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Embracing the Chaos: Confessions of an ADHD Author

July 7, 2023

Ah, the joys of ADHD. One minute you’re churning out the most creative piece of work you’ve ever laid your hands on, and the next, you’re knee-deep in a Google rabbit hole, researching who holds the world record for holding their breath underwater. It’s like my brain has a built-in autopilot that’s constantly pulling pranks on me.

For example, the writing process itself is a little… different when you have ADHD. I imagine, for most authors, it’s a structured and disciplined endeavor. They sit down at their desks, sip their coffee, and dive into their carefully outlined chapters. But for us ADHD writers, it’s more like a roller coaster ride through a creative amusement park. Our characters have a mind of their own, and they take joy in hijacking our carefully crafted outlines and sending the story hurtling off in completely unexpected directions.


I’ll be typing away, diligently following my outline, when suddenly my protagonist, let’s call him Bob, decides he’s had enough of being a mild-mannered accountant solving crossword puzzles. Oh no, Bob wants to be a swashbuckling pirate sailing the high seas, searching for buried treasure. So, there goes my cozy mystery plot, and off we sail into the adventurous unknown!

But, alas, I’ve come to accept that my characters have a mischievous streak. They refuse to be confined to the outlines, and honestly, it can be kind of exciting. Sure, I may end up with a story that bears little resemblance to the one I originally envisioned, but who am I to argue with a pirate-ninja-dinosaur love saga? It’s like my imagination threw a party, and all the quirky characters showed up wearing costumes from different time periods.

That is, until some little noise throws a wrench in the whole thing. Suddenly, my writing desk turns into a battlefield of distractions. A stray fly becomes the most fascinating creature I’ve ever encountered. I find myself contemplating the meaning of life while staring at a blank page. And don’t even get me started on the allure of social media. I’ll open it “just for a quick break,” and before I know it, I’ve watched 220 cat videos.

But hey, it’s all part of the wonderful chaos of being creative. Sometimes, in the midst of my scattered thoughts, I stumble upon pure brilliance. Those moments when my ADHD brain is firing on all cylinders are like lightning in a bottle. I can churn out paragraphs of witty banter, breathtaking descriptions, unique characters, and plot twists that surprise even me. It’s like having a secret weapon, even if it’s a bit unpredictable.

Honestly, I wouldn’t trade my ADHD brain for anything. It’s given me a unique perspective on the world and a boundless imagination that keeps my writing fresh and exciting. And let’s face it, the chaos can be pretty entertaining too. After all, who needs a world record for holding their breath underwater when you can create your own world of words?

So, fellow ADHD authors, embrace the quirks, the distractions, and the unexpected tangents. Let your creativity soar like a kite in a hurricane. And remember, even if you find yourself researching the mating habits of penguins instead of crafting that next chapter, it’s all part of the wild and wonderful journey of being an ADHD author.

By the way, I’ve decided to have a little fun sharing my ADHD chaos on TikTok, taking those “quick breaks” to post a bit of what it’s like to live in my brain instead of perusing cat videos. So maybe you check it out when you’re taking your quick break…


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