Somehow, some part of their attention is directed toward the possibility that their application environment isn't "ideal." They have this notion there's some perfect writing environment that will make them more productive or better writers by eliminating this thing called "distraction." There's some anxiety about the tool they're using.
Dave's right. I've gone through many iterations around "distraction-free" writing myself. In my case, though, I don't do it because I feel the writing environment is holding me back. I do it because it can be fun to twiddle with tools. Same with cameras. My cameras have been better than my ability for years, but I still keep trying new cameras because I love cameras.
Oh, and about distraction-free writing in Tinderbox, I wrote Tinderbox as a Minimalist Writing Environment in 2013. (Unfortunately, all of the site's images from 2012 were lost during one of many platform migrations.)