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.
Like reading The Splintered Mind? Please share the articles with your friends, link from your blog, or subscribe.