Distraction-Free Writing with a Smartphone


The picture shows my latest attempt at creating a distraction-free writing environment. Gone is the Chromebook and the chair mentioned in this 2016 post.

Actually, the chair remains to the left of this scene but I now use it for when I am reading and for writing short narrative prose poems, handwritten cluster maps and the like.

In the photograph I’m using a stand by Anker and an iClever Bluetooth keyboard. The Anker stand is resting on a wonderful book I mentioned in March 2018, Ensouling Language, a book I am reading for the second time and enjoying very much.

The keyboard is propped at a comfortable angle on the ridge of a maroon mouse mat in the foreground.

I think a distraction-free writing environment is now enabled because there’s no practical space on my writing desk to open the macbook lurking in the background. (That’s the computer with all my social media apps, bookmarked websites etc.)

And the smartphone writing app is now doing what it was designed to do; provide a simple text interface for my writing.

I love it.

And while I could flick to the web browser app, it’s not a patch on the macbook experience. (I removed the Twitter and Instagram apps from the phone a while ago, suffered a few dopamine cravings but now don’t miss them. I use the macbook for social media when I need to.)

What I’m Reading:

I finished Ray Bradbury’s Zen in the Art of Writing, and recommend it to anyone wondering what happened to that 10-year-old kid they once were. For me, this book resonated most as a lifelong love story about curiosity; an attribute that can atrophy and even die as people go through life and forget how thrilled and excited the mundane and the ordinary used to be through the eyes of a child.

Based on Mr. Bradbury’s suggestions I then bought a number of short story collections from writers he admired. However, before starting on these I am working my way through the large red volume you can see in the rear left of the photograph. It’s titled Bradbury Stories: 100 of his most celebrated tales.

What I’m Writing:

It’s Camp_NanoWriMo this month and I am finishing some of the short story openings I wrote over the past two months as homework for two online writing courses.

2019 Update:

I am still using the iClever Bluetooth keyboard but have replaced the iPhone with an iPad.
See this post for details: https://markmccluretoday.com/blog/habits-and-systems-for-writers/