Writer's Life: Vent-Fest About how ADHD Can Affect my Writing
In response to those who have challenged or asked how my ADHD is a superpower and not a disability, I'm here to tell you it isn't always beneficial for my writing. I have my struggling moments too, and that is okay.
The pandemic hasn't treated us all kindly. I have been barely holding my head above water with work, motherhood, some homeschooling, and a house renovation. Writing--and blogging--has been difficult to accomplish. The worst thing is stress meeting any deadline is sometimes an overwhelming pressure for someone with ADHD and probably bad enough for neurotypical folks as well. Another issue is what happened to my ridiculous mind when I had 1 free day. And when I say day, I mean a couple hours. I had caught up with publisher's edits, was waiting to edit another book--hoping for some more feedback from my authors group. Homeschooling was over, and my course was set up and ready for the first unit. I had a few free hours after errands and such. I scanned through my 9 WIPs. (Now, I have explained I do consider them a work-in-progress until the are on the shelves.) Nothing was biting. Quite a few of my books are in 2 series or spinoffs. I'm immersed in the one world right now, not wanting to switch to the other yet. Just editing book 2 should make me work on 3 but those are the notes I'm awaiting. 3 of the 9 works are with the publisher so no need to work on them until prompted. But something nagged at me. I wanted to work on my children's chapter book but thought about how a similarly themed children's picture book would be quicker to get out and query. If I'm used to publishing 2 full novels a year, why not a novel and a PB? Hence, 10 WIPs are on the table now. After I decide to take a break. Because of my ADHD.
Obviously, I should shelve some of these books for a year--ones not scheduled until 2023 and 2024 release makes sense. However, I know my neurodiverse brain will be inspired at the wrong times creating great things that cannot be ignored. I have this drive to start something new all the time. After getting published, I learned to stick to deadlines and get things done. Without being forced one way with my writing, have 1 or 2 goals only, I cannot control my impulse to create more. Sounds great, right? Nope.
In the past, I would have just as many WIPs but never finish them. When I say "finish" I mean actually do that last round of edits and query/submit. I literally had 14 manuscripts I had abandoned which were revised full drafts (before I started getting them published). I was often asked if I was afraid of the rejection or if I got bored with them. Neither. It took me a while to realize that I moved on because I cannot curb the impulsive joy to create something new. My imagination never slows down, so this becomes a problem. Recently, I started writing them down on post-it notes, but this created a massive post-it note pile. That is another ADHD problem for another day though--getting organized.
Back to the topic at hand--such an ADHD thing to say after a huge tangent--I'm only going to post a new blog every other week, the weeks between will be retro posts of useful writing/publishing information. Thanks for the support, and I hope to return to new weekly blogs by the summer.