Sunday, July 18, 2010

A Writing Wall That Moves

(cc)I am trying to not be discouraged, but I have run into a wall. The wall is rather hedge-like in its height, just perfect for tripping over, and made up of good intentions with a clueless hue that gives it an almost blushed appearance. Since I've tripped over it so often this past week, I've had quite a bit of time to think about it.

@jamesscottbell wrote the other day:
"Evan Hunter/Ed McBain wrote through heart attacks and cancer. He never stopped. True grit."

I have mixed feelings about statements like that. On the surface, it is inspiring as it points out the unstoppable creativity of others in the face of adversity. On the other hand, it frustrates me because many of my obstacles are a bit beyond my control. No matter how much pluck, grit, and will I apply, I can't stop being disabled.

As I have shown in the past, when setting large goals I can offset my ADHD with adrenaline & hyperfocus IF I can engage my motivation high enough. I had hyperfocus for this writing project, truly and surely, but my chronic motor tic disorder has wreaked havoc with my plans. By the third day I was no longer writing, but ticking uncontrollably. 

So frustrating. 

If all I had to deal with was a twitching shoulder, or a flailing arm, I could deal with that. My WPM might be a feeble "2" as my hands swung by the keyboard only periodically, and I might look a bit foolish, but it would be progress.

Unfortunately, ticking episodes tend to be little earthquakes in my mind.  They can be subtle or they can be violent, but they are always disruptive to thinking, especially creativity. This makes for difficult writing sessions. If I have an ADDaboy! article due, I have been known to email my editor and inform him I would be missing my deadline. That's happened twice and I'm not a bit happy about it, but better that than stressing out over something I can't deliver on at the moment. 

ADDaboy! is supposed to be a humor column. When I tic, my humor, what there is of it, is bleak, black, and a bit biting. Whenever I force myself to write then, I invariably end up with an email or a comment from somebody telling me to "hang in there," as if I had just published a suicide note. That used to happen a lot here. 

I don't have a solution for it other than "Don't write when I'm neurologically off." That seems to help avoid the sympathy comments, but it does nothing for my goals. I'm finding it difficult to make time to blog here and keep you posted as well. I have time to blog for and barely time to write in my novel. Throw in disability and there I am. 

And that is all I shall say on the matter for the moment before somebody feels this post is a plea for help. I shall not blubber in my chocolate milk. I will simply press on. I don't believe the problem is insurmountable. I just haven't spotted the footholds yet. 

I can say this. The progress I have made on my novel may not match my intended goals, but the writing is good and I'm happy with the progress. I'm looking forward to tomorrow and for every moment—no matter how short—that allows me time to bring my story to life.

Follow me on Twitter for my ADHD escapades at @SplinteredMind or my novel writing project over at @DouglasCootey. And if you're a glutton for punishment you can friend me on Facebook as well.