Writing with ADHD

I don’t talk about it much except to joke, but I have ADHD. Partly I don’t talk about it because it’s such a misunderstood diagnosis. For one thing, people think it means you just can’t focus on anything which is not always true. Sometimes having ADHD means you give your focus to the wrong things or give too much focus to one thing (“hyperfocusing”); it’s more about being unable to pick what you apply your focus to and when.

What does that have to do with writing? Well, everything really, because you kinda need to focus to get brainstorming done and you need to focus a lot to get words down. It means that it can sometimes take a herculean effort to just write. Everyone gets distracted, but with ADHD, getting distracted is about 140x easier and getting back on track is about 140x harder. Some days I can manage better than others. Today was not one of those days, and it wasn’t helped by the fact that there’s something critically wrong with my plot and I haven’t figured out what it is yet.

After a miserable day struggling to get anything done (except for laundry lol), I’m finally ready to sleep, and now I can write.

Which makes a perverse kind of sense: the pressure’s off because it’s time to sleep and so my mind can finally let go and let something come out and I told it that it doesn’t have to be for my novel. In fact, let’s just put that aside to marinade a bit while I just write something else. So I took Mirya from my Character webbing post and wrote a small scene with her in it. It’s a bit ridiculous but that’s what made it fun. I let go the reins and wrote what I didn’t think should happen – even more, what she thinks shouldn’t happen. Which incidentally, involves being abducted by a UFO just as she’s trying to decide if she should go for coffee instead of going home. My life is just not that interesting.

Anyway, tonight’s final word count is 862 and I’m finally ready to sleep.

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About thewritingblues

I'm a writer working on a YA dystopian novel and blogging on my progress - or lack thereof - and other cool writing stuff.
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6 Responses to Writing with ADHD

  1. Adhd can be also be a gift too…isn’t it useful when you have many ideas bouncing around on your head at the sametime?

  2. thewritingblues says:

    Absolutely! And yes, ADHD definitely brings gifts with it. Creativity, for sure, which goes along with the ability to think outside the box. Life is also more exciting when *everything* interests you lol. And even the hyperfocusing can be good when it’s on something I want to be focused on, like writing. Thanks for bringing that up, Brian! :)

  3. Smart people always having some sort of “problem” i guess that “problem” makes them smart! Great people tend to be different. Beethoven was bipolar, Issac Newton had many nervous break downs, A. lincoln had suicidal depressions.

  4. thewritingblues says:

    Yep. There are quite a few “geniuses” who are said to have had (or have) ADD or ADHD, including one of my heroes, Einstein, if I’m not mistaken. Not that I’m a genius, but it’s an interesting correlation. Certainly, the ability to think outside the box has benefited me where straight-on thinking wouldn’t have. Those differences or “problems” can definitely be made to work to your advantage except on days like the day I wrote this post, where it was a perfect storm of NOT-working lol. Still, I eventually wrote something that night that amused me and that’s cool.

  5. Areusa says:

    how long do you take to write an article or a post like this one?

  6. thewritingblues says:

    It depends on the post, but usually about an hour. Thanks for reading!

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