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They say that zen is a state of mind. But don’t think of bamboo, yoga mats, and the sound of water gently trickling down a waterfall. I’m not talking about that kind of zen.

I’m talking about something better.

Thanks to WordPress, zen is a new form your screen can take.

It’s practically magical.

Put Your Attention In a Headlock

Many writers struggle with distractions when they write. It can be hard to focus on the words that matter when things keep popping up and putting your attention in a headlock.

There’s almost no avoiding distraction. The trick is to distract yourself with what you are already doing.

Zen mode lets your writing put your attention in a headlock. – Click to Tweet.

Enter Zen Mode

Thankfully, the WordPress community is agile in dealing with problems and distractions. WordPress released a fullscreen mode (which the community refers to as “zen mode”) so writers could focus on writing.

This is what Zen Mode looks like:

Wordpress Zen Mode

I took the screen shot right after I typed that last sentence. As you can see there is lots of white space. Lots and lots of white space. I love it. My eyes are are drawn to the only elements on the page that really matter – my words.

This is what Zen Mode looks like when it is “cluttered”:

Cluttered Zen Mode in WordPress


It’s still very clean and simple. Perfect for keeping my focus.

And in case I needed the nudge, WordPress reminds me to “just write” in the lower right corner of the screen. Perfect.

(Don’t know what to write? Try one of these 50 ideas!)

How Do I Enter Zen Mode?

There are a few ways to access zen mode.

One of the simplest is to click on the fullscreen icon in your visual toolbar. It’s on the top section. If you have a PC, F11 also works.

The other way is to memorize the hotkey of Alt + Shift + G. 

While you are memorizing hotkeys, print this list of WordPress hotkeys out for reference.

Once you are in zen mode, start typing away. Set a timer, put away your smartphone, and get writing!  Some of the top bloggers use zen mode to make sure that their words are getting the attention they need. It’s just a best practice.

How Do I Escape Zen Mode?

To exit zen mode, simply use the hotkey again. You can also click outside the writing space to activate the “cluttered” view of zen mode. In the upper left corner there is text, inviting you to exit fullscreen mode. Scrolling up on the page will also make the option appear.

Feeling lost? Reach How to write for the Web: A Guide for Authors Who Learned on Typewriters.

What WordPress tips do you have?

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