Inspiration, Censor, Editor, Pet

Inspiration, Censor, Editor, Pet
Miss Mouthy Mouse

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Writing and My ADD Brain

So, the writing is continuing. Prolific, even, if I consider that in the last two weeks I've written my first poem in 23 years, began a new novel, used an excerpt of said novel as a standalone short story, and done about 20 hours of researching. This burst of inspiration has been wonderful, invigorating, and horrible.

Horrible because of my ADD brain. I was only diagnosed two years ago (minus two weeks), so for the first 40+ years of my life, I knew there was something not quite right about my brain--but had no idea what it was. I developed intricate and clever coping techniques to fight my pinging brain and succeeded where others might have failed (just read the ADD books--I didn't go down many of the frustrating paths other adults with ADD have). What I did do was accomplish things by sheer force of will, often making things harder than they had to be, figuratively beating my head off walls, and internalizing many, many things into a self-doubting iv that drips continuously into my psyche.
But, hey, I did it with humor and stories.

 Stories have been a saving grace all my life--both the ones I read and the ones I made up. In the South, if you're telling a story, it may mean that you're lying. I never lied when I was growing up...not much, anyway. Mostly to myself. Does that count?  I digress. Flash forward a few years and here I am WRITING! Just like I've always said I wanted to, and the ADD has kicked in.

We interrupt this train of thought for the following announcement: I want Mexican food, like right now.


Oh, I know...advertisement for ADD and the Writer's Mind:

    ADD & the Writer's Mind: the place where chaos meets creativity and the muse must fight for survival!  LET'S GET READY TO RUMMMMMBBBBLLLEEE!

I liken it to a pinging in the brain--like signals to a cell tower. Ideas and images bounce around, and I've learned to scoop them up and make them march in a line--not even a straight line--just a line is pleasing. 

What's a girl to do? Exhibit A: a kitchen timer.  It's my new pacifier. I've been setting it for 45 minutes at a pop--45 minutes writing, 45 minutes grading, 45 minutes computer surfing/games, 45 minutes housework, etc.

So far, I'm sticking with it fairly well, not as strict as I wish I could, but good enough that I don't feel fratricidal, homicidal, suicidal, genocidal, etc. Non-cidal is good. I suppose the other positive aspect is that I'm WRITING!

My ADD makes me tangential , but it also gives me the ability to generate ideas quickly and scamper through scenarios. My characters and ideas canter along as I'm clutching at the reins with all my might. (I don't ride horses, so I don't know where this horse metaphor came from)  I need to bridle this spastic brain and gently guide it down productive paths instead of letting it run roughshod over me and depositing me into a depression, anger-filled ditch. It's a work in progress, but with therapy, a great prescription med, and patience, I'll get there.


  1. Hey, Jill. Thanks for commenting on my blog today.

    I read this post yesterday and meant to comment, but I got sidetracked. :-) I've not been diagnosed, but having my ADHD granddaughter living with me this year has made me wonder if that's what's my problem is. My brain goes from skittering everywhere to hyper-focused and rarely settles anywhere in between. Right now, it's in high-skitter mode, which means I'm not writing. It seems to work the opposite for you.

    I have a program on my phone called Pomodoro, which is a glorified timer. I think I'll start using it and maybe I can trick my brain into behaving.

    Good luck and I wish you a river of words.

  2. I do that whole hyperfocusing thing too--it's maddening isn't it? Feast or famine in doing anything--add the procrastination I seem to carry with me everywhere, and it's a wonder I get anything done. I'll have to check into Pomodoro. I'm trying to embrace the skittering; then I'll embrace it so tightly I can chain the naughty pixie down and get something done! Cheers to us as we slog on through.