Creativity and Dealing with ADD

toomanybooksHey all!  I’m still working on getting my act together for writing and posting and all of that.  This blog post is going to be me talking about some things that I’ve not really talked to people about in a long time.  Mainly because I thought I had things under control (spoiler alert: I totally didn’t) and because I didn’t think it was anyone else’s business but my own.

Alright.  I was diagnosed with ADD (or inattentive ADHD as they call it nowadays) when I was about thirteen years old.  I was on medication until I was fifteen years old.  I made the decision to stop then because I was hitting that ‘too underweight’ point and I didn’t like how I felt anymore.  For explanation purposes, lets just say that I felt more like a zombie than a fifteen year old girl.  I’ve been unmedicated for about ten years now.  I’ve been really struggling with the symptoms for awhile now and once I have insurance, I’ll likely be going back on medication because I’m tired of letting this interfere with my daily and professional life.  For note, I touched on my ADD back in August of 2013, in this post.

So we’ll get the disclaimer out of the way.  I’m not speaking for everyone with ADD/ADHD.  I’m speaking on my own personal issues and difficulties coping with this.  

That being said…lets move on.

ADHD isn’t all bad

It really isn’t.  Sometimes I like it, or at least appreciate that my brain functions in a different way than most people’s.  I feel like it helps me see things that others might not be able to see, find interesting solutions for problems, or just point out issues with various things that might not have been noticed by someone who’s brain functions more typically.

I also come up with new ideas really easily, especially for my creative ventures.  That really helps me when it comes down to it.  I have an idea, I sit down, write some stuff on it, and come back to it at a later date when I’m not swamped with projects.

And I’m able to work on more than one project at a time, which is really nice.  (In my last post dealing with this sort of thing, I mentioned that I long since gave up on working on one thing at a time.  I just doesn’t work for me.   I understand that some people might not be able to do that.)

And every once and awhile hyper focus comes in like a radiant sunbeam and I’m able to get ALL the work done.  It’s glorious.

So there are benefits to ADHD as well as detriments.

Obviously if it was all bunnies and kitties I wouldn’t be talking about it here.

You don’t get to choose when you hyper focus

Hyper focus is wonderful.  Hyper focus is everything it sounds like.  You’re not just focused, you’re zeroed in.  You are efficient. Work is getting done.  Everything is coming together and it feels great.

Downside?  You have absolutely no choice when or what you hyper focus on.  Like right now I’m desperately trying to get this blog post done, but my mind is focusing in basically everything but this.  Again, this post has been sitting my drafts for MONTHS.

Sometimes you sit down with the mentality “YEAH TIME TO WRITE HELL YEAH” and you sit down and promptly start researching black hole theory.  You WANT to write, but damn, you’re focused on black holes and there’s nothing you can do to stop the need to research black holes.

Also, hyper focus can come at really awkward times.  Like right before bed.  That’s never good.

Knowing what you want to do, but being unable to focus enough to work

This is what kills me.  I’m trying to be a mature adult and write my novels and make a living and a career in a really difficult industry.  I know that I need to work consistently every day and be marketing and promoting and everything.  And most of the time, these are things that I want to do.  Well, I guess that’s iffy on the MARKETING and PROMOTING because I feel like I’m bothering people when I promote my books.

But getting to the meat of it.  There have been plenty of times that I’ve sat with an open word document watching the cursor flash at me.  I know exactly what I want to write.  I know how I want the words to go.  And then I go and do something else.  Sometimes it’s something else on the computer, other times I just go off and do things away from my computer.  What? Want to write? No, time to do ALL the laundry.  Or maybe I’ll take a shower.  Yeah, that sounds good.

Some people might view this as laziness, but I know when I’m being lazy.  That’s a deliberate choice.  I’m not being lazy when I want to work but just can’t get my brain to cooperate.

Feeling worthless because of the symptoms

This is the other part that really gets me.  I’m my own worst critic. I always will be.  I’m WAY harsher on myself than I am on anyone else.  When I’m going through a slump where I can’t get my mind to cooperate, when I can’t work…I feel utterly useless and worthless.

love writing and I can’t even focus on that.

It makes you feel stupid.  Like you can’t do anything.  Even though you know you can.

It’s very frustrating.

Winding down…

This was a really long post.  But this is how I often wind up feeling.  It’s not all bad…there are benefits.  I’m not sure if talking about this helped, we’ll see.

Any other creative types out there suffer with ADHD?

~LL

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6 thoughts on “Creativity and Dealing with ADD

  1. Reblogged this on meandersofthemind and commented:
    ADHD (or ADD) is not something I know much about, so I found this interesting.
    The content also ties in with a story idea that’s percolating (previously mentioned) and can be found under “Acuity”.
    Thanks for sharing Laura – we all have unique perspectives to share.

  2. Pingback: Germ Magazine | Creativity and Dealing with ADD

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