ADD and the Writing Process…#HappyNewYear

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Sometimes I wish my mind was a steady stream, rather than a blazing fire…

…yet I burst into flames, because I like the burn.

Sometimes I wish I could wrangle my thoughts and quiet my mind…

…but I feel at home within the chaos and clutter.

Sometimes I wish that I could see things lightly; feel things lightly…

…instead, I write to lighten the load. 

I am a seer, 

I am a feeler, 

I am a visionary and

I am a dreamer. 

I am a writer; 

And a damn good one at that. 

Words ease the pain and isolation, 

Of my frantic brain. 

My attempt at poetry. I used to fashion myself a poet but it was a ruse. I put it on and wore it around for a while, like a petticoat that didn’t quite fit. I’m not a poet…the verses are too short and my writing tends to be lengthy. My thoughts are too disconnected; too scrambled for the subtle flow of poetry. No, I’m not a poet at all; I’m an empath.

Sometimes, I still write poetry but most of it is not good. I do it because the emotions rise within me and clog my brain. I do it because poetry is power and writing is better than exploding. Actually, a lot of my work spawns from half-written poems. I find it helps to expel the emotion before writing. Then, the logical parts of my brain can take over and I can communicate in clarity.

This particular poem has come about because I’ve been frustrated lately. This is how it happened: I published a book. The release of that book was exciting. Excitement for me, always leads to anxiety and anxiety leads to frustration. Sounds crazy, right? Well, that’s just me. My emotions are a strong and pointed cascade which have ruled me for most of my life…so I have to learn to control them.

My mind is strong but scattered. I am an extremely adept learner and inherently curious. Knowledge is a drug for me and I yearn for it, when things around me become quiet. However, thoughts do not flow through my mind in an endless stream. The world comes at me in flashes; random and incomplete flashes. Writing, for me, is more like quilting.

I think this is why “The Writing Process” does not work for me. By the time I set down to put something on paper, it is usually already written in my head but it is scattered and stored along with little pieces of emotion. My job, as a writer, becomes retrieving each piece and sewing them together; so that they flow logically.

Sometimes, my writing doesn’t flow…sometimes it’s not logical…that’s just one of the prices I pay for having a mind like this. It is a great mind but it’s wild. I’m sure if I wasn’t so good at dodging teachers, principals and counselors, they would have diagnosed me with ADD…but my mom wouldn’t let them.

She’s too smart. She understands that brains don’t come in a “one size fits” all format and she has always seen the beauty of my mind. I’m glad for this everyday because it never gave them the chance to break me….

I hate when I do this…when I use terms like “them”. I hate feeling like “the system” is against me; like it wants me to conform and curses me when I don’t. It’s not the system’s fault…I think that it tries hard to “fix” people like me but medication and heavy scolding only leave the creative mind broken and tattered.

I see the fire within my children. I’m just waiting for the day; after the phone calls home for their “behavior” pile up and the teachers have deemed them ‘uncontrolable’ that the school system will try to tell me that there is something wrong with them. They will try to convince me that their outbursts in class are disruptive and that their thoughts are too big. They will try to get me to make them conform…but I wont.

Because they are beautiful. They are strange and wild and full of life. For a long time, they will probably not ‘fit in’ but then they will realize that fitting in is overrated and then their souls will soar. At least I can teach them; help them direct their minds and control their emotions. I can help them flourish but I will never tell them that there is something wrong with them. I will never tell them that the way their brain works is “wrong”…

…There, I go, I’ve trailed off again…

The purpose for me writing this was to talk about the ADD mind and the writing process. Because it is both a New Year and a New Moon, it is to lay aside my anxieties about marketing and sales and focus my mind on writing. It is to dig beneath the clutter and find the strand which will unravel my newest novel.

It is also to say that writing, in all forms, is as unique as the mind. We don’t all think the same way and so we don’t all write the same way. The differences between us are not meant to set us apart but to bind us together as a whole; to make us stronger. This is true for the writing community and this is true for society, as well.

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