I have heard of the idea of a full-screen, plain text editor years ago. I liked the thinking behind it, but I always thought that it would feel like going back to the time of WordPerfect (for my younger readers: WordPerfect was the main word processing software in days of old).
As part of figuring out what I want to do with my life, I have decided to start writing more, and finally decided to give one of the distraction-free editors a shot. I settled on q10. I promptly downloaded it, installed it… Then forgot about it for a few months.
Yesterday, I wanted to do some freewriting to clear my head, and I remembered about q10, so decided to give it a try. I was very impressed. I never realised how much of my attention gets taken up by the business that normally surrounds my typing area. While I was never consciously aware of it, writing in q10 felt a lot more relaxed, without all those things to distract me. The only thing on the screen, besides the text is a small strip at the bottom, which lists things like the number of words and pages. I am pretty sure that you can switch the strip off as well.
Checking the website now I can see that q10 does have all the features you would expect from a text editor, accessible through a set of keyboard shortcuts. I have not used many of them, but that is something to keep in mind for the future.
I really think that q10 is perfect for doing first drafts, and getting ideas together. What it does lack is formatting of any sort, so you might want to use it for the initial writing, and use something else to add formatting afterwards. For those of you planning to take part in NaNoWriMo next month, I think it would be a perfect tool.
On top of all that, q10 is completely free.