Writers’ block is not the exclusive province of ADHD folks. But the creative ADHD brain and creative writing have some, shall we say, “issues.”
by Linda Roggli, PCC
I’ve been composing blog posts for you in my head for weeks now. I would notice or experience something that had implications for our collective ADD-ish-ness and mentally “write” the opening lines of dozens of posts. For instance:
"Grandma LaLa update: little Lilly is growing into an adorable marshmallow baby..." and
"Faced with the prospect of retraining my memory cells, I begin to wonder if I’ll lose my ADHD self in the process. It worries me a lot..."
"My husband insists it’s not heart 'surgery.' It’s just a 'procedure,' he says. As if the precise term makes his 7-hour ordeal less dangerous. Or frightening."
The problem, of course, is that I didn’t get them OUT of my head (until this moment), onto a piece of virtual “paper” and submitted to our esteemed web master, Anni. In the moment of inspiration, I was SURE I’d remember my brilliant thoughts and capture them the next time I sat down at my computer.
Instead, my first computer action (as always) was to check my email. Respond to my email. Answer the phone during my email. Realize that I’d forgotten to send in my registration to the ADHD conference. Get up to find my credit card so I could register online, etc., etc., etc.
You know the drill. My fascinating storylines disappeared under an avalanche of To Do items and Don’t Need To Do But Doing It Anyway items and Oh My Gosh I Forgot To Put That On My List items, never to be heard from again.
When I sat down, determined to write a few posts, my mind went blank. For days. And days. What happened to those cogent, succinct thoughts? Those inspired ideas? In the famed words of Margaret Mitchel: “Gone With the Wind.”
I know I had a lot of things to tell you. I’m sure if we sat down over a cup of tea, we’d talk until both our throats were husky from sharing intimate, silly, and wonderful stories. So what’s up with forgetting those very stories when I sit down to write? A reputable source tells me it’s called “writers block.”
Writers’ block is not the exclusive province of ADHD folks. There are entire books written about how to get started writing (presumably those authors were successful at overcoming it). But the creative ADHD brain and creative writing have some, shall we say, “issues.”
We procrastinate (“But I don’t have anything new to say”), then hyperfocus (“It’s 3 a.m. already? I missed dinner. And lunch.”). We are terrific with Chapter 1. Not so terrific with Chapters 2 – 22. And we have no idea how to end the article, the poem, the book. It’s a conundrum.
But it needn’t stop us. We can push through that inertia or fear or procrastination. Because ADHD folks have a lot to say. The world needs to hear their voices. Perhaps yours. Are you writing your novel? Your poetry? Your blog posts?
Oh, yeah. Blog posts. I must write some. I want to write some. I WILL write some.
But first, let me check my email...