Motivational and inspirational writer, Bryan Hutchinson is the author of several books about life with ADHD including the highly acclaimed, best selling "One Boy′s Struggle: A Memoir" and the author of the hilarious eBook that went viral "10 Things I Hate about ADHD"

White noise and instrumental music helps my ADD ADHD mind function and other helpful stuff


Recently I was asked how I manage to write articles on a regular basis for my Blog and even write a couple books at the same time – not to mention I have a full time job. I have a couple answers for that. Obviously, I have a lot of determination, but many Adders have a lot of determination and still can’t seem to get things done. Getting things done, for us, can be very unpredictable to say the least. However, there are ways to get ‘r done!

So how do I do it?

The most important thing for me is that I love to write and create! When I am writing and creating, I am doing what I love. There is no replacement for doing what you love to do. Even so, loving and doing is two different things. That’s what is so frustrating about ADD ADHD, we can’t even seem to regularly do the things we love to do, at least in a consistent manner which would be of benefit and provide a financial income. Part of the reason, a very big reason is criticism and distraction.

They say ADD ADHD has a tendency to go away with adulthood. Yeah right, well, that’s being disproved. What we do, is learn to cope and find skills to get by. So once we start learning to cope and get by it seems the disorder vanishes? It doesn’t. However,  when we find the right coping skill for our own individual unique ways we can do what we dream of doing, I truly believe that!

A major factor for us is that we lack certain skills. For whatever reason, during our learning process we tend to ignore certain skill sets which people usually need in order to achieve. I will use my writing as an example, as I often do. I have very little knowledge of proper punctuation. I have been writing all of my life, but any time I showed my writing to someone I would always be criticized for my punctuation.

“The story is great, it moved me, but you really should make 3 sentences here and why didn’t you use a comma there?”  

The reader thinks he or she is being so helpful, but really, it just kept me from sharing my writing with anyone for a very, very long time. One of my most humiliating memories is of being in a creative writing class in college and being called out in front of the whole class. The professor called out my name, while shaking the pages of my writing in her hand, she started out nicely saying that she loved the story, but then she went on to say (in front of the whole class) that I have no clue about punctuation and that I would never be a writer if I could not master punctuation!  I have tamed what she said a bit here, but it was humiliating and made me feel like a fool in front of all the other students. I got up and walked out—I never returned to her class again. I did not do any writing for myself for another ten years. We Adders are very sensitive people and at the time I was undiagnosed—the instructor’s words had a profound influence on me. The fact of the matter is that I did try to learn punctuation, I took classes, I read book after book, but my mind simply would not take in the concepts. Maybe if the instructor had pulled me off to the side or talked to me one on one I could have explained to her my problem? Who knows…?

The only reason I started writing again was “email” – yep, the invention of email changed my world and got me to writing again. When email first came out it seemed no one paid attention to punctuation! People started to complement me on the things I wrote and did not mention anything about punctuation. My self-esteem for writing started to pick up again. Then I learned something very important: editors! Suddenly I realized that I had a fair idea of punctuation, it wasn’t as bad as I thought, but the content of what I wrote was always worthy, so I could have someone with knowledge of punctuation and grammar edit my writing!

And that’s what I did. When I wrote things of importance, which would be read by others, I started to always ask someone with extensive knowledge in the techniques of writing to edit my work.

That’s a very important discovery for all Adders I think. For reasons we can’t explain our minds will refuse to learn certain things and those things might have very important implications for the things we want to do and we hold ourselves back because of those things. We might not open a business because our math is inadequate, but that’s what accountants are for. Sometimes we just have to accept certain things and leave those things for those that can do them! The funny thing is that I started to learn little by little punctuation—it’s still not that great, but when editors returned my writing I would examine what they changed or corrected and in that way my mind started to take note of those changes. I do not even call the changes ‘corrections’, I call them slight changes.

So, that’s part of it, in order to achieve we must realize that a lot of the criticism that comes our way is because we are misunderstood and held to standards that our minds are not always capable of meeting. I would not be writing this blog if I let my punctuation skills stop me. You would not be reading a word from me. Maybe driving a car with a stick shift gives you fits—then drive an automatic! We might have limitations in certain areas, I am not arguing that, but in other areas we have capabilities beyond any limits! We cannot allow the limited areas to cripple our other areas! But, we do—don’t we?

Another problem I have while writing is that I procrastinate. Ever heard of that? Procrastination? Ha, I bet you thought I would never write about procrastination. I try to avoid it as much as possible—even writing about it. It is a curse; it is an illness all to its own. But, I have found a way around procrastination and I always use it when I am writing. If I don’t, I wind up sitting in front of my computer for hours with nary a sentence typed. And that sucks, just makes me angry to spend hours accomplishing—nothing.

My answer to procrastination? Music! Background music is the best solution I have for getting things done. In silence my mind seems to become silent—I drift off to dream world. Something about music gets me moving, gets my mind to churning and I become productive. I don’t pretend to know the science behind it, but it works and that’s good enough for me. Music also has an effect on what I write. If I am writing about something sad and want to get that across to my readers, well then, I put on some sad music. If I want to be exciting, then exciting music gets turned on. Mostly I like to keep the music as instrumentals, because lyrics tend to get in the way of my thinking and distract me. Have you tried it? Has it worked for you?

Have a wonderful day!