Writer Attention Deficit Disorder.

Sometimes, I have a lot of trouble trying to think of what to write about in this blog if I haven’t got a quote, a finished book, an exciting new project, or a RoW80 update. My mind bounced around a few topics to potentially discuss, the foremost of them being a rumination on the types of things I write compared to the types of things I read, with a few musings on character profiles thrown in. But as I thought about some of these things, I considered all the projects I usually do and how I’d like to pick up my horror story again, and that got me to thinking about my WADD.

That’s right, folks. This probably won’t come as a surprise to many of you, but I have WADD–Writer Attention Deficit Disorder.

Whenever another writer tells me about his or her ability to just sit their butts down and work on one project to completion, I am left in shock. I’m reading some craft books that talk about setting aside specific times just for writing, and I’m flabbergasted. I have managed to park in front of a computer and write for half an hour strait before, but at the end of it, I’m just about ready to leap out of my chair and do something else.

Now, this doesn’t mean I don’t ever get things done. I just have to get other things done in the meantime. Read a little bit of a book, write a few paragraphs, then clean the kitchen a little, clean up a drawing, lather, rinse, repeat. I typically have at least three different writing projects going at once, I’m reading no less than five books right now, and there’s countless other things that I bounce back and forth between. There’s a system in place, at least, making it almost a little bit of a WOCD–Writer Obsessive Compulsive Disorder–but it works for me, I think. I may not get things done quickly, but they come along nicely.

Are you one of those writers who have the ability to sit and work faithfully for a string of time, or are you, like me, afflicted with WADD? If you’re one of the chosen few with an attention span, what advice might you have to share with a WADD author who wants to be more focuses? If you’re a WADD writer yourself, what tricks or tools have you found to help you work more effectively? I’m interested to see how this completely-made up disorder might affect the lives of others.

(See? These are the kinds of posts you get when I don’t know what else to write about….)


  1. Sometimes, I feel the same… unable to put things together, stuck… but I can write a length about what I can’t write in those moments.. that helps me a lot in my later writings..

    • Isn’t that funny? I can sit and write about how I can’t sit and write for a good chunk of time, but when it comes to getting to the actual work….nada. Ah, well! Slow and steady, right? Guess I’ll always be more the tortoise than the hare. Thanks for stopping by, Barun!

  2. Ohh i definitely have WADD, considering how OCD and anal I am about ‘everything’ from alphabetising cd’s to planning the menu for the week’s dinner’s before shopping on a Monday when it comes to sitting down and writing be it a blog post (with an idea in place or not) or my various WIP’s then I am completely unable to do it in a prescribed orderly fashion setting aside a specific time – nope I would end up baking a cake or something! When I do sit down and decide ‘right now I’m writing’ then I won’t move until I am finished or really, really have to stop for something else (like cooking the dinner) but I wont have set this time aside in advance, it will be spontaneous. I cannot do anything by timetable, this I learnt when studying for my first exams as a teen, I had to just study when I felt like it – which annoys teachers who want you to write up a study timetable (I soon learnt to just fake one to satisfy them! lol) 1 hour here, 2 hours there for specific things just doesn’t work for me. Sometimes it will be 0 hours unplanned others I will go for 8 hours straight and nothing else matters – my conclusion – I am insane! ;D

  3. I can’t write for more than an hour at a time, usually. I get really restless and want to do something else. Then something else. Then….. So I get it. But I can’t usually work on more than one writing project. Now that means I can’t be writing more than one thing. I CAN edit one thing and write another. I can proof and format something and write something else. But I CANNOT write two things at a time unless one of them is a short story. And even then, I really want to finish the short story before going back to the larger project. So, yeah, I’m kind of restless like you are, but I can’t do the multiple WIP thing.

    • I feel my WIPs would be a little better if I could just focus on one, but….I can’t. Especially when one WIP goes well, I get all these ideas for the other one and have to keep flip-flopping. It’s so interesting, though, that so many people work in different ways…

  4. Count me in for WADD! I try to sit down and just work on the writing, but– oh! Email! Gotta check it! Then write some more, and… OH! Someone posted on my blog! I must reply! LOL Although the past couple of weeks have been better – I think having a certain amount of task set aside that needs to be done, helps me to keep focus, then I can go do all of those other things (plus play games). The important thing is that we each find what works for us!

    • Hahaha, yeaaaah, that’s why I think most of my effective writing is still done in notebooks. There are just too many other things calling me on the computer.

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