Friday, October 11, 2013

ADD and the art of writing

It's been often said that writers are dreamers. The problem is that in an educational setting, this is not always a good thing. Short Stuff has been having some trouble in school lately, getting easily distracted and not doing his schoolwork in class. The teachers are very frustrated at what they site as his inability to "apply himself to the task" and say that he has a tendency to disrupt the class.

The thing is that my teachers said exactly the same things about me in school. I more often than not sat and looked out the window, ignored assignments that I considered too easy, and was constantly questioning what we were being taught. I would argue with my classmates constantly about why watching Star Trek was much more fun than watching baseball. I have no doubt that I was disruptive to the class, and I remember getting punished more than once because I didn't know when to shut the hell up. I find myself in a difficult position when it comes to disciplining the boy over it, because I think it's these qualities that I that make me a good writer.

All writers, by necessity I think, are a little ADD. It's our job to daydream... to look beyond our existence to give life to the stories we're passionate about and put them on the page. The "Squirrel of mass distraction" I often joke about is really my brain suddenly becoming fascinated with a detail in my surroundings that most people wouldn't notice. The details are what makes the world within the story seem real to the reader, and those with short attention spans notice more details than those around us.

So, the next time something strikes you as "oooo... Shiny!" write it down. Write a few paragraphs about it being shiny, if you prefer. At the very least, it will allow you to pad your word count come next NaNoWriMo!

No comments: