“Huh?” I know that’s what you’re saying. “That doesn’t make sense!” But hear me out and you’ll see what I’m saying.
When most successful writers sit down and write, they are totally focused. And by successful, I don’t mean only the writers who sell. I’m talking about the committed writer. We sit at the computer and write. It may not be smooth. It may not flow freely like a stream. We may cuss and whine and delete like crazy, but once we are actually writing, we stay with it until we’ve finished for the day, the week, whatever.
But none of us write 24/7. We have “the rest of our lives”; families, housework, children, and sometimes other jobs. This is where the ADHD comes in. If you can say yes to any of the following, you have writers’ ADHD.
Do you ever drive somewhere and not remember how you got there because you were working out a plot problem while behind the wheel?
When you see a couple fighting or being lovey-dovey in the park and start plotting out their “story”?
Do you ever overcook dinner because in the middle of preparing it, you get a brilliant idea for a sexy thing your hero can do for the heroine and loss track of the timer while writing it down before you forget it?
At the end of a fascinating documentary on television, have you immediately started researching further on the subject because it triggered a story idea?
Yeah, not only are you a writer, but you’re ADHD about it. I’ve met a lot of writers who say that writing is a job. Once they complete their daily goal, they put it aside. They turn their focus on the other parts of their life. That may be true. God knows, there are plenty of writers out there who seem to compartmentalize their lives better than I.
But I have to admit, I wonder if that’s totally true. You want to tell me they don’t think about tightening up dialogue while helping the kid out with his/her algebra? She doesn’t re-cycle the dryer one more time so she can finish jotting down a story idea? And how many have admitted they take an Alphasmart (or its equivalent) to their child’s soccer game unless they want to be ready…just in case.
Yep, ADHD. But that’s because writing isn’t just a job; it’s also a calling. And when the Muse talks, we have to listen…no matter what’s going on around us.