s been so bad that going back to sleep hasn’t been an option, and I’ve spent a couple of hours of the night on the bathroom floor, waiting for the pain to go away.

When it became obvious that this wasn’t something that would go away by itself, I decided to go see my doctor. Based on what I told him, he did an ultrasound examination to check the liver and the gallbladder. The liver looked just fine, but the gallbladder didn’t appear on his office equipment.

So I was told to go to a clinic with better ultrasound equipment a week or so later, and the guy who examined me there found the missing gallbladder. He also found a ton of gallstones in the bladder1.

In a World of My Own Design

Welcome to a piece of my mind I’m pretty sure you’d wish you didn’t know existed.

Imagine if the life that you thought you shared wasn’t really there. It was made up in your mind, could be anyone, anywhere. You’d be living in a world of your own design, undermined. In another place, other space and time.

So goes the first lines of Clean Bandit‘s Dust Clears, a track from their 2014 album New Eyes. The song continues:

Imagine if the friend that you thought you knew wasn’t really true. It just existed in your head, the reflection used wasn’t you.

Even though I listen to a lot of music, I don’t really listen very often. I prefer to work listening to music, and while it might not actually be the case, I imagine that it helps me concentrate. So the majority of the music I listen to is basically advanced background noise.

But sometimes I listen, and when I listened to Dust Clears, a really weird thought began to grind in the back of my mind.