Writing with A.D.D.

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In this post, I’m going to go over how to become a writer when you have A.D.D., or Attention Deficit Disorder. I have this condition so I’ll go over some of my own challenges. This disorder can be seen as a severe disorder because it affects you literally all the time, even when you try to sleep.

The most common symptoms are restlessness, overactive thoughts, forgetfulness and the inability to focus for long periods of time. This can cause issues at home and at work. This is especially true for those of us who would like to have our works published. What can you do if you suffer from A.D.D.? Here’s a breakdown of some ideas that may help.

Small Notebook and Pens

This can be a time saver in the sense that as writers and people with A.D.D., we want to be as far away from electronics as possible (though even our computers can lead to wasting time). Why? Because when we have our phones nearby, we can become distracted every time it goes off. The same with iPads. How many times have you gotten bored with writing and find yourself playing games, losing yourself on Facebook/Twitter or texting? Luckily I don’t get on my phone often. Usually I keep it in my backpack from Wednesday to Sunday night. By then the battery is dead and I have to recharge it for Monday. I’ve never been a phone person.

The paragraph above has a point. With people who have A.D.D., we often think of something that we want to remember and we type it into a program so that we can have a reminder. After we do this, we more than likely will be drawn to something else and our manuscript sits there for hours without being worked on. With a small notebook, we can write our thoughts down when they come to us and then continue with the manuscript. This is because when we write it down, we can temporarily forget about it because we know we have the notebook available.

Timer

Another important issue? Losing track of time. There is a thing called Hyper Focus that affect people with A.D.D.. This is when we are so focused on something, such as reading or playing a game, that we lose all track of time. Sometimes it’s so severe that we forget to eat and drink, which is dangerous. I’ve been known to do that, and the result is always suffering a migraine and dizziness. Not fun! But with a timer, we can set the it to go off whenever we want it to. Personally I’m going to experiment with setting the timer to write at the first and last 20 minutes each hour (1:00-1:20, 1:40-2:00, as an example). The 20 minutes in the middle will be dedicated to another activity to break up the monotony.

No matter which type of timer you use, whether it be a timer on your phone or a kitchen timer, make sure you set it on the other side of the room, or at a distance to where you have to stand up and walk over to it. You want to do that in order to break out of your Hyper Focus and do other important things, or even to take a break.

Boredom

Unfortunately, the A.D.D. person will get bored with writing not long after we start. When we sit down and do anything, we’ll eventually get bored of doing the same thing for long periods of time. This is why the timer works. We can plan out our time before we start writing and decide what could be our reward for sitting down and working. As stated above, this helps with the monotony. The A.D.D. person craves variety, which is why we begin multiple projects and probably haven’t finished even one. Does that sound about right? We need to figure out what we’re in the mood to do, and disperse it throughout the writing schedule.

I hope these few pointers help out everybody and not just those of you with A.D.D.. I’m not an expert on the subject of A.D.D., I just shared what my experiences are with this medical condition. If you feel I have forgotten something or have a comment/question, go ahead and ask in the comments below and I’ll answer to the best of my ability. Til next time!

So You Want to be a Writer?

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How many of you have told yourself that you would like to write a novel? Have you told anyone else? If so, what was their reaction? Were they negative? Positive? How did that make you feel? Did it give you a boost in your confidence, or did it tear you down? The thing is, if you want to write, do it for yourself. Don’t let others tell you not to write if that’s what you really want to do.

Many people say that they will begin their writing project, whatever that might be, and never start it. The most common reason? Fear. It might be the fear of failure or it might be the fear that they don’t think they’re good enough. Unfortunately, those kinds of thoughts will cause the person to give up before they even start.

If you have those kinds of thoughts, try to push through them. It won’t be easy, but once you get started, you may find it to be easier to continue the project you had in mind. It doesn’t matter how well or poorly you write in the first draft. This is why writers have multiple drafts, to make corrections in the later drafts. If you feel you’re struggling with grammar, sentence structure and the like, there are plenty of resources available to you.

You could take courses related to the language spoken in your country. These will go over all of the important factors such as grammar, ect. If that isn’t an option for you due to finances and whatnot, check out your local library. Libraries often have free weekly classes dedicated to different subject matter. They’ll have guest speakers in that subject matter come and teach the classes. Some of these classes might have a small fee attached to it, but that is normally for crafting lessons which have hands on material brought in. The fee is for reimbursement for those materials. Libraries are also great for checking out materials, which the librarians will be happy to help you find.

If there is a community college near you, see if the campus is open to the public. The library I work at is open to both students and the public and offer resources to everyone. We also have a location on campus called the Writing Lab, where those who work there help students with creative writing, if their day is on the slow side. Even if these tutors are not available to the public, they will likely have resources for you such as a writer’s group or a website list for you to check out.

If none of the above options are available to you, for whatever reason, the Internet is your library at home. A simple search will bring you to a lot of websites that are dedicated to grammar and the like. I’ll put two of my fave sites in the links down below. These are the two I’m most familiar with.

Purdue University Online Writing Lab
You don’t even have to be a student at Purdue University to take advantage of their writing lab! They offer everything online for free! They offer a wide variety of articles from the mechanics of language (grammar, sentence structure, ect.) to how to deal with writer’s block/anxiety. This is the resource the English professors snd tutors recommend at my college.

NaNoWriMo
NaNoWriMo is one of the best known sites in the writing community. Here you can view the forums to read what other people are saying about a topic you may have questions about. If you’re a registered member, you can post questions of your own. The premise for this website is to write and complete a novel within one month. November is the main event, though they have what they call “camps” during the summer. The idea is to get into the habit of writing every day. You don’t have to do the events if you don’t want to, but the forums are an excellent resource, often having posts with other websites to visit.

So, I hope this gives you the start you need to begin your writing goals. I also hope my post was helpful to you all. If you have any other resources that you believe others will find useful, or if you want to just leave a comment, do so below. And don’t forget to subscribe either by E-Mail or through WordPress. Stay tuned for Wednesday’s post, which I shall be working on now. ‘Til later!