View Full Version : ADD Creative Writers: What has helped you?


Addesso
06-17-14, 04:59 AM
So I've come to the realization that probably my career calling has to be storytelling. It's taken an extremely long time to get to this point, so I'm glad that one part of this life puzzle has been figured out. Unfortunately, writing is probably the most difficult challenge that I've ever faced. I've read a few posts here recently from ADD writers and would love to know what guides worked for you, practices you have, etc, etc.

Plus side is that when I am able to finish a written piece, they're actually very well done and well received, but it takes me an agonizingly long time to get done. Hell, even writing a simple reply to an email can take an hour (and by the way, I've spent a majority of my waking day just writing several replies to only a handful of posts on this forum). I'm mostly self-taught from countless books, essays, and scripts I've read, and have only really taken one "formal creative writing class": a screenwriting course in college. I can organize and structure a thesis or story very well, and film colleagues regularly come to me for story and structure critique. And I have more ideas than I know what to do with.

But the hitch is that even with all the planning and outlining ready to go, when it actually comes down to pulling words out of my head and chaining them together into compelling sentences and paragraphs, my mind slows to a crawl. Sometimes I'll just stare at the last word I typed wondering. Or constantly edit/delete the same sentence over and over. I get that some of this is probably a perfectionist streak, and I should just be ok with calling it a draft and going back later to fix things after letting it cool down for a while.

There are rare moments where I may push out five pages of a screenplay in one short sitting, but that is far from the norm. And lately I tend to not want to sit and write because the struggle to even get something--anything--out has been so excruciating.

So what has helped you writers out there?

MADD As A Hatte
06-17-14, 07:28 AM
NaNoWriMo
It's been going for a number of years now, every November. Refer the writers we post about it on the forum already.
There's a NaNo writers Bootcamp happening this July (2014), so sign up now!
http://campnanowrimo.org

Cheers

InvitroCanibal
09-03-14, 10:51 PM
Throw out the pen, paper, computer, or whatever else you use to write ideas down. Write it in your head. If you can't remember it in your head, then it wasn't worth writing down. You need to know what you will say before you say it.

You'll be more confident in what you write, by the time you write it. Therefore less anxious, less perfectionistic.

The last thing is don't repeat yourself or write repetitively. Always strive for concise and complete, every word needs a purpose.

OhLookABunny
09-13-14, 12:45 PM
I was also going to suggest NaNoWriMo! :lol:

Go ahead and join - it's free - because their forum boards are wiped every year around the beginning of October. If you sign up now you'll have a chance to see how the forums look when they're all filled up. You can locate threads you like and chat with people. PM me here if you want to be buddies there and I can help you find your way around.

There are plenty of ADD/HD writers on there; you won't be alone! Under their Writing Groups and Clubs forum there is a thread and then some of the other forums will also sprout an ADD related thread for specific issues relating to different aspects of writing. Even the non-ADD writers have many of the same organizational and perfectionist issues, because some of that is just part of the delightful process of being a writer. ;)

When they wipe the forums and restart them, threads like the ADD club thread will get restarted again because there are plenty who are veteran NaNo-ers who will be there to restart them.

by_design
09-15-14, 02:01 PM
I have found that I can't really choose the times that I sit down to write. The ideas themselves choose the times for me. Most often these periods of time take place in the evening. It has always been easier for me to use a pen and paper, rather than a computer. This is the only activity that I don't schedule in my calendar. One of the critical items that I need to carry esc
Everywhere is a pen and paper.

stef
09-15-14, 02:35 PM
I have the opposite problem, I am full of words but no ideas, ever!

OhLookABunny
09-17-14, 10:16 AM
I have the opposite problem, I am full of words but no ideas, ever!

I am intrigued by this - and I wonder if there are more ideas than you realize but maybe you just struggle with extracting them and seeing the bigger picture, the common thread behind the thoughts. Or your train of thought. Or something.

Hope you'll post more and describe what you said in detail. Because surely you're not just babbling nonsense - you probably just have a divergent type of thought and speech pattern. ;)

stef
09-17-14, 11:47 AM
I am intrigued by this - and I wonder if there are more ideas than you realize but maybe you just struggle with extracting them and seeing the bigger picture, the common thread behind the thoughts. Or your train of thought. Or something.

Hope you'll post more and describe what you said in detail. Because surely you're not just babbling nonsense - you probably just have a divergent type of thought and speech pattern. ;)

No reallly, I have no creative ideas at all. I can translate French to English (which is part of my job), I could probably write a blog, or a biography. Non-fiction or an article if it was a specific assignment. I always did very well in any literature classes. I love words, but I have no ideas.

OhLookABunny
09-18-14, 11:54 PM
No reallly, I have no creative ideas at all. I can translate French to English (which is part of my job), I could probably write a blog, or a biography. Non-fiction or an article if it was a specific assignment. I always did very well in any literature classes. I love words, but I have no ideas.

I'm still confused, sorry. :confused: Do you mean ideas for completely imaginary pieces vs. just idea-ideas about everyday life? Because the latter would be what you'd be doing if blogging. You'd have this sort of an idea: "I think I'll write a piece in my blog about that incident in the supermarket today." :) That's creative in that you choose to write about that out of all the possible things you could write about, and what you end up focusing on in the writing itself, and the style and vocabulary you use to convey your ideas. You don't have to create a new blockbuster novel or movie to be able to say you did something creative! :D

I hope I'm not being pesky or tedious! :o I just like to help people recognize their creativity they might not be giving themselves credit for. My mother, for instance, was very unlike me in the artsy-creative area - though she did sew and occasionally did a needlework project. But I'd want her to sit down and make greeting cards for each other or something and she'd say "I'm not creative." She was a homemaker, very dedicated - and now that I look back, she had a lot of creative ideas for doing things around the house. Kind of like Martha Stewart (though more practical) or Heloise if you remember her.