If you’re a writer with ADHD, blogging is an excellent opportunity to write on your terms. The only problem is that blogging is troublesome for the ADHD brain. Here are a few problems you’ll run into and how to deal with them.
I started blogging because I love writing, and because blogging allows me to write full time about whatever I want. When I started writing for this blog, I realized that there was one big problem with this new job. While blogging appeals to the part of me that loves writing; it really hates the part of me with ADHD.
If you have ADHD and enjoy writing, blogging can be a great way to discipline yourself in your writing, meet other writers, and promote your writing on the internet. However, I can’t deny that it can be absolute misery on the brain sometimes. If you think you might run into the same problems while writing or blogging with ADHD, here’s why – and how you deal with it.
ADHD, Blogging, and Stimulation Levels
When you’re a writer with ADHD, blogging for a living is both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, you get paid to talk about the thing you love, and people will read what you write. On the other hand, you have to sit in front of a screen for several hours a day and put words on the internet. Worst of all, nobody’s forcing you to keep writing except for yourself.
One primary symptom of ADHD is a constant need for stimulation. Our brains are short on dopamine most of the time, so we’re in constant search of anything interesting. People with ADHD are famously easy to distract, but it might be closer to the truth to say we’re easy to bore.
It’s no secret that humans are less productive when they’re bored. Flow theory, coined by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi in the 1970s, states that human beings are most productive when they reach an optimal level of challenge in a task they enjoy. But the ADHD brain is continuously seeking additional levels of stimulation, making it challenging to achieve that level of productivity.
Solutions for ADHD Bloggers
No matter how much you love writing and blogging, it’s tough to achieve that optimal stimulation level when your job comprises sitting at your desk and writing on the internet. However, one of the best ways to get to that level is to provide some background stimulation. Providing background stimulation while you work will help your brain stop looking for extra stimulation.
I’ve found that classical music is useful. The music offers some pleasant background stimulation to keep me focused while blogging, but it’s not enough to distract me. Writing outside can also help if you can find wi-fi. These are the things that work for me, but you may have to find your own solutions to keep blogging with ADHD. Try something new with your writing routine and see if it makes writing easier.
The Internet, ADHD, and Distraction
Throughout high school, I prided myself on being someone who avoided the internet. I did all my writing in spiral notebooks. I barely had social media. My phone was for texting and music only. I think I just had a complex about looking smarter than everyone else, but now that I’ve been blogging for a while, I can see why I disliked the internet – the internet is the absolute worst way to get anything done when you have ADHD.
There’s the issue of low stimulation I mentioned earlier. Writing on the internet, however, is a deadly combination of little stimulation and endless distraction. I have ten tabs open on this browser window alone. None of them have to do with ADHD or blogging, and one of them is Tetris. I’m not ashamed to admit it! This is a regular part of blogging for me, and it’s why writing a post can take hours.
Unfortunately, the best advice you’re likely to get for this situation is “don’t get distracted while writing.” We all know how useless that advice is if you have ADHD. Setting rules for your writing process might help, sometimes. I’ve tried to make a rule for myself that I can’t open more than three tabs per browser window while writing.
These rules, however, can be easy to forget if you’ve got ADHD. I can say that it helps if you can find the right level of stimulation for writing. The ADHD brain gets distracted because it’s on a constant search for stimulation. If you already have a decent level of stimulation going on, you’ll be less likely to need a distraction.
For an ADHD writer, an opportunity to blog can be both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, you get to spend all day writing, and you can share that writing on the internet. On the other hand, you have to spend all day writing and leave your ADHD brain at the mercy of the internet.
It’s been annoying to deal with, but there are ways around ADHD if you have it and want to make a career out of writing. Everyone with ADHD has their solution to quieting the distractions – you just have to find what will help you improve your productivity while blogging.