Monday, September 07, 2009

Man-eating Bunnies and Other Projects That Almost Killed Me

Hear this article read to you:

Bunny Doll Study - Step Four
Originally uploaded by Darkstream.
As I type this it is 3:16am and I am sitting outside my front yard along the wall that divides our yard from our neighbor’s. The weather is a balmy 77°F and a warm breeze teases a wind chime somewhere out in the night. The occasional car drives by, but otherwise I sit here alone with no soundtrack other than the sound of crickets playing their syncopated symphony.

I still have yet to begin a very difficult article, but I know I will manage it very soon.

First, though, I wanted to declare victory over my ADHD. The blasted bunny doll drawing is done. I began it years ago when aliens where busy organizing tribes of men into pyramid building communities. Every once in a while, a drawing defies my will to succeed. Maybe this one was too cute, or I have something against rabbit’s feet, but when I put aside illustration to focus on being a full-time Dad and homeschool teacher, I lost the heart for art. This drawing became a wall.

I’ve written about this problem before. It’s classic ADHD procrastination as detailed in my “Art Desk of DOOM!” article from almost five years ago

I feel a bit guilty about this because my younger daughters have never known a Daddy who was drawing all the time. But this is a problem easily fixed. I just need to draw again.

So here it is. The finished bunny doll. Originally conceived as a tutorial for those very same daughters. I have to admit that I’m pleased and relieved with the final result.

Something must have clicked in me this past August because I finished the Website of Eternal Torment as well. A lot of the delay on that project wasn’t my fault, but with all the family drama from earlier this summer, I was beginning to panic as the new school year approached.

Want to know how I overcame ADHD procrastination?

  1. I got sick of failing. Sometimes getting fed up with myself doesn’t lead to destructive self-flagellation. Sometimes it’s just the right amount of disgust to kick myself in the butt.
  2. I got all geeky on my hosts file and blocked all the news sites from opening. I loaded a reminder page instead.
  3. I forbade myself from writing in my novel or any other new or old writing projects. I believe some new writer friends lost respect for me, but it was the right thing to do and I’m darn glad I did it.
  4. I severely cut back on blogging and curtailed my tweeting.
  5. I set a deadline of the first week of school.
  6. I ruined my sleep schedule. Oh, man, did I mangle it, but you can see the results at DUIhope.
There are times I get so fed up with ADHD that I envision it like a bear I need to wrestle. So I roll up my sleeves and enter the fray. Usually, I hit the mat hard a few times, but I always get back up and press on. I believe that’s my secret to success—if success can be measured by bunny drawings. Now I need to make sure that I don’t flounder aimlessly because I’m in between projects—another classic ADHD trait. I’ve had a few days spin time, but starting today I’ll need to wrestle the bear again.
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