I’ve always loved to write.
As a child I would stay in my room writing fantastic stories in my notebook. But in school, I couldn’t learn grammar to save my life.
I never passed an English class, ever. At age 37 I finally found out why. It was because of undiagnosed ADD.
All those painful years in school, listening to teachers drone on and on about adverbs, adjectives and conjunctions bored me to tears. I still don’t know what they all mean, I really don’t. It’s not because I don’t want to or that I don’t try “hard” enough, as some non-ADHD-understanding opinions would have it.
The simple truth is I can’t remember. Well, not in the normal way. Let’s just say, “I know” but I will never be able to pass a pop quiz, and I am cool with that. (Kind of – okay, already, I wish I could remember, you got me, but I can’t. So there.)
However, thanks to some insightful, brilliant teachers online I have gotten better.
If you ask writing teachers what the number 1 advice is for becoming a better writer most will tell you to read a lot. I believe this is especially true for people with ADHD. Despite my reading problems (yep, I have those, too) I read a lot, I always have. And for the most part that is how I have learned to write.
I write mostly from “feeling”. I put a period here and a comma there because it feels right, not because I know it’s right. Don’t get me started about “Its” and It’s” – I do the same thing, I feel them into place - it’s what I do. However, I’ve been known to get it wrong. But don’t worry, I’m over it.
Comma splices? Oh, goodness. What a headache. As you can tell, I am using periods more frequently now. Just don’t ask me to explain what a comma splice is, please. My solution is short sentences. I’ll claim I’m following in the footsteps of Hemingway, if anyone asks. Hey, do what you’ve got to do, I say.
Of course, not everyone with ADHD has this problem with learning grammar, but for those of you who do I’ve compiled a list of online articles that have helped me improve.
I’ve found that my ADHD brain learns best when lessons are simple, to the point and use clear, obvious examples and that’s what the articles below do very well.
Check out these links:
From The Write Practice:
The following link takes you to a series of lessons. You can sign up on the page and receive the lessons weekly. That’s what I did. If I try to learn too much too fast I tend to forget what I learned. In other words, I learn best in small doses (Oh, and there’s a lesson on comma splices. Go figure). It seems to me Joe Bunting, the leader of The Write Practice, understands how difficult it is for many of us to learn grammar and how to write better. Joe goes to great lengths to insure the articles are helpful in the simplest manner possible (and that’s hard work).
From Jeff Goins:
Jeff also teaches a special class, Tribe Writers. If you’re interested in finding an audience for your writing Tribe Writers is the class for you. It’s closed at the moment to new sign ups, but I’ll let you know when it reopens. Jeff is a writer and he’s also an outstanding teacher, the link below helped me cut certain words and make my writing more effective (I think).
From K.M. Weiland:
A Quick Ode Against “That” (Did you know that “that” can be a problem? Don’t get me started. No. Really, don’t.)
From Live Write Thrive:
Serial Commas Are Serious Stuff (Seriously.)
The reality is if you want to write and be read, then it is important to do the best writing you can and to that end it is a good idea to find out how you learn best. My advice for anyone with ADHD is to find lessons that are explained in the simplest way, are to the point and have clear, obvious examples. If you’re like me, anything else and you’ll get bored to tears.
What has been most difficult for you to learn about writing? Share in the comments.
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