Showing posts with label ADD. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ADD. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Meditation and Writing by Konnie Enos

In a recent conversation with my oldest son brought up the subject of meditating because one of his teachers made them do yoga as a means of de-stressing them.
He said he didn’t understand why mostly because part of the time she had them listening to a recording of a lady talking them through a meditation, noting that he didn’t even listen to it. Then he said, “I can never empty my mind completely because when I try story ideas start popping in.” He blamed this on ADHD.
I’m sure, from what Bonnie has told me, she’d concur with him. Based solely on the number of partially finished stories she has I’d say she is constantly bouncing from one story to the next. I’ve seen her work on at least two different stories at once to the point of putting the wrong heroines name in one manuscript because she’d been thinking about the other one.
She blames this on ADD.
I blame it on being a writer.
Because I don’t have ADHD or ADD.
My mind is always going and if it doesn’t have to concentrate on the task at hand it will be either creating new stories or working out the details in the one I’m currently writing. Even in my sleep I’m working on stories. Ask any writer and they’ll tell you of a story they got from a really good dream.
Unlike my sister, I don’t generally work on more than one story at a time. Although I do have several right now that I need to finish and or edit. I’m not usually writing in one and thinking of what happens in another. Unless of course, like a couple of my books, they have the same characters in both books.
My point is writers think differently.
A writer’s mind is always full of ideas and more come all the time.
I doubt it is possible to empty a writer’s mind completely because their characters will see the empty stage and come out to play. If you have multiple stories they might even contend for time. If none of your current characters want to talk to you a new one will rush out and ask for attention.
It’s almost funny how often new ideas come.
That’s why one of the best gifts to give a writer is notebooks and writing implements so they can always have something to jot a quick idea down on. The quickest ways to lose a story idea is to not get any part of it written down.
Though once you get even a few bones down you have to figure out if there is any meat to the story. Because without that meat, it isn’t worth writing.
I’ve lost story ideas because I didn’t get them written down.
I’ve discarded story ideas because some aspect of it didn’t seem plausible or it just wasn’t going to work.
I’ve stopped working on other stories because there wasn’t anything there to make a good story (the meat).
I’ve also left stories because I couldn’t figure out what happened next. This was because the characters weren’t talking to me. Without their input I couldn’t figure out what happened next or where I went off the rails. Those stories stalled.
Other stories I’ve got I’ve only been given a scene or two and I still can’t figure out how to make those into a full story. Of course, those characters aren’t talking to me yet, so no help at all.
I have one story idea that I dropped after trying to write one scene because I figured out I’d have to do a ton of research to do a proper job on it.
The stories that get somewhere, the ones I get to “the end”, are the ones were the characters start talking to me. They tell me who they really are and what their hopes are. Even what they are doing.
The best writing I’ve ever done was when I was typing out a scene I’d outlined for my story and one of my characters surprised me with something they said.
I went to delete it. I not only had not planned on putting that line in, I had intended not having that outcome in the story at all. However, before I removed it, I looked over what I had and thought about the character and the scene. It stayed. It worked. Sometimes your characters surprise you.
Smile. Make the day a brighter day.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Mirror Twin Distractions by Bonnie Le Hamilton

Living with ADD isn’t easy and being a writer and living with ADD can be the pits. I think my life would be a whole lot easier if I didn’t have to deal with ADD.

More than once this last week I caught myself getting distracted from what I was doing each time I took a break to use the facilities or get more water. At some point or other I would notice something that needed done, or remember something I was going to do, and, instead of a couple minutes away from my computer I’d be more like twenty or longer, i.e. long enough the thing went to sleep.

But if that weren’t bad enough, I couldn’t concentrate on one manuscript! I’d get thinking about changes I needed to make on my science fiction series and open it up only to have my brain switch gears to one of two other incomplete novels I have and some changes or additions I need to make to them. Except if I opened either of those, my brain would switch back to the sci-fi.

In other words, I never got much of anything done even though my brain was actively working on my various stories – I doubt anyone could write about A and B when their brain was thinking about X and Y. I personally found it disconcerting when I had the story about A and B open, and suddenly my brain had the story about X and Y running through my thoughts and I very nearly inserted the new details for X and Y’s story into A and B’s story, which would have been more than a little weird since one is sci-fi and the other a contemporary romance. 
And adding to my problems with concentrating on just one story was my problems with sticking to just one task until I was done. More than once I caught myself stopping in the middle of the room, on my way back from the bathroom, trying to remember what I was going to do next, and when I did remember something to do, I’d start doing it and suddenly remember what I’d been doing before I got up, either that or I’d go back to what I’d been doing and I'd suddenly remember that I had something else I was going to do before I got back to it.

More than once it was my empty stomach or water bottle which finally reminded what I was going to do before returning to my computer.

None of which helped me because while I realized all sorts of tweaks that needed done to three different manuscripts this past week, I didn’t get a whole lot done toward actually executing any of those changes.

On the other hand, Konnie actually managed to get some writing done this last week either, more than I did anyway, which for her is an improvement, but let’s face it, her life is so much busier than mine, which is why she’s usually the one who doesn’t get a lot of writing done in a week.

Time zone wise I’m an hour earlier than Konnie is, but she beats me up every morning, because she’s up before the crack of dawn, whereas I sleep in. Typically, when most people are heading out the door for the day, I’m just crawling out of bed, while Konnie was heading out the door around the time most people are getting up in the morning, and she’s constantly busy from the moment she gets up in the morning until she finally shuts off her computer and goes to sleep each night.

I spend the majority of my time around the house, with the only noise being when I turn on the TV or the stereo. At Konnie’s house, noise erupts anytime someone so much as walks past the house. With, I think the current count is five, dogs I have a tendency to cut phone calls with my sister short because that pack started barking again.

Konnie on the other hand lives in that racket, and lives with her family, so there is always something going on, and always people talking or doing something, and it only gets quiet around there after like eleven o’clock at night, but their mornings start around four-thirty or five. And she not only works in all that chaos, she’s in charge of it!

So, while I don’t get a lot of writing done because my brain won’t focus on one project she doesn’t get a lot of writing done because her family requires so much of her attention.

As kids, living together, our lives were very similar, but things changed because we now live such different lives as adults.

Happy writing everyone. 😊

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

My Unproductive Week by BL Hamilton

The things I hate the most about how different Konnie and I are is number one, she doesn’t have ADD, and number two, she’s ambidextrous. It annoys me no end that when my right gets tired, I can’t just switch and use my left hand with equal ease.
This doesn’t just apply to writing longhand. The other night, my carpal tunnel was acting up in my right hand, while I was trying to eat soup! Try doing that left handed. I’m sure Konnie could do it. I did manage, but was it hard.
Then there’s Konnie and her magnum opus, which she worked on for years and finished it, working on it a little here, a little there, . . . well, I admit she took breaks once in a while and worked on some of her other stories, she even started a couple more. And there are whole blocks of time where she doesn’t get any writing done at all every month; she’s too busy being a mom.
But well, she can keep at one story for a whole month. This last Nano (National Novel Writer’s Book In A Month Challenge) I didn’t even manage that. I started two new stories then, and guess where they are right now?
Yeah, you guessed it. LIMBO! Just like every other story I’ve yet to finish.
Oh, yeah, I do have six stories that I reached “The End” on, but let’s face it. Two of those have been cut up so bad they are far from complete now. And the other five? Well, the first one, first two really, took me twenty years to complete, and most of those twenty years, they were sitting in a box gathering dust. And one of those two I have since lost something like five or six chapters of so I pretty much have to start over.
Then the next one I finished took me eighteen months. But I have a certain friend who would periodically ask me how it was going for the entire eighteen months. You would have thought he’d be content with the fact he’d managed to convince me to write the dang story in first place, but no! I had to finish it.
And I thought I’d never ever manage that stunt again, but I did keep writing. I started another one then suddenly, as usually happens to me, a new idea popped into my mind and wouldn’t let go. So I started writing it and ten weeks later, I had me a hundred and thirty thousand plus word rough draft.
I figure that one is a fluke, it’ll never happen again!
But boy what a ride!
Yeah, I know there are authors who can pound out a rough in six to eight weeks, if I ever manage that, it’ll be a miracle. I usually don’t stick to one project that long. Either I get bored with it, (need a break) or some other story intrudes.
Except for this past November, I can usually manage to stick to one for four weeks, but six? Hasn’t happened yet.
And I’m such a slow typist, four weeks just isn’t enough time to finish a novel.
Though I admit, I’m getting closer. This last year, I did complete sixty-three thousand words. For the last two years, I’ve managed to complete way more the fifty thousand words during the Nano, but that’s because I have more time to do it. Except I’ve never been able to maintain that level of intensity all year round. Sort of wish I could.
But tomorrow is another day.

Happy writing everyone. J

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

ADD and Me Again by BL Hamilton

Okay, I set out valiantly trying to add a good deal to my manuscript Cruise To Love, and I did start out okay, I added about 3k.
Yeah, I know, it isn’t much for two weeks. And yes, part of the problem was my ADD, but not all of it, in fact only a little bit of it. The problems started when my feet started hurting. Not only was nothing helping, but it got worse. At one point, I bawled just trying to walk from my bedroom to the bathroom, and I’d taken some pain pills before that! It was awful.
I couldn’t write while I writhing in pain. I couldn’t even think beyond the pain. Then I started the new medicine, the stuff to make my feet not kill me, and that meant taking the time to be sure the stuff didn’t make me drowsy before I started driving again, which was a hardship since that very week my sister-in-law, who depends on me to chauffer her around town had several appointments. I couldn’t take her. Plus our niece’s wedding reception was that weekend. 
Then there was the fact I couldn’t concentrate. Well, no that isn’t quite the right word, I couldn’t focus on writing, reading I could manage, and I did a ton of it, reading through several of Konnie’s manuscripts, some finished, and some unfinished.
And mentioning things I noticed in one of those, spurred Konnie into action. She’d worried before she needed to take one storyline out of one of her manuscripts, and now she’s finally working on doing it.
Problem is, that means deciding how to change things, which means brainstorming.
And guess who her brainstorming partner is.
Of course, it hasn’t been all her stuff we brainstormed on, since at one point, I did finally get writing again, and I realized I didn’t understand one character at all, so we spent one brainstorming session discussing her motivation. The results were that I had to go clear back to nearly the beginning of the story, at least a point in the first chapter, and do some tweaking.
At least it wasn’t completely back to the drawing board, totally open a new file, and start all over again, but I didn’t get very far. And I actually have one more excuse for not doing much. Or is it two? 
Okay, one was my niece’s aforementioned wedding reception, which, since it was down in Bountiful, Utah, took a whole day. And then there were two Sabbath’s in there. Though I admit one of those Sabbath’s I spent the whole day with my feet up and watching videos, but that was the day before I finally got into see a doctor, and got on the right medicine. I just couldn’t manage anything beyond the basics that day — food, water, and trips to the bathroom, period.
Anyway, I’m back at it, and trying, so, well instead of wishing me luck, why not try kicking me in the you know what if you discover I’m not working? I could really use the incentive.

Happy writing everyone. J

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

ADD and Me by BL Hamilton

One of several things Konnie and I do not have in common is ADD. I have it. She doesn’t. Which probably explains why she has only four incomplete manuscripts and a whole slew of complete ones while I have six manuscripts for which I have finished the rough draft on, and well over 20 for which I haven’t finished at all, and that doesn’t the count all variations of any one story which I’ve kept, but discarded.
And, if you count her monster sci-fi manuscript as five novels (it’s certainly long enough to be that many), she has ten completed novels, whereas I only have six, and that’s counting two for which I did finish the rough on but have since done some major rewriting on, and the rewrites are not finished. And here I am the one with loads of time to write and she’s the one who has a daily battle with her family to get even five minutes to write!
Somehow, I’m getting the feeling being able to come up with new stories so often isn’t as such a good thing after all. I mean, how can it benefit me if I can’t finish what I start?
I don’t think I can, or would even want to change how I often start a story, decide I need to change or delete some major point in the story, and essentially start over. I mean, really, if you were to open my documents, you’d find tons of files; and in each folder there are several files, most are older versions, or variations of the story then there’s the “clips” file for that story, and character list, and a calendar of events for that story. Some also have lists like who’s in what class, or I have three with essentially family group sheets for the story. Two of those have family groups for several different families but the other one is for just one very large family.
And, if I hadn’t lost them before I got a scanner, I’d have floor plans and/ or maps for several of these stories in the file too. I really need to work on replacing them. I drew them once; I should be able to draw them again.
And in some of these files, without my various “notes” files, I wouldn’t even know what the story was now, or why I started it. Why I have one or two files, which are just notes (nothing more than an idea) that I’ve yet to expand into a story! I’m not even counting them on my incomplete story list.
In fact, just counting the ones which have reached a word count of twenty-five thousand or higher I have seventeen unfinished manuscripts, not counting the two finished but now in the middle of major rewrites. And not counting all the variations of any one story or the ones, which are just notes, I’ve started another eighteen stories. I have just notes on four and one scene that hasn’t got a story to go with it at all!
On top of this, for the last three years, my writing goal has been to complete at least two novels and I haven’t done it once. So here I am again, hoping to complete a rough. I’m only going for just one at a time, and maybe I’ll finish one or two of these before November comes around again, when I know I’ll start a new one. I’ve started a new one every November for the last thirteen years. (Last year I actually worked on two novels; one is on the under 25k list, and the other is on the over 25k list. I did manage over 60k this past November.)
Anyway, my goal for the next two weeks is to at least add around 25k to my Cruise To Love manuscript, which would bring it to almost done, but not quite. If I can maintain my Nano average, I should be able to finish this manuscript in three weeks. That’s if I can stick to it. Here’s hoping I do.

Happy writing everyone, and wish me luck! J

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

The Race

And the race is on!

Both Konnie and I are nearing the completion of the novels we’re each currently writing. Of course, Konnie has been working on the one she’s calling her opus for like seven years, and I started my WIP last November, but at this moment, we both have about the same number of chapters left to finish them.

And it’s anyone’s guess which one of us will finish first.

Konnie is hands down the faster typist of the two of us. We’ve known that for years, but Konnie’s also the one with four of five kids at home, along with a whole menagerie of animals, including four dogs, and then there’s her husband. All of these are potential interruptions that I, clearly don’t have.

I live alone. I do have all the chores and errands she has, but not in as great a number, and unlike her, I can spend whole days writing with little or no interruptions. Well, let’s just say, in comparison to her, I don’t get interrupted that much at all. In fact, the last time I groused about interruptions, she was doing it, and it happened yesterday.

I was trying to work on my current scene and having trouble getting the order and choice of words just right. And every few seconds or so my skype would chime and it would be another message from Konnie with either a brainstorming question or a sample of what she’d just managed wanting my opinion, which of course drew my attention from my own writing. There was no way I could answer her and not have my brain focused on her work, and each and every time, that meant I had to refocus on my manuscript, which, thanks to my ADD, isn’t easy.

I’d finally start typing again, and she’d send another message!
So, yeah, I got upset. With her, interruptions are just a matter of course, and she isn’t ADD, which is probably a good thing, because her family interrupts her a lot. I don’t know how she can put up with it. When my husband was still alive, he learned pretty fast, that if I’m writing he probably should leave me alone.
I growl. Konnie doesn’t.

So, at any rate, last night Konnie challenged me to see who got to “the end” first. And this after I’d told her I’d challenged myself to finish this draft of my manuscript by October 31st, because of course, come November 1st, unlike her, I will be participating in National Novel Writer’s Month or Nano , just like I have done for the past twelve years. This year will be thirteen. And unlike any year before, which I still completed, I actually have an outline of a story ready and waiting for me to write!

But, I’m still working on the one I started during last year’s 50k challenge. Of course, that’s another story. :)

I can’t wait to see who wins this race. How about you?

Happy writing everyone!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

My ADD Muse

I think the hardest part about writing is when your mind moves faster than your fingers can type, but it’s doubly hard when the story moves on in your head while you’re dreaming, taking your brain further along in the story than where you’ve typed to.

You would think after all these years I would be accustomed to this problem, since, after all, my stories do play out in my mind while I’m doing other things, like chores, or sleeping, and the fact is it usually helps me work out what happens next.

My problem is that sometimes my brain skips way ahead.

I know there are authors who insist they write whatever scene is on their minds then go back in edits to put the scenes in order and fill in the blanks. I’ve tried this. I have several manuscripts with the words “skip ahead,” typed into the manuscript. But each time I reread those manuscripts I’m still drawing a blank as to how to fill in the gap.

In the past week, instead of forcing myself to work on my manuscript I’ve volunteered to chauffeur a friend around, went shopping and out to lunch with a friend, taken my sister-in-law to various appointments, and played countless games on my computer. I’ve also opened my manuscript any number of times, but all I’ve managed is adding a couple paragraphs, and those simple sentences took me most of the day! I’m generally not that slow.

In fact, I have it open right now. But as I know it ends well before the spot running through my head, I can’t bring myself to even look at it.

Why does my brain have to jump ahead?

Well, it needs something to do while I’m doing other things. Let’s face it, I have ADD, my brain goes, period. It doesn’t stop, not even when I’m asleep, since my dreams often give me story ideas, or solve problems I’m having with a plot.

None of which helps me complete another manuscript. I’ve managed it six times, but none since, and I’m starting to feel like I will never manage it again.

I’ve gone to the point of telling myself not to start another one until I finish what I’m working on, but then the story I’m working hits a road block I can’t seem to work out while another story takes over. This has happened many times, and only once have I managed, after almost a year of working on other stories, returned to the interrupted story, when a sudden idea gave me a new path to take.

Then again, I did finish that one, thanks to the inspiration. Maybe I should stop fighting it and just go along with my scatterbrained muse. What do you think?

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Mourning 2

This last week I haven’t been able to get much done, if it wasn’t one thing, it was another, but I’ve spent most of the week having to relax, or stay off my feet. And I guess I could have been writing, but I couldn’t concentrate (oh the joys of ADD).

So what did I do? Well, I thought about watching a movie, but then my eyes fell on my Star Trek collection, reminding me that we recently lost Leonard Nimoy, so as a tribute to him, I decided to watch my DVD’s, and boy do I have them.

In the last couple of years of my husband’s life, he, for either my birthday or Christmas, gave me boxed sets of the first through third seasons of the original series, plus boxed sets of the original series movies and the TNG movies, not everything in that universe, but enough.

I have now worked my way through the entire first season and am into the second season, but I also took some time to watch the commentary and extra features available in the set. Including the piece about Nimoy discussing all the trouble they’d had fashioning his ears, and the casting changes made between the first pilot (The Menagerie) and the pilot featuring Captain Kirk.

All interesting stuff, and certainly stuff I already knew since I’ve owned the DVD’s for some years now, but it’s nice to be able to look back, and see it all again, and to remember what we’ve lost, but it’s also nice, just to watch and remember how much my husband enjoyed giving me these sets. He loved me a lot.

Sometimes it’s the little things, which make life easier to bear. Don’t you think?