ADHD Procrastination, Distraction, Anxiety, Failure
I live to write. I live because I eat and breath with regularity. But if I couldn’t write, I’d take much less joy in eating, in breathing. So why is my blog post late? Blog post writing is writing after all.
Part of writing is reading
As with any vocation we must keep learning. When I was a computer programmer I found it easy to be a hermit, I had a cave-like office and I would sequester myself in there to avoid distraction. But I continued to learn about new hardware, new software and new programming techniques.
As a writer I need to keep on top of what other writers are doing, trying, using. I don’t have to do what they do, but I do need to know what is out there for readers, I need to know the environment into which I’m releasing my work. There is no point in writing an article for a magazine in a style that is unacceptable to the current reader demographic.
So what’s the problem?
I belong to two book clubs, and I have friends and family with whom I discuss literature. I am also currently taking a novel writing course and trying desperately to get 40 pages of manuscript ready for a grant application. And I’m pitching ideas to periodicals in the hopes that they will be interested in my ideas for articles for their publications.
Which is worse?
If they reject my query, it’s back to the drawing board. More work, no pay.
If they accept, I have more work to do to finish the article. True, the outcome of this scenario is that I will hopefully be paid, but I’ll work for that pay. There will be deadlines and research and rewrites.
And I have ADHD
And there will be procrastination and distraction and anxiety. I will put off reading the books for my book club, how could they be as important as work? I will put off the manuscript work, lots of time yet. I will put off my article writing in order to produce blog content, I have a deadline for my blog (self imposed) of 6:30am every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
Then a book club meeting comes up … and I haven’t read the book. I feel wrong about showing up without doing my homework. Like I’m taking up space, like I’ve let people down. I feel anxiety.
Sometimes my book club meetings fall one day apart. This month is one of those. This week is book club week and I started the week without having finished either book (I wonder if they’d consider reading the same book each month???).
Wednesday morning was my first book club meeting for this month, Thursday evening my second one. My Novel writing course was on Tuesday evening. My truck needed service, that was Monday. The part it needed was back-ordered so service was rescheduled for Thursday. And I owed a friend a visit which I’d set for Tuesday afternoon (actually, I needed that visit, I owed it to myself).
And what else?
Add manuscript writing, a recently met magazine article deadline (on time, thank you very much!) and … there was something else …. oh yeah, blog posts.
There are other stressors of a personal nature in my life right now, but who doesn’t have those, right? So do I need anxiety? I’m thinking … not! I do feel anxiety about missing my self imposed blog deadlines. I have this fantasy in my mind that my readers, both of you, are expecting me to post on time. When I miss, I’m anxious.
But look, here’s my post, finished. Late, but finished. My book club meeting is about to start and, miracle of miracles, I’ve finished the book. I’ve finished both of them. Novel writing class was good, and I had my homework finished, mostly. And as I said earlier, I’d met my other deadline. I have the rest of the week to work on my manuscript and a new article query and Friday’s post … Everything has worked out all right.
Well, okay, I still procrastinate, get distracted and feel anxiety. Why is that? Oh yeah … I still have ADHD – Damn!
Babcock, K. (2012). ADHD Procrastination, Distraction, Anxiety, Failure. Psych Central. Retrieved on April 28, 2015, from http://blogs.psychcentral.com/adhd-man/2012/04/adhd-procrastination-distraction-anxiety-failure/