Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Vignettes of Life Inside an ADHD Brain

So here I sit, getting ready to write something; nay, determined to write something.

What I sat down here to write... is actually about my experience of standing in the kitchen earlier, cooking breakfast. And while cooking, my brain slid into its typical "creative overdrive" and I actually "wrote" (inside my head) six full articles in the time it took to fry up some sausage for breakfast.

You see, I can never actually just sit down and write. I do all my best writing and brainstorming, while engaged in something other than writing and brainstorming.

I think scientists actually have a name for that. Non-parallel thinking? Divergent thinking?

I dunno, I have always called it "Bacon Creativity."

So here I sit, getting ready to write something... and now I notice a hair from my beard is irritating the corner of my right nostril... which reminds me that I should go trim my beard which is getting a bit shaggy.


So I abandon the writing and go off and trim my beard because... personal grooming, and shit.

But that's not the point. The reason I do it now is because I am well aware that if I stay in front of the computer long enough to write this, by the time I am done I will have forgotten all about the shaggy beard... and I will not remember again till I catch a glimpse of my reflection somewhere/sometime when I will have neither scissors nor mirror handy.

It's how my brain works. Maybe it looks chaotic, but I like to think I am working with this "thing," rather than against it.

But to get back to the start....

.... I stood in the kitchen, feverishly taking notes on small pieces of paper... writing down and outlining ideas for articles and blog posts. Even though that may sound like a distraction, dangerous or even nonsense-- it is actually a way of  making the most of my time... the ideas would be lost forever, if I didn't take time to write them down... as they happen.

That said... even as I stood there, writing down all these thoughts and feeling pretty good because they would not be lost (as they would have been in the "old days," before I gained a thorough understanding of my cognitive processes)... there was also an underlying sadness... a sadness at the knowing that even though I managed to "capture" these fleeting creative ideas, odds are the pieces of paper would never get further than to join their 100's of compadres living in a box on my desk.

And there's the rub. Sure, I have created a "system" that helps me not lose good writing (and other creative) ideas, but I almost never actually seem to have the time to sit down for a few contiguous hours to turn any one idea into an actual article.

To be honest, the fact that today is the 13th of January and I have actually managed to write and publish two complete articles during this young calendar year is a small miracle.

I have enough material to publish 500 articles in 2016.

If I didn't have to worry about "making a living," I'd probably write them. At least I like to tell myself that. Alas, I only get paid a few cents for writing... so it's unlikely that I will reach the end of 2016 with more than 10-12 articles written, and maybe 30-40 blog posts. Because I like electricity. And running water.

Actually, let's make that a small "focus experiment." I'll point back here in my 2017 New Year's post and we'll see how I did. I'll be curious to see if my prediction holds.

See how I just "digressed" again? I think the phrase-- often used by writers-- "But I digress" was coined by someone with chronic ADHD.

Of course, writing these  words was a sidetrack, in and of itself. Now I need to do some actual work...

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