Writing Despite Your Distractions
Giving Permission: OK! 5 Minutes Then!
( Dr. Cat’s Helping Handbook: A Compassionate Guide to Being Human - http://www.drcat.org/html/retail.html)
Moving them aside: Tech Tips and Mantras
Mental distractions or an impulsive mind can wreak havoc on the life of a writer. Yet as any ADHD expert will tell you, on the flip side of every impulse chemistry in our brains is the capacity to focus like a laser. (this is why parents say, “Why, Joey cannot possibly have ADHD. He sits and plays video games for hours!”) I digress.
There are several software nannies that track your productivity and stand guard against you playing with the wrong neighborhood gang, i.e. surfing when supposed to be writing. The best known is probably https://www.rescuetime.com/ Experiment with them – some people bond with a nanny and others, not so much.
Okay, I saved the woo-woo for last. I listen to chanting or affirmation music in the background, and when I feel myself tempted to distract myself and leave the page I am producing material on, I actually sing along or speak along, with the affirmations, which are actually at times related to breathing in and affirming my prosperity from doing what I love to do. This is effective at changing the spin cycle of my mind, and potentially alters the chemical make-up of my brain, temporarily. When all is said and done, or written and revised, it sure feels better to have been actively at my computer instead of passively at it, watching kitten videos.
Bryan's adderworld is a site dripping with tips and honesty, and he is someone that actually replies to all the comments people write on his blog. Commendable. He has 4 freebie ebook publications, and this post on writing from over a year ago is pertinent to my own blog.
Bryan – you’ll be interested to know that Ned Hallowell uses writing, very consciously, as a form of “treatment” for his ADHD. When he is writing a book (over the long period of time it takes) he finds it gives him a special focus and also more structure.
That said, my observation is that people don’t control their hyperfocus very often. Rather, for Ned, I think it’s a matter of setting aside time without other distractions because he has a project in which he’s interested and that he knows has a deadline. He also just loves to write, so it’s a very pleasurable activity for him. And you, as you say (and me, too).
You might consider that what you’re describing is something called “flow” – when you get immersed into something you love. Perhaps that’s another word for hyperfocus???