Being an Author with ADD

As a writer, I am often split in my attention. While I might be talking to someone or doing a task, my brain is always going over some aspect of my book. Maybe I am considering some part of the world of the book, here recently that’s been the magic system and religions of the people there. How do those things work? Why are they the way they are? Who are the major characters which will interact with those aspects of the world? How will the plot play into these things I am thinking up? All these types of questions are constantly running back and forth in my brain. I even dream about these things. The other night, I woke up and had to grab my phone to write down parts of my dream that would play into the story.

I have been told since I was a kid that I have my head in the clouds. Every single report card I ever got in grade school said that, “Michl is a great student, very smart, but he has his head in the clouds”. I get that I was ADD as a kid (it was undiagnosed), but I think that might continue today, but with very different distractions. Sometimes my wife will talk about how I don’t listen to her sometimes when she is talking. That might be true, but sometimes I think some of those times might be me being in my own head, running through characters, plots, world building, magic, and other things. Now to be clear, this isn’t a huge problem in our marriage, Alicia and I are actually doing pretty well.

However, I wonder if other authors have the same process in their minds. I keep notes on my phone and in my computer, but these things are never ending. There are always more notes, ideas, and characters to dream up and think about. I get inspired by a lot of things and new ideas constantly come into my brain.

I was rewriting a section where one of my characters is teaching a class. I decided to have the character open up to his class about a different part of his personality that I thought would be neat to explore. The issue was, I hadn’t written out that aspect of the character yet, so for the last couple of days my brain has been running through that part of his nature. I finished writing that new section yesterday and feel good about it, but it just makes me realize how much more I need to unpack the characters beliefs.

Am I alone in being borderline obsessed with the book worlds I am creating? I feel like it’s hard to talk to people about my ideas though. Partly because I don’t want to always be talking about my books, but also because there’s a part of me that doesn’t believe my writing is good. I think every author feels that way sometimes, but it’s still something I am acutely aware of. Does anyone else have feelings like this? Let me know in the comments below.

D. Michl Lowe


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