I always work in a dark room, and after 16 hours of looking at your
screen a headache is inevitable. Trying to counter that a few years
ago I found a good color scheme for Emacs, called humvee
written by dto, which
these days turned into something a bit different (a
cross-platform graphical roguelike engine). Situation improved, but
when I saw Zenburn last year
on a screenshot I instantly knew it was right for me. It started as a
Vim color scheme, and people wrote new themes for a few other apps
(Emacs included), but from my earlier experience with humvee I knew I
had to color everything to really benefit from its low-contrast
At about the same time I found the awesome window manager and at first I wrote a Zenburn theme for it. Followed by a theme for (Al)Pine MUA, and then by many other themes and tweaks. Other people did the same so today we have Zenburn for a good number of applications, allowing us to stay in the zone no matter what we do. However there is only one problematic field left, and that is web browsing, switching to my Firefox tag sometimes almost blinds me. One way to deal with it is to force custom user styles, but that breaks a good number of pages and I don't like it.
Writing all these new themes and drawing icons felt kind of artistic, that combined with the fact that my awesome rc.lua is code, and 800 lines of it, made me release it under a CC license. In case you were wondering why I did.