Redd Tramp's picture
Redd Tramp from Los Angeles, CA is reading Mongrels by SGJ; Sacred and Immoral: On the Writings of Chuck Palahniuk; The History of Sexuality by Michel Foucault February 26, 2015 - 2:04pm

I've got ADHD (Attention Defecit Hyperactive Disorder). Hardcore. My brain is always going, going, going, always moving, often leaving me exhausted from trying to keep up with it. I'll start one activity only to start another one only to start another, and then, finally, after having picked up like eight tasks and juggled them around a bit, I'll find my way back to the first one and make a bit more progress. And so on and so forth. Not to mention how almost-impossible it is for me to focus on anything that doesn't grip my attention. It's why I like intense stories; they make you focus. Luckily, I'm very aware of the way my brain works. It drives me nuts, but I can anticipate (sometimes) how it'll plot against the millions of plans I have and outsmart myself. It has its upsides: sometimes I can hyperfocus, I can type and read really fast, and I'm sure it plays its part in my brainstorming since I find myself daydreaming even mid-conversation.

But, there're also a lot of ways that it hinders me, too. And this isn't just me being my lazy, pessimistic, overthinking self. I'll be all set, all stoked to sit down and chistle away at my story. Then I'll sit down, hit one mental wall and be sent in five million other directions, and boom: distraction. Also, in the absence of caffeine, my head gets really foggy, hard to think clearly, and this can really work against me when I know I should be and want to be writing. And the anxiety. Maybe this is just me bitching, but the anxiety just kills me sometimes.

Let me be clear. This is not me lining up excuses for myself or anyone else. I really should be writing, or else reading. This is me wondering how many of you lovely people deal with similar or equally frustrating situations. I read the column on here, Attention Defecit Creators, written by Robbie Blair, and found it fascinating. So I thought I'd open up a forum to discuss this kind of thing. 

Keiri LaPrade's picture
Keiri LaPrade from Virginia is reading Beowulf February 26, 2015 - 3:49pm

ADHD can be difficult ( I don't have it).  In many of the teaching text books dealing with disorders and disablities they give advice about how to help students with ADHD focus on their work.  Some have recommend structuring the classroom so that the student can move around but keep the student's attention on what they are learning.  Another is to have them mark a piece of paper everytime they feel the need to move so they can kinda self regulate.  But if ADHD is causing some anxiety these may not help (or they may not help at all I've never seen then actually used).

 

On the creative process part, it might be fun to do like a stream of concious activity to see what turns out.  I know that alot of people have to have certain conditions for them to write so it might just depend on the person.

Redd Tramp's picture
Redd Tramp from Los Angeles, CA is reading Mongrels by SGJ; Sacred and Immoral: On the Writings of Chuck Palahniuk; The History of Sexuality by Michel Foucault February 27, 2015 - 8:50am

That's an interesting idea, the piece of paper. Then I'd be able to see afterwards just how many times I tried to get off task, and the actual act of marking the paper would be kind of like snapping a rubber band to quit smoking. The tally could maybe become a deterrent to getting off track.

Oh gosh, if I started stream of consciousness-ing it would wander all over the damn place probably. A big part of me learning more about the craft of fiction has been trying to latch onto structure, know what to omit so that it's not just a giant mess of ideas and actions.

Keiri LaPrade's picture
Keiri LaPrade from Virginia is reading Beowulf February 27, 2015 - 7:36pm

Yeah I could see that with the stream of consciousness stuff.  But it would be kinda cool to see where your mind goes

Simply Roseanna's picture
Simply Roseanna from CA is reading Elements of Style March 1, 2015 - 11:59am

A.D.D.

I tend to just put ideas in the back of my mind  then when things are at it's most craziest that's when inspiration hits me.  Generally I know the middle and ending of my stories, never beginning.  I have had one story that finally got my beginning, for about 8 years now.

Gordon Highland's picture
Gordon Highland from Kansas City is reading Secondhand Souls by Christopher Moore March 2, 2015 - 7:34am

I have focus problems, but have never seen a doctor about it (the occasional Sudafed helps for now). I'll get a piece of music stuck in my head and it just loops endlessly, leaving no room for words to form. About one page per evening is a normal output for me when writing, maybe two pages on a Saturday. As a musician, it's never bothered me because I'm usually working on songs a couple measures at a time anyway.

I know several bipolar writers, and when they're going through a manic phase, they'll crank out an entire novel in a matter of weeks, during which they're euphoric and deluded that everything they write is awesome. However, it's of course word-vomit that will (or should, anyway) take them an eternity to edit. So my slow ass doesn't particularly envy their productivity at that cost, but I wish there were a happy medium.

None of this applies to nonfiction. I could write endless pages when I'm not having to manufacture plot or craft gorgeous sentences.

Redd Tramp's picture
Redd Tramp from Los Angeles, CA is reading Mongrels by SGJ; Sacred and Immoral: On the Writings of Chuck Palahniuk; The History of Sexuality by Michel Foucault March 4, 2015 - 11:55am

@Gordon: Interesting, Sudafed? Maybe because it has upper-like effects? I've come to realize pretty much all uppers and stimulants like that have a similar focusing effect on my brain. That's weird about the looping music. I'll get things stuck in my head, but as soon as I find something to distract me it'll go away. Also, sometimes when I can feel the ADD really weighing on my head, it's like my thoughts scream at me. Like...you know how sometimes thoughts are under the surface, not really part of your mental narrative but more just random observations or phrases or whatever, well sometimes it's like an invisible voice (cause there's totally such thing as a visible voice) is just yelling and yelling and I can't focus.

I move pretty slowly through my work, too. Mostly because I overthink everything, edit like a nutjob as I go, and lose interest in that particular project for days or weeks on end if it's not really moving. But same for me, if it's an essay or an assignment, I can hammer it out really easily, though I procrastinate horribly. Something about needing to worry about plot and character and, of course, prose. Prose is such a big distraction for me. I can spend like half an hour tinkering with the structure of my sentences, making them pretty, and totally forget about the actual story.

@Roseanna: I do that too, but the ideas will disappear from the back of my head if I let them slip through my fingers. So I started taking a little notebook everywhere and I'll scribble in it when my daydreams produce something interesting. But it's super hard for me to force myself to actually sit down and hack away at my story. 

Gordon Highland's picture
Gordon Highland from Kansas City is reading Secondhand Souls by Christopher Moore March 4, 2015 - 2:42pm

Interesting, Sudafed? Maybe because it has upper-like effects?

Yeah, it's speed, and especially combined with caffeine, helps focus. Time slows. It has a tragic side effect, though: don't make any sexual plans for about 12 hours. Not something you wanna take too often, if for no other reason than that.

I use the voice memo on my phone for ideas constantly. It's filled with little hummed melodies and interesting turns of phrase that I'd otherwise forget. I also dictate writing into it while riding a stationary bike, which keeps me in the moment without my internal censor, because I'm not rewinding anything. Requires a lot more editing afterward than I'm used to, but overall is still a huge productivity boost.

SConley's picture
SConley from Texas is reading Coin Locker Babies March 5, 2015 - 5:04am

My arrogance hinders me.

Redd Tramp's picture
Redd Tramp from Los Angeles, CA is reading Mongrels by SGJ; Sacred and Immoral: On the Writings of Chuck Palahniuk; The History of Sexuality by Michel Foucault March 5, 2015 - 8:22am

That's a really good idea, the stationary bicycle. A couple times I took my notebook with me when I went to the gym to workout, and in between sets I'd pick my pen up and see what happened. And it worked, sort of, little five minute spurts of writing in between activity, but I don't know, I like the sound of the stationary bike thing more. Exhausting myself focuses me, because it eases my anxiety, and moving lets me focus, because it occupies my body so my mind can do its thing. So you record your voice? Do you actually, verbally write? Like dictate actual full sentences and get a story going, or is it more recording the flow of ideas?

SConley: Can you elaborate on that?

Gordon Highland's picture
Gordon Highland from Kansas City is reading Secondhand Souls by Christopher Moore March 5, 2015 - 8:50am

Yes, I attempt to actually craft the sentences, and record/pause constantly while I'm thinking. They tend not to be particularly poetic, but I'm moving the plot forward and shit's happening, which is usally the harder part of the process compared to the wording. If I get kind of stuck, I'll often I'll just say, "Fill in some details about ___ here" and move on. In a 40-minute bike, I can get enough content dictated to draft about two pages, and then once I rewrite and expand it (which takes a couple of days) it turns into maybe four pages worth. I dunno, give it a try; your mileage may vary. Literally.

Redd Tramp's picture
Redd Tramp from Los Angeles, CA is reading Mongrels by SGJ; Sacred and Immoral: On the Writings of Chuck Palahniuk; The History of Sexuality by Michel Foucault March 5, 2015 - 9:36am

I definitely will try that. That sounds like a great idea. I've never tried writing verbally. I imagine your Voice would be pretty different. Narrative voice, not vocal voice. haha

Nick's picture
Nick from Toronto is reading Adjustment Day March 5, 2015 - 9:33pm

Yeah, it's speed, and especially combined with caffeine, helps focus. Time slows. It has a tragic side effect, though: don't make any sexual plans for about 12 hours. Not something you wanna take too often, if for no other reason than that.
 

If only there was a pill for that, too....

Redd Tramp's picture
Redd Tramp from Los Angeles, CA is reading Mongrels by SGJ; Sacred and Immoral: On the Writings of Chuck Palahniuk; The History of Sexuality by Michel Foucault March 6, 2015 - 8:47am

^^^ Sudafed+Viagra=happy writing?

Gordon Highland's picture
Gordon Highland from Kansas City is reading Secondhand Souls by Christopher Moore March 6, 2015 - 9:59am

Once you recover from the heart attack, I'm sure the words will just flow right out of you. And if not, you can always get a scrip for Flomax.

Simply Roseanna's picture
Simply Roseanna from CA is reading Elements of Style March 8, 2015 - 9:24am

So far Ive lucked out on not letting any story of mine slip through my fingers however i've come up with ideas that if only i got it out on paper sooner I'd have been the "first" to come up with it.

SConley's picture
SConley from Texas is reading Coin Locker Babies March 9, 2015 - 5:25am

I think I'm so good that I can take all of the time I want and procrastinate because whatever I write will be great anyway so there's no rush. It's stupid.

Redd Tramp's picture
Redd Tramp from Los Angeles, CA is reading Mongrels by SGJ; Sacred and Immoral: On the Writings of Chuck Palahniuk; The History of Sexuality by Michel Foucault March 9, 2015 - 1:00pm

See, I wish there were an easier way to carry a notebook everywhere. Gets kind of uncomfortable just holding it, and even putting it in the waistband of my jeans kind of sucks when walking or sitting. 

You know, I have that problem too SConley. It's born of my procrastination, though. I'm a mean procrastinator, and whenever the voice in my head wags its finger and suggests I get started, another voice chimes in, remember last time? how you waited until the day of to write that essay? you got a 97 on that, remember? you can totally push it off, you'll be fine. And usually, yeah, I am fine, but goddamn do I stress myself out.

Joshua Chaplinsky's picture
Joshua Chaplinsky from New York is reading Stories of YOUR Life March 19, 2015 - 12:54pm

I've got a bad case of RCMP.

Redd Tramp's picture
Redd Tramp from Los Angeles, CA is reading Mongrels by SGJ; Sacred and Immoral: On the Writings of Chuck Palahniuk; The History of Sexuality by Michel Foucault March 19, 2015 - 12:59pm

RCMP?

Tucson's picture
Tucson from Belgium is reading Late Essays - J.M. Coetzee March 20, 2015 - 6:19am

I've always found alcoholism to be a great aid.

 
No, just kidding. Don't drink too much. It's a harddrug.
Thuggish's picture
Thuggish from Vegas is reading Day of the Jackal March 28, 2015 - 6:43am

First of all, everyone tells me Cialis trumps Viagra any day. Have yet to try (but kind of intrigued...)

Second, a question: does married with children status count as a condition? 

Redd Tramp's picture
Redd Tramp from Los Angeles, CA is reading Mongrels by SGJ; Sacred and Immoral: On the Writings of Chuck Palahniuk; The History of Sexuality by Michel Foucault April 4, 2015 - 7:36pm

Kinda true though, isn't it? I guess cos alcohol lowers your inhibitions, makes your anxiety just shut the hell up for a bit. But I agree, that always introduces a whole bunch of other shit. I don't really ever overdrink anymore, but I do use it now and then to try to sink into the process.

No idea bout the Cialis. When we say it trumps Viagra, are we speaking in terms of longevity? Or...density?

But yeah, I'd say so. I don't know firsthand what that's like, but I do know that kids can wear you out, and being responsible for raising those children and then on top of that maintaining a healthy relationship with your spouse, I can't imagine it's super easy to find a lot of time to focus on writing.

Thuggish's picture
Thuggish from Vegas is reading Day of the Jackal April 4, 2015 - 9:19pm

I'm told it trumps because it's at least as effective but doesn't make it overly difficult to... finish. Also has other heart health benefits, apparently. I think there was more to it but I forget.

It's not that kids wear you out so much as feed on your every waking moment. Imagine I sit next to you with a random timer that only sets for anywhere between 30 second and 5 minutes, and when it goes off I pester you until you answer. And if you don't I start screaming until you do, and for several minutes at least after you answer because now I'm upset.

And when I get older I need help with homework.

Sheilathewriter's picture
Sheilathewriter from Snoqualmie Valley, Washington, USA (although...some whack-o told me I'm from the Pleiades, so somewhere in between maybe) and she isn't or is reading Wastelands, Stories of the Apocalypse, John Joseph Adams ed. April 5, 2015 - 9:57am

I've read that keeping the hands, mouth and feet busy will help. A pencil to twirl between fingers and tap on the desktop, an eraser to chew on, a ball to roll the feet over.

Speed helps because this is a physical brain thing, not an emotional mental thing. There's medicine - over the counter like Sudafed, or prescription. Coffee is a good one - espresso, take as needed. If it doesn't work, bite the bullet and take meds.

Thuggish's picture
Thuggish from Vegas is reading Day of the Jackal April 7, 2015 - 1:06pm

^

I once did a research project on teaching students with dyslexia, some teachers stumbled on a similar solution- they would have egg timers for the students to watch, and they had to write their name as many times as they could before it ran out.

The fact that they would watch and focus on the timer somehow broke the link between their concentration and got them writing their name from instinct/memory/whatever and they were able to do it without mixing up the letters.

 

Another strategy schools I know of use for hyperactive kids is to get those posture pillow things for them to sit on, it's absorbs their energy and apparnetly noticeably helps.

Redd Tramp's picture
Redd Tramp from Los Angeles, CA is reading Mongrels by SGJ; Sacred and Immoral: On the Writings of Chuck Palahniuk; The History of Sexuality by Michel Foucault April 8, 2015 - 7:39am

Honestly, having kids, I don't know how you find any time at all to write. I work with kids from 8 to 2:30 every day, and that plus school and I feel like that drains me almost to the point where all I want to do is sleep when I get home. I can't imagine having kids, going home to that. Not yet at least. I can barely take care of myself. 

Yeah, that makes sense. I'm a jittery person. Always tapping my foot or my fingers, spinning my pen or flipping a coin. It's a nerves thing, and I think you're right in saying the problem's a physical brain thing and not necessarily a mental/emotional one. I think it affects my mental state, my emotions, but it's born out of the physical discomfort, the anxiety, the impatience. I read somewhere, this doctor guy (he did have a name, can't remember) was saying how society's been misunderstanding ADD/HD and other similar conditions, that it doesn't have so much to do with attention. He thinks it's more like those people, their minds operate on a faster internal clock than the rest of the world. Like, they're operating on a faster click track, and slowing down enough to operate in the outside world can be akward because they have to constantly check and double check every action to make sure they're not forgetting something, thinking about a million things other than what they're actually, physically dealing with. Which seems like a really accurate description to me, and explains why anxiety eats my stomach on an almost daily basis.

A pillow huh? Never heard of that. How would that work, I wonder.

Species84's picture
Species84 from Fluidic space is reading UNIX a standard operating system (1985) by Austen & Thomassen April 16, 2015 - 6:10am

Interesting thread this is. Thanks for posting Redd Tramp.

Redd Tramp's picture
Redd Tramp from Los Angeles, CA is reading Mongrels by SGJ; Sacred and Immoral: On the Writings of Chuck Palahniuk; The History of Sexuality by Michel Foucault April 17, 2015 - 12:44pm

I'm glad you think so, it's an area I've found myself really interested in lately: how to be more present, and what it is that makes me less present. 

Species84's picture
Species84 from Fluidic space is reading UNIX a standard operating system (1985) by Austen & Thomassen April 20, 2015 - 12:03pm

Yes indeed, maybe if you try really hard (double your efforts!, lol) you can make a good story about it. ADHD and similiar stuff is very 'popular' in the media nowadays, maybe you could join that 'hype' so to say.

 

 

Redd Tramp's picture
Redd Tramp from Los Angeles, CA is reading Mongrels by SGJ; Sacred and Immoral: On the Writings of Chuck Palahniuk; The History of Sexuality by Michel Foucault April 20, 2015 - 12:15pm

You mean like create a protagonist who struggles with focus problems? You know, I've considered that. Would be interesting, no? To have a narrator who can barely focus on the story they're telling as they're telling it. 

Gordon Highland's picture
Gordon Highland from Kansas City is reading Secondhand Souls by Christopher Moore April 20, 2015 - 12:57pm

I've read that book, and it's called Crazy From the Heat by David Lee Roth.

Species84's picture
Species84 from Fluidic space is reading UNIX a standard operating system (1985) by Austen & Thomassen April 20, 2015 - 1:22pm

No no, although your idea sounds good, I meant something else: maybe create a bundle of short biographical stories about yourself dealing with your daily life and ADHD troubles. Don't feed it with fantasy, keep it real.

Something like a journal or diary maybe.

 

L.W. Flouisa's picture
L.W. Flouisa from Tennessee is reading More Murakami April 20, 2015 - 2:20pm

I have a night terror disorder, and currently being treated for insomnia. I also have a vision issue where if I want to work on anything extensive I need the "green screen" in old tech terminology. The old hypergraphia seems to be gone, as I tend to write more in my head before I write. I tend to avoid writing anything unless I took two passes in my head first.

Redd Tramp's picture
Redd Tramp from Los Angeles, CA is reading Mongrels by SGJ; Sacred and Immoral: On the Writings of Chuck Palahniuk; The History of Sexuality by Michel Foucault April 20, 2015 - 6:42pm

Damn, already been done?

Hmm, that's a pretty good idea. I've journaled some of my anxiety, meaning that when my stomach has tied itself in knots and I can't relax enough to think outside of myself I've written about how I felt at that moment. But usually it comes out just sounding like bitching, you know? Maybe because I don't really put down interpersonal interactions? It's all just in my head, in my body, cataloguing my bodily discomfort. Or I'll try to describe the way depression feels, but that sounds even more bitchy. 

That sucks, Flouisa. But what do you mean by green screen? Like, an actual green screen, for CGI or whatever? Personally, I'd never, ever be able to hold things in my head long enough to write mentally and then go back over it. Would fall apart. But that's badass that you can do that, I imagine it yields interesting results.

Redd Tramp's picture
Redd Tramp from Los Angeles, CA is reading Mongrels by SGJ; Sacred and Immoral: On the Writings of Chuck Palahniuk; The History of Sexuality by Michel Foucault April 20, 2015 - 6:44pm

Wait a second, it just registered you said David Lee Roth. I can't imagine he wrote a coherent book, what with the mountains of cocaine he's shoved up his nose. But, then again, Slash did. Though not all on his own.

Thuggish's picture
Thuggish from Vegas is reading Day of the Jackal April 20, 2015 - 8:20pm

This is what I'm talking about with the pillow thing...

http://www.amazon.com/Inflated-Stability-Cushion-Including-Exercise/dp/B...

Also, finding time to write with kids... I FREAKIN' DON'T!

 

Gordon Highland's picture
Gordon Highland from Kansas City is reading Secondhand Souls by Christopher Moore April 21, 2015 - 4:22am

I was half-kidding. DLR's memoir is awesome, though. Say what you will about his persona, the man knows how to live adventurously. Coked up or not, he's been hyperactive since childhood, and any interview with him illustrates complete disregard for the questions as he just talks about whatever he wants, like some rock-n-roll politician skewing the narrative.

L.W. Flouisa's picture
L.W. Flouisa from Tennessee is reading More Murakami April 22, 2015 - 8:52am

Oh by a black screen and screen text. I can't really stand looking at a white screen for long. When I was writing Voreth's Promise Saga, I started using an alternative color to see how my performance would be. Turns out I like this scheme better.^^

It also yeilds very stream of concious results.:/ Like a squid with a holographic watch, and a talking owl within the same story.

Gordon Highland's picture
Gordon Highland from Kansas City is reading Secondhand Souls by Christopher Moore April 22, 2015 - 9:42am

For those similarly afflicted, you can invert/toggle your screen colors on a Mac by hitting Ctrl-Opt-Cmd-8. Can do this in Windows, too, via a control panel.

Redd Tramp's picture
Redd Tramp from Los Angeles, CA is reading Mongrels by SGJ; Sacred and Immoral: On the Writings of Chuck Palahniuk; The History of Sexuality by Michel Foucault April 22, 2015 - 10:12am

Woah, that's a great idea, inverting the colors. I don't have eye problems, but my head does start to hurt after looking at the white screen for too long. 

Holy crap. That pillow. I want that pillow now. So basically it just provides a seat that requires you to move around in it a bit? To occupy my antsiness? (antsyness?)

Hm, I'll have to check that out. I love David Lee Roth. Van Halen just wasn't Van Halen without him. Not to mention he took the whole frontman thing to the level he did, kicking off all kinds of gimmicks for rock n roll bands of the 80's.

L.W. Flouisa's picture
L.W. Flouisa from Tennessee is reading More Murakami April 23, 2015 - 5:50am

One of the weird things about my night terror addiction, after a point the nightmares became so strange yet realistic I had to break the habit. But it created some, downright odd stories. Some of the stories I wrote in my teens and early twenties, I don't think I can replicate now.

I'm more confined to the psuedo romantic within the real world now.

Species84's picture
Species84 from Fluidic space is reading UNIX a standard operating system (1985) by Austen & Thomassen April 23, 2015 - 2:13pm

As far as i know 'night terror addiction' is not mediahyped in any way. ADHD is, imho. To bad you cannot use/abuse that to bring your writingcarriere a bit further.

bye

Michael Wais Jr's picture
Michael Wais Jr from San Diego, CA is reading "The Iliad" July 15, 2015 - 1:03pm

I have ADD and the best way somebody could torture me is if I try to sit still.

Actually, I can mostly focus on the books I'm reading if I'm reading about a dozen books at once. I stop being able to follow what I'm reading if I go over the 1 dozen mark with the amount of full-length books I'm reading at a given time.

Once I start a project I immediately am planning the next two or three.

My teachers in high school called me a "retard", but it's because I got Mad Ninja Skills that they can all just suck my dick!! Lol! :P

Michael Wais Jr's picture
Michael Wais Jr from San Diego, CA is reading "The Iliad" July 15, 2015 - 1:04pm

Oh, yeah, and how long did it take me to read the whole 700 page Stephen King novel "'Salem's Lot"? Seven days! MAD NINJA SKILLS, BITCH!!! LOL!!! :P hehehe

Michael Wais Jr's picture
Michael Wais Jr from San Diego, CA is reading "The Iliad" July 15, 2015 - 1:07pm

I still wanna teach myself to be ambidextric because Da Vinci was. I'm thinking with my mixing and instrumentation I can operate with both hemispheres to the degree that I can flex the neurons of both hemispheres at once. (Don't try this at home kids.)

I wish I was dyslexic like Da Vinci! Did you know that Leonardo Da Vinci was dyslexic and that's how he could reverse-engineer just about anything- because he was so used to picking apart language etc. in his mind? (He wrote some journals that were written backwards to that if one held them up to a mirror, the language would be written forwards.) Did you know that Steven Spielberg's dyslexic? He brought that up in an interview about two or three years ago. That's pretty cool, man! :)

Michael Wais Jr's picture
Michael Wais Jr from San Diego, CA is reading "The Iliad" July 15, 2015 - 1:08pm

Everybody's diagnosed as dyslexic these days! It's very fascinating. It used to be that those were the outsiders, but now they're the insiders. For every one CEO there are about 50 with dyslexia and you'd never know unless you asked them lol. Too cool! :)

Nick's picture
Nick from Toronto is reading Adjustment Day July 15, 2015 - 5:19pm

my OCD improves my prose but slows down my overall output

bethwenn's picture
bethwenn from Milwaukee is reading The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann July 17, 2015 - 4:34pm

I have ADHD-PI, which just means I'm inattentive and have no energy to do anything, unlike the lucky hyperactive ones. I've learned to work with and around my ADD in college. I have a complicated system that works for me. Lots of Post-It notes, timers, white noise, bringing my laptop with me other places like the laundromat or the library. I often use things like having another daunting task or chore that I'm procrastinating to motivate and focus myself on writing. I still get wildly off track sometimes and lose hours to endless distractions. It's gonna happen. There's not much you can do other than try your best to better your time management skills and structure your day so that you don't lose as much time.

I have PTSD and that's what hinders me the most. It's also helped me. My experiences have been creative fuel. One of the main characters in my current project (not sure what to call it; it's too long to be a novel) also has PTSD. The trauma that caused his is similar to my own experience. It's largely rooted in a co-dependent, emotionally abusive family that lives in a way that sort of sequesters them from everyone else and makes that life seem like the only possibility and also a duty of loyalty. When writing a chapter that focused on more of his past recently, I found myself possessed with creativity. I wrote 50+ pages single spaced in a couple nights. Things came out that I was surprised and impressed by. I wrote up a storm. But I also experienced worsened symptoms. Mainly hyper-vigilance, depersonalization, and numbness. When I eventually got to the most emotionally difficult part, I hit a wall. I still haven't finished it. It's incredibly important to me. But I also find that reading it, my defenses go up so much that I become numb. I can't do simple things such as make judgments on how certain characters come across. Most of the time, I have no identity when I read it. I feel and see the picture like a camera. I can't make important judgments. I've had one friend read it over and help give me some feedback on things that I knew I couldn't be objective or even subjective about (sorry if that doesn't make sense; depersonalization is a bizarre experience). That's been helpful.

Nevertheless, the hyper-vigilance is spilling over into my personal life and making me constantly feel in wait for the other shoe to drop in my relationship, friendships, at work. It's a problem. But I can't not write. Not sure if anyone else has had this problem or experienced anything similar. It's frustrating.

L.W. Flouisa's picture
L.W. Flouisa from Tennessee is reading More Murakami July 19, 2015 - 7:30pm

In my own creative process, I've always been drawn to short stories by the nature of prefering to read short stories.

I'll add that in coming from a game design background, I've had to train myself out of the thought process of having short objective summaries instead of full stories.

Like: Rescue the frog fairy before sundown, or it will turn into a fly. As a random example.

In fact it still feels strange knowing I once started writing in order to improve my storytelling so I can make games with better stories.