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September’s Wrap Up and October’s Happenings

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The Life of a Creative Person

When you’re creative, especially if you’re like me when you’re creative, you’re bound to find less time to do other things. Things like the dishes, or cleaning off the counter, which seems to be a magnet for “stuff.” Or you end up with piles of things you’re working on in different places. For me it’s piles on my desk, piles on the floor in my writing/craft room. A bunch of my “stuff” on the dining room table…

I’m here to tell you…YOU ARE NOT ALONE! I thought I’d chronicle little bits and pieces of my life while I work on the creative projects over the next few months. There are days when I feel good and I get a lot accomplished. There are days when I get distracted by something or another, or maybe more than one something’s, and I don’t get as much done as I wanted to, or even much done at all–except the one or three things I was distracted by.

“Doubt kills more dreams than fear,” is a true statement, and if I let doubt eat at me then I’d run far and fast from taking on so many projects. I’d let that little spark of doubt turn into a flame, and fear would overwhelm me. But I’m not going to do that. WHY? HOW?

I blossom like a field full of wildflowers when I am creative. The more creative I am, the better I feel, the more I get accomplished, the more energetic I feel. Yes, there will be days when I don’t feel good, a bad day, and I might not get everything done that day. Hell, I might not get much done at all that day. But I won’t let that stop me from doing at least one thing. Maybe that day I’ll read. Or I’ll paint. I’ll do something that is more relaxing. On the good days I’ll do more of the physical things, like organizing my closet, sorting through the basket full of clothes…

Here lately I’ve tried to be more aware of “self-care,” to take better care of myself, to be present in the moment, and to take time for the things I love, the people I love, and the simple things in life, which means there are times when the dishes get rinsed off but not washed until the next day, when the clothes may or may not get folded, when the kitchen got swept but I forgot to mop, or when I stay in PJ’s with no makeup on and read and/or draw all day, or when I go to bed early. I think our body’s tell us what we need, just as much as our mind’s do. I’m trying to pay more attention to what I need creatively for my mind and soul, and what I need physically for my body. Finding balance, especially when you’re busy is important. The upcoming blog posts and videos will help me stay accountable, as well as perhaps help one or a few others know that they are not alone in the creative life. To me, creativity does all of me a bit of good. 😀

 

 

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Happiness is…

For me Happiness is being the writer who is writing, not the writer who is waiting on:

inspiration, motivation, mood…

And a good cup of coffee.

It’s also being busy. And this summer I am going to be so busy. Not only am I participating in the Summer Novel Writing challenge called #HotandSticky, started by YT channel Stripped Cover Lit, but I’ve also started working on the 12 week self guided course from Julia Cameron’s third book in the Artist Way series called “Finding Water.” What, you skipped book 2 Walking in the World? Yes, I did. Eventually I’ll get to that one, but since I’m also doing an exercise a week from her book The Right to Write, (and yes I was doing them daily but it got to be a bit too much when I had my meltdown a couple of weeks ago and was a bit paralyzed creatively thanks to depression and anxiety) I thought Finding Water was better suited to me at this time.

And, this is preparation month for July’s Camp NaNoWriMo. WOW! Busy, Busy, Busy!, which makes me happy, happy, happy. And a bit stressed out, but the good kind of stress.  Working with, around, and despite or in spite of Anxiety, Depression, and ADHD, I find that when I stay busy I function better. I am not saying that I should overwhelm myself with things but having a routine, a plan, sticking to certain rituals, help, but if I don’t have things to do, other than housework, writing, art, journaling, etc then I find myself procrastinating more. “Oh, I’ve got time for that later… I don’t have much to do, let me just watch some Netflix or Hulu…” and then hours later, after having watched half of the third season of Grimm and I haven’t gotten anything else done. (In my defense, I watched the first two seasons, missed the third and half of the fourth… SO I was a bit lost with the whole Grimm’s baby, Juliette/Eve, and Adalind thing. And Truble? I had no idea of who she was, but she looked a lot like Nick and she was a Grimm, so some lost relative? I had to know.)

I’ve given a great deal of thought to my routine. My morning and how I want to start each morning, my goals for the day, for the week, month, year…And the thing that keeps surfacing during these “brain dump” sessions is “get more organized,” “get on a routine and stick to it.”

So I’m trying to do just that. 😀

 

 

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Letting myself get distracted, procrastinate, etc…

I’ve been thinking about why I allow myself to become distracted when writing. I’ll be in the middle of a sentence or paragraph and an idea will come into my brain from nowhere–did I take something out for dinner, is the coffee pot still on, did the mail run yet…And once my mind goes off on that tangent I’m not into the writing zone anymore. I’ve zoned out.

When I zone out of the writing because of a block I usually take that time to check FB, WP Reader, Twitter, etc.. At least that’s what I used to do. I just got back on social media after a brief hiatus.

So what causes it? Why am I allowing myself to become distracted by random thoughts or blocked at certain points when writing? I think it’s because I’m at a pivotal place in my writing. A spot that feels a little hairy…Like maybe I’ve got writer’s distraction or writer’s block because I’m afraid, because I don’t think I’ll be able to pull off that part. I don’t know. All I do know is that I’m the one allowing it. I’m the one doing it to myself.

I thought that taking a break from social media would help, and it did, to a point. But it’s not the social media, it’s me. I’m allowing it to happen. Sure, I could blame it on the ADHD, and in part that’s part of the problem but the rest of the problem is that I need to take control of my writing. I need to put myself out there and believe in myself as a writer. I need to sit my ass in that chair and write, even if it’s complete and utter crap until I find the zone, figure out a way to work with my ADHD instead of against it, and find a way to use social media to my advantage, but not let it interfere with my writing.

(I’ll let you know how that goes over the next week, I’m sure you’ll see a post or two on FB, a tweet on Twitter, or something. 😀 )

 
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Posted by on August 5, 2014 in Life, Writing

 

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Writing and ADHD

I have ADHD. As a writer, a person, a mother, a wife… (the list continued)…ADHD is both a hindrance and a blessing. Why? How? WAIT A MINUTE… I thought only children had ADHD. You’re an adult.

adhd comic

Yes, I’m an adult and I have ADHD. I’ve had ADHD since I was a child. I’ve had it for over forty years. My brother has it. He was diagnosed when we were children. I wasn’t. Why? Because I could sit still. He couldn’t. If I were doing something that interested me I could sit still. Therefore, I couldn’t have it. WRONG, but we’ll get to that later.

In grade school my report cards were awesome, all except the conduct portion, which always read: Does not pay attention in class. Talking in class. Paying attention to the reading group while in the math group, vice versa…Looking back on it, all the signs were there. But back then, in the early 70s the H in ADHD meant you had to be Hyper to have it, and since I wasn’t Hyper, like my brother who couldn’t have sat still if his very life depended on it, I just needed to “do better,” try harder, PAY ATTENTION and FOCUS. I found ways around things. Coping skills that worked, for the most part, for me. I love to read. I can sit and read for hours, but I also read multiple books at a time. I am a multi-tasker. Books are one of the few things I could finish.

Unfortunately, the moment I get bored, lose my focus, find a better idea/project/etc I drop whatever I’m doing and go on to the next thing, the next idea… And they’re always such great ideas. Sometimes I get involved in multiple projects at one time. Reading isn’t enough, I also take pictures, draw, write, decorate, scrapbook, etc… I don’t always have follow-thru. Finishitis. I can’t seem to finish all the things I start. There’s just not enough of me, of my focus, my attention, my creativity or my memory for me to finish everything. So if it is really important to me I don’t stop until I am finish.

For example, a few months ago I got it into my mind to paint my step-daughter’s room. Spoke to Mr. Rockstar/Truck Driver about it. He liked the idea. He’d seen what my daughter and I had done with what was my son’s room turned into my writing room now turned back into my son’s room looked like after it was finished and he liked it. So we went to Wally World and bought the paint, an extra roller and a trim brush and headed back home. We moved furniture around, covered furniture, put paint tape on the trim, etc, and started painting. After the walls were finished, the ugly brown paint on the antique dresser looked even worse. I had an IDEA!

Why not use the left over paint from the wall in the writing room/son’s room, that beautiful turquoise color, and paint the ugly brown dresser and the worn, scratched nightstand. After all, her new comforter set had that exact shade of turquoise in it, plus the sheets and pillow cases that came with the comforter and shams were turquoise and white. Perfect! So then we painted the dresser and nightstand. WAALA!!! We went back over the missed spots on the wall and called it a day. Eight hours later. My poor husband. I was ecstatic and exhausted at the same time.

Before

Before

After

After

Writing is hard work, at least for me. It’s fun. It’s my passion and an outlet. But my writing process is probably a lot different than the average bear’s, I mean writer’s. For example, it has taken me over  seven hours just to get to this part of the post. Why? First I got distracted by my husband, and laundry and the dishes. Then we had to go pick up dinner… Wings and fried rice from the local Chinese Food restaurant Than I ate dinner. Then I watched a movie. At the end of the movie Mr. Rockstar was asleep and I remembered I had to finish this post, but what I really wanted to do was watch another movie. While writing the post I had to find the right picture, then I had to find the information I wanted, then I had to check my email, then I had to check on something else, and get something else to drink. I got distracted by, oh look, it’s a squirrel.

I’ve tried outlining, using post-it notes, making lists, using Evernote and OneNote. I’ve tried using a Filofax to stay organized, I’ve tried inspiration boards and corkboards, I’ve tried all kind of things to try to help me focus, stay focused. To help the writing process. To tell you the truth, as I write this I have five tabs open–this is one of them. One of the others is an article “15 Signs You May Have Adult ADHD.”  One of the other tabs is Larry Brooks’ StoryFix, Another is Camp NaNoWriMo to remind me that I need to post my word count, which reminds me that I should actually be writing my novel not taking over seven hours to write one blog post. WTH am I thinking? Oh, wait a minute… I’m thinking about writing, bicycles, getting another glass of soda, how I need to go pee, I need to get back to my novel, I need to finish this damn post, I need to see how much a new Wii Remote is, and Squirrel!

And that’s just a small portion of what I go through everyday when I sit down to write. Caffeine helps. I don’t do medication. I’ve been there, done that. And yes it would (most likely) help, but I can’t deal with the side effects, Neither can the people around me because the side affects cause other problems like depression, anxiety, diminished creativity, etc… Instead I have found that sometimes the best thing I can do is roll with it–when I get an idea I write it down. Hopefully I have my little “idea” notebook with me or nearby. If not, then I try to find a piece of paper. My desk is covered with post-it notes and index cards with ideas written on them. If I get distracted by a post-it note I’ve already written on, or if I can’t find a piece of paper, then chances are I’m going to forget my brilliant idea, and later on when I’m trying to remember it I won’t be able to, but I could tell you about how I felt in the fifth grade when my teacher Miss Bush (Mrs. Whittet after she got married) began reading Stephen King’s “Salem’s Lot,”  (And yes, I remember her name, but no I can’t tell you the big idea I had five minutes ago because I didn’t write it down.)

I forget things.I have one of those three picture frame holders with four hooks for you to hang your keys on. It’s hung on the wall right beside the front door. I hang my keys there 99% of the time. The other 1% I put them on the kitchen counter or in my purse. If I do not put them in the same place all the time then I’ll spend a bunch of energy and time looking for them. My desk looks similar to the picture above, only I’ve got a ton of colored post-it notes scattered across mine. I call it creative clutter. I know where everything is, but I’m not sure anyone else would. My ex husband has OCD and I drove him crazy with my creative clutter. Mr. Rockstar, however, gets me. He’s laid back enough that it’s not a big deal to him. He finds it adorable that I go off on tangents, and most of the time he gets my logic. Most people don’t.

The whole tangent thing is something that is a constant issue when writing though. It’s either a blessing because it leads me in a great direction, or it’s complete rubish and wasted time and effort and will have to be cut when I edit. Not such a bad thing when it comes to NaNo but a bad thing when it comes to my actual content. So now that I’ve told you a little bit about my writing process and my ADHD, if you have adult ADHD or think you might check out this link.

Have a good one!

 

 

 
1 Comment

Posted by on April 20, 2014 in Home, Life, Mental Health, NaNoWriMo, Writing

 

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The Pretender

I’m a confident imposter some days… or maybe I’m an insecure braggart, or a jack of all trades and a master of none… No, I’m a writer, and a photographer, and a maid, housekeeper, laundress, chauffeur, organizer, counselor, referee, therapist, personal shopper, gopher, researcher, repairman, babysitter, etc… HOWEVER, I don’t get paid for any of those things. I just am what I am…

I rarely feel confident about my abilities as a whole. I don’t voice those insecurities. I don’t take my self and my abilities as serious as I should. If I took my abilities seriously, especially as a writer, others would as well. Yet here I sit in my writing space that is about to go back to being my son’s room and I’ll be back in the living room (not the dining room or our bedroom). Sacrifice. That’s the name of the game when you have a family. I was so excited. So inspired. So motivated and enthusiastic. And then I found out my son wasn’t going to make it through bootcamp because of some physical issues (deformed hips, who’d have thunk it?)…and he’s coming back home so he can go to college. He can recycle in, that’s the military term, in six months, but he’s thinking about joining the Air Force or Navy Reserves. Their bootcamp is less strenuous…The Army and the Marine’s are hardcore. Since his ASVAP score was like a 98 (which is extremely high), even though he has his GED not a diploma, he also has college credits, so he shouldn’t have a problem getting in the Reserves. Why the GED? because my son also has “Imposter Synrdrome.”

Why live up to your potential when others make fun of you, sometimes to the point of physical bullying, for being smart, a bookworm, a nerd, a geek…” Why not stay under the radar? Why not trudge through life pretending that you’re not as smart, talented, creative, or experienced as you are? Because sometimes it’s easier to live in under the radar. Like my son, I spent the majority of my life living under the radar so I wouldn’t be picked on for being a bookworm, smart, etc… I’d suffered through it in elementary school and by middle school I realized it didn’t pay to be the smart kid, or the bookworm, or to know the answer and be the one to raise your hand–no one like’s a teacher’s pet or a know-it-all… So I dumbed myself down. After years of dumbing myself down meant I only allowed myself to be who I really was in private. I read under my covers with a flashlight as a child and as a teenager). I listened to NPR on the radio on the way to work when I was by myself as an adult.  I created a blog and originally it was anonymous…BUT after a while, I could no longer pretend.

I was a PRETENDER, both in mind and in reality. If I couldn’t be myself around the people I loved, then there was a problem. Being myself in the serious relationship I had prior to my husband wasn’t an option, not really. At least not in my mind it wasn’t. I tried, and it SERIOUSLY ROCKED the cliched boat. I tired in my first marriage, well before that serious relationship and it didn’t work either. I was too nice…too emotional…too impulsive…too creative…too ME. I wondered about, lost in dumbing myself down and staying under the radar in unhealthy relationships with others and with myself for far too long.

Anxiety, stress, depression, ADHD, all played a factor. The more stressed out you are the more anxious you are, the more anxious you are the more stressed out you get. Add those two together and they wreak havoc on your ADHD, and all of that plays with your emotional well-being, which paves the way for depression to creep in. Oh, I was a wreck. I barely had any self-esteem, I was medicated to the gills for anxiety, depression, etc… which resulted in making me feel numb and in limbo. One day something inside me broke when I was with the ex before my husband Mr. Rockstar/Truck Driver… I couldn’t do it anymore. I couldn’t pretend anymore. I was tired of internalizing everything and staying under the radar, dumbing myself down, and of not rocking the boat. I wanted to, no I needed to stand tall and be myself. I needed to take a stand and stop pretending. I could no longer be an imposter in my own body. I walked.

I left. Packed my bags, my daughter’s bags, loaded my car, and went to a cheap hotel. I wouldn’t have cared if I’d had to stay in a cardboard box, as long as I could finally be free. Free to be myself. Free to be happy. Free to be silly, or lazy occasionally, or funny, or friendly, or sad, or angry, or smart, or talented… FREE to be who I really was…No more hiding under the covers to read, or taking medicine so I could remain sane in the screwed up existence that my life had become. . I got off the medication. My stress levels went down tremendously, thus reducing my anxiety and depression. I’d managed to live my whole life with ADHD without medication, so I knew what to do there. I’m not saying that medication isn’t the answer for some folks with anxiety, depression, ADHD, etc… It’s works for some, but I can’t live my life numb, and that’s what taking medicine for those things does to me. As long as my stress levels stay low, I’m good. Life has stress, there’s no way to go through life without stress, but being with someone who loves me exactly as I am, accepts me and that fact that when I get anxious I need space and quiet, that crowds make me anxious, loud noises make me anxious, arguing makes me anxious… Or when I get really hungry I get grumpy….Or if I don’t have some time alone I get grumpy….Or that writing, photography, creative pursuits are a part of who, what, and how I am. I need those things to be happy, sane, and whole individual. I no longer have to read with a flashlight under the covers. I no longer have to dumb myself down. I no longer have to pretend that I’m not smart, a bookworm, etc…

But after years, decades even, of pretending I wonder if I haven’t lost quite a few things along the way. I find myself wondering if I’m just pretending to be a writer. Pretending that I’m good at it, that I have talent. If I’m pretending that I might be able to one day make a living at it, or with the photography that so inspires my soul as well. I doubt myself. I second guess myself. When I begin to go down that road, I say to myself, “You ARE a WRITER, whether you get paid for it or not. You ARE talented whether anyone recognizes your talent or not. You are a photographer, even if you never get paid to take a picture….” I figure if I tell myself those things eventually I might believe them and stop feeling like I’m a fraud.

Daily Prompt: The Great Pretender . Are you full of confidence or have you ever suffered from Imposter Syndrome? Tell us all about it…

  1. of hope | Anawnimiss
  2. Daily Prompt: The Great Pretender- Self Esteem and Introversion | Journeyman
  3. A Time For Introspection | The Jittery Goat
  4. Confession: I Suffer From Imposter Syndrome | Musings | WANGSGARD
  5. Courage To Finish | My Little Avalon
  6. DP Daily Prompt: The Great Pretender | Sabethville
  7. Shame | Perspectives on life, universe and everything
  8. Daily Prompt: The Great Pretender | Love your dog
  9. Walk the walk | Perspectives on life, universe and everything
  10. Daily Prompt: The Great Pretender | The WordPress C(h)ronicle
  11. One Day They’ll Find Out | The Ambitious Drifter
  12. I HAVE A QUESTION, ARE YOU BISEXUAL? | She Writes
  13. Here I Come | Views Splash!
  14. Glittering Awards Ceremony! Daily Prompt | ALIEN AURA’S BLOG: IT’LL BLOW YOUR MIND!
  15. “Do what you do do well” | Hope* the happy hugger
  16. Pretending to be a Grown Up | the intrinsickness
  17. liberty | yi-ching lin photography
  18. i am slightly off- | y
  19. I am a lazy person and full of confidence | wisskko’s blog
  20. Confident ? ::E.N.Howie’s Motivational Moments
  21. Who were You before You became You? (Braveheart Chronicles Vol. 2) | Running On Sober
  22. Ghostly Granny Tales: Daily Prompt | ALIEN AURA’S BLOG: IT’LL BLOW YOUR MIND!
  23. Daily Prompt: The Great Pretender | Pastathree’s Blog
  24. Unmasking my masks on the way up the ladders of success « psychologistmimi
  25. Borrowed Reflection | forgottenmeadows
  26. Feeling Like a Fraud | Lisa’s Kansa Muse
  27. Imposter syndrome – every writer must suffer this at some point | new2writing
  28. Daily Prompt: Being Confident! | All Things Cute and Beautiful
  29. Humbug « Averil Dean
  30. Grading yourself. | Cake Box Fox
  31. “I can, I Can, I can” The Confidence Poem | The Bohemian Rock Star’s “Untitled Project”
  32. I’m a Writer, Yes I Am
  33. My Dementor: Shame and Self Doubt | Ever Upward
  34. Daily Prompt: The Great Pretender | Blissful Pages
  35. Daily Prompt: The Great Pretender | A Day In The Life
  36. Are you full of Confidence or a Great Pretender? | New Visions
  37. IMPOSTER | Hastywords
  38. Daily Prompt: The Great Pretender | Tonkadella’s Things in Life
  39. A Hidden Confidence | Ms. Raven Marie
  40. Textured Captures: Set in Stone | LenzExperiments
  41. he’s so shy | eastelmhurst.a.go.go
  42. The Great Pretender_Today’s Daily post | A Blog for Laura Lee
  43. Daily Prompt – The Great Pretender – Say what? | Serendipitous Cookery
  44. Ticky-Tacky … I’ll drink to that! | The Flavored Word
  45. The Great Pretender | The Nameless One
  46. Insecure | Life is great
  47. Are You an Impostor? | Pinstripes&Lipgloss
  48. Red Flags | The Zombies Ate My Brains
  49. Daily Prompt: The Great Pretender | Morrighan’s Muse
  50. Daily Prompt: The Great Pretender | Life In The Passenger Seat
  51. What Everyone Said | INKLINGS
  52. Confidence | The Land Slide Photography
  53. I Always Thought I Was Just Modest | …Properly Ridiculous…
  54. Daily Prompt: Pretending | Finicky Philly
  55. What is Wrong with You may be What is Right with You | An Upturned Soul
  56. My Luck! | Flowers and Breezes
  57. Don’t Mess With Me! | Life Confusions
  58. Is The Glass Half Empty or Half Full? | melissuhhsmiles
  59. Angela McCauley
  60. I Don’t Pretend to Pretend | djgarcia94
  61. Alway was a rebel | Always was a rebel…
  62. “Impostor Syndrome?” or “I WAS BORN A DINOSAUR” | Ensis Reads – The First-Impressionist
  63. Blossoming | Cogito Ergo Mum
  64. Daily Prompt: The Great Pretender | My Atheist Blog
  65. Confidence for 500 please! | Living with Post Concussion Syndrome
  66. Pretending my way through the day | One Educator’s Life
  67. Don Draper and Buddah Walk Into a Bar… | by LRose
  68. Tempest in a Tutu | Be Less Amazing
  69. Masks may lie | sunny side dreamers
  70. Daily Prompt: The Great Pretender | Just Be V
  71. Imposter Art Lover | Photography Journal Blog
  72. Fool Me Once, Shame On You! | meg lago
  73. When I Decided I Wasn’t Going to Be White: The Art of Disappearing | Kosher Adobo
  74. .. Certainly Not Me « Overcoming to Becoming
  75. Wasn’t me…Then who? | Youer than You
  76. Oh, No – He’ll Find Out! | Lynne McAennyl
  77. Daily Prompt: The Great Pretender | imagination
  78. НЕКОИ МАЛИ НЕШТА ПИСАТЕЛСКИ
 
 

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