I’ve mentioned that I have ADHD before in this blog. I’ve spoken of having Mind Like Teflon ™, and made jokes about it. I’ve ranted a bit about how GTD proponents (and I’m one of ’em) often have no clue how impossible their suggestions are for someone with my disability.
But yet, I am so imbued with shame from my upbringing, that I will seize the concept that I’m Blocked with Fear (Artist’s Way, Write Every Day) or that my novel has Problems (2K to 10K) rather than face the simple fact that ADHD is messing me up here in my efforts to revise and finish a massive project.
Yeah, I’ve picked up both those sticks and beaten myself with them over the last two weeks. It’s not that any of the above authors particularly is insistent upon the fear block or the bad writing block or whichever, it’s just that I would rather think myself neurotic or undisciplined or as having written badly than accept being ADHD.
In desperation I picked up a book I bought about 8 years ago, ADD-Friendly Ways to Organize Your Life (AFWTOYL) and started to look at the time management chapters.
Dear Lord. I resemble those chapters. The “before” scenario exactly describes my feelings of helplessness and chaos when faced with a complex task that I really want to accomplish, but off which my brain slips.
It’s not lack of discipline. It’s not fear of success. It’s not that subconsciously I know my novel has problems. (It’s not subconscious; I know damn well it has problems. If I didn’t know that, I’d just publish it and have done.) It’s that I have serious problems with both sustained and appropriate focus.
AFWTOYL has its problems as a guide, starting with the fact that it was written 12 years ago, so that much that is new and shiny is not addressed as possible tools. But once again, I’ve tried to put down blocks of time and expect myself to Just Do It. (Massive blocks! 8 hours straight! I can’t do anything for more than 30 minutes straight unless I’m hyperfocused, and I can’t control when I’m hyperfocused. And if I am hyperfocused, I can’t stop when I hit the end of the two hours. Or eight, or twelve. I really don’t WANT to be hyperfocused; in its own way, it’s as destructive as unfocused.) Even if I have small tasks to do in that time, each written out and rewarded in Habit RPG, it doesn’t much help.
So from now on, I adapt one of the techniques in AFWTOYL and give it a solid trial before I look at anything in an ordinary time management book, or a writing productivity book, or, well, anything that doesn’t assume that I have a thirty-minute attention span, tops.
And if anyone thinks that I’m putting myself down here, I’m not. Facing my difficulty realistically is far better than either denying it or trying to fix something else that isn’t really broken.
I’m sure I’ve convinced you. I hope I’ve convinced me.