Julian Lucas supplies today's illustration of Betteridge's Law of Headlines, on the subject of writing itself: "Can "Distraction-Free" Devices Change the Way We Write?"
I tried "distraction-free" writing apps that encouraged mindfulness, disabled the backspace key, or, in a few extreme cases, threatened to delete everything if I took my hands off the keyboard (Write or Die). Later, I tried coding my own writing tools, a hobby as rewarding as it was ineffective. The experiments gradually meshed into a literary Rube Goldberg machine, a teetering assemblage of Scriveners and SimpleTexts that left me perpetually uncertain of which thought I'd written down where. Longhand was a luxury I couldn't afford: Wendell Berry boasted in Harper's that he didn't need a computer, because he had a wife, but I was a mere urban freelancer, whose boyfriend had a job. So I continued the search for word processing's Excalibur, a perfect union of consciousness and composition.
A very well-written article! Gentle yet sharp: "focus mode on an everything device is a meditation room in a casino". If you (like me) are a frequent flyer with all this nonsense, see if you can guess which popular focus-writing app Lucas describes as "being trapped inside an inspirational quote" and which device he describes as "a console torn from the cockpit of a steampunk biplane."
At the risk of spoiling the story, I can't help myself: Lucas's endgame, after trying everything, turned out to be the AlphaSmart.