There are a ton of little writing utilities floating around out there that offer "distraction free writing" by offering a full screen word processor with no menu, and minimal functions. The idea is that a big blank screen will eliminate distractions so that you can focus on your writing. As if the problem with Microsoft Word is that with the word processor maximized to full screen and you typing away, that you look up and go, "Ooooh. Mail Merge? Maybe I should try that out!"
Of course, the actual distractions come not from Word itself – by the way, check out the new features in Microsoft Word 2010 – but from all of the other things your computer can be doing for you. It isn’t like WriteMonkey (the one I’m playing around with right now) is going to keep you from firing up MediaMonkey for a little background music and then spending the next hour changing how you catalog your mp3 media collection.
Anyway, if you are in the mood to try and distraction free writing program, you can do a lot worse than WriteMoney. Write Money is a black screen with green lettering which is easier to read than a full white screen with black lettering or some of the other combinations I have seen. It also offers a spell-check built-in which I always think is a plus. Most important of all to a professional freelance writer who has to constantly adjust the tone and length of the content that they writer based on the client, it comes with a word count build. It appears unobtrusively at the top of the screen and, in my professional opinion, creates no distraction whatsoever.
It also has a feature built in where it will make typewriter sounds as you type. You can even choose different kinds of typewriter sounds ranging from old school manual typewriters to old, but more recent, electric typewriter sounds. Unfortunately, as a someone in the freelance writing business, I type fast. Really fast. And, the poor little sound generator in WriteMonkey can’t seem to keep up. I wonder if I would get the keys stuck together if I was using an old typewriter instead of a word processor on a computer?