Writing and ADHD

My brain is high maintenance. It needs constant stimulation, becomes quickly bored and is easily distracted by bright, shiny objects (read: new ideas). Its ability to focus is either laser-beam obsessive or all-channels-blaring scattered. Thoughts follow no logical pattern, instead dancing around like independent drops of water on a hot skillet. And I’ve no filing cabinets; if I don’t write something down, it’s quickly forgotten.

I have ADHD.

ADHD PuzzleNow, I know some of you doubt its existence. And I do believe it’s misdiagnosed and abused by some people wanting the ADHD prescriptions (I don’t take them; hate the side effects). This post isn’t about the ADHD debate. It’s about managing one’s ADHD well enough to accomplish any writing goals.

If you’re reading this blog, you know I’m writing a novel. Getting the thing planned and executed is excruciating. I have trouble logically connecting the details, and my brain keeps changing things around. Just when I think I’ve pinned the plot, characters, theme or setting, the next element sparkles irresistibly and throws everything else off. It’s like trying to grab mercury.

My prolific writer friend, Ryan Jacobson, says to just stick with something and start writing already – even if I don’t know where it’s going. I know that works for some people, but in me it only creates writer’s block. How can I write something if I don’t know what to write? Besides, building a story I don’t like feels like a colossal waste of time.

The problem is, I get BORED with my story elements when they’re no longer new and exciting. And if I’m bored, 1) why would I want to waste my time writing the story, and 2) why on earth would anyone read it if I did?

Am I bored because my story elements stink? Or is it because my ADHD just wants something new? I’m not experienced enough to know. And I don’t know any experienced writers with ADHD. (If you have feedback, let me know!)

My biggest problem is that boredom stifles creativity. So I’m bored and stuck, and I need something new to “un-stick” myself – while still keeping my novel-writing dream alive.

Well, I’ve finally come up with an idea to keep things fresh.

And in my next post, I’ll tell you what it is.