Ah, NaNoWriMo. 30 days of wild creativity, a reach-for-the-stars mindset that may or may not dissolve December 1st, and last but not least, overwhelming opportunities for procrastination. Especially during the month of November, procrastination can quickly lead to the death of a novel – and a dream.

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Enter full-screen writing programs. As the saying goes, being a writer is 3% creativity, 97% not getting distracted by the Internet. Q10 saved my novel in November of 2009 (Although I also used a pair of noise-reduction headphones. Yeah, a full-screen text editor can only do so much; it can’t block out real life distractions. But hey, it’s a start, right?). And it may just save yours. If you’re one of those people who have to fight the urge to check Facebook every five minutes, take a look at the programs below:

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Q10 (Freeware; Windows): “a simple but powerful text editor designed and built with writers in mind . . . Q10 is small, fast and keeps out of your way . . . Q10 will clean your kitchen, walk your dog and make excellent coffee. Well, not really. But it’s really good as a full-screen text editor.”

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FocusWriter (Free; Linux, Windows, Mac OS X): “a simple, distraction-free writing environment. It utilizes a hide-away interface that you access by moving your mouse to the edges of the screen, allowing the program to have a familiar look and feel to it while still getting out of the way so that you can immerse yourself in your work.”

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WriteMonkey (Free; Windows): “zenware* writing application with an extremely stripped down user interface, leaving you alone with your thoughts and your words. It is light, fast and free. With an array of innovative tools under the hood, it helps you write better. Editing is for another day …”

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PyRoom (Free; Check website for OS) “a free editor that stays out your way – and keeps other things out of your way, too. As a fullscreen editor without buttons, widgets, formatting options, menus and with only the minimum of required dialog windows, it doesn’t have any distractions and lets you focus on writing and only writing.”

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JDarkRoom (Free; Windows, Mac, Linux): “a popular, simple full-screen text file editor with none of the usual bells and whistles that might distract you from the job in hand. If you are writing a speech, novel, essay, thesis or just need to be able to concentrate on your writing, then JDarkRoom may help you.”

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P.S. 5 days and counting.