You can, of course, use any editor you want. Other editors get pretty close to Emacs's Clojure functionality. The reason I recommend Emacs, however, is that it offers tight integration with a Clojure REPL. This allows you to instantly try out your code as you write. That kind of tight feedback loop will be useful both when learning Clojure and, later, when writing real Clojure programs. If you don't follow the thorough Emacs instructions below, then it's still worthwhile to invest time in setting up your editor to work with a REPL. Another reason for using Emacs is that it's really great for working with any Lisp dialect; Emacs itself is written in a Lisp dialect called Emacs Lisp.