Reply To: Too many ideas, maybe?

Forums Fiction General Writing Discussions Too many ideas, maybe? Reply To: Too many ideas, maybe?

Taylor Clogston


Hey, thanks for reaching out on here.

What you’re describing between your two posts here might be a health issue, so I strongly suggest talking to a doctor about your frustrations with these thoughts, if you can. You’re describing a couple big symptoms of ADHD, though that of course by no means says that you definitely have ADHD. Depending on your particular case, there are options in counseling, lifestyle choices, and medication that can help you manage the symptoms, and a doctor can help you sort these options out and find a specialist who might be able to better help than people on a forum.

You’re doing your future self a favor by making sure you’re as healthy as you can now, so please don’t dismiss this out of hand, even if you (like I did before talking to my doctor) had a lot of misgivings about ADHD being overblown and overdiagnosed.

For the sake of absolute clarity: I was also homeschooled, and I’ve struggled with the thought patterns you’re describing my whole life. In my particular case, the tiny bit of medication I was prescribed for ADHD has made an effectively magical difference on the days I take it, with no dependency or withdrawal issues on the days I don’t take it.

(And if I’m right in assuming by your mention of Warsaw that you’re Polish, then you’re the second Polish person recently I’ve talked to about ADHD, haha. My maternal grandpa’s family is Polish [Kolenda], so maybe we’re distant cousins!)

Specifically regarding your frustration with having sometimes too many thoughts, I actually strongly disagree with Stephen King’s philosophy to never write anything down. The human subconscious is like a computer constantly making connections between the things you experience, and spits out little Eureka moments from time to time, especially when you wake up in the morning. Those little insights and realizations can be incredibly valuable, but they’re so ephemeral that you’re likely to forget them unless you write them down.

In fact, I consider this to be a powerful tool for mental and creative hygiene:

  1. Journal for ten minutes before you go to bed.
  2. Ask yourself a meaningful question right as you put your head on the pillow, whether it be about some choice you need to make in life or some plot point that’s stumping you.
  3. Keep a pen and paper beside your bed so you can journal for ten minutes upon waking each morning.

Whenever I’ve come upon what seems like the perfect answer to one of my plot questions, this was how I came up with it.

Combine that with making sure you get some exercise outside each day and that you have a several minute long conversation with another human being each day and you can avoid many of the issues we solitary writers can fall into, especially in winter.

Will be praying for you, Andrew.

"...the one with whom he so sought to talk has already interceded for him." -The Master and Margarita

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