Writing Tips from Someone with ADD


If you know me at all, you know I’m all over the place. I can’t sit still without bobbing my foot up and down, and when I talk my words come out faster than what a lot of people can understand. That’s just how my mind works: it never stops. That makes writing very difficult, at least for me. Perhaps for some, writing is the only thing that makes them calm down.

Writing does calm my nerves down, but it doesn’t mean my mind slows. I sit down with the intention of writing for an hour straight, but then I end up sitting for 55 minutes thinking about everything and anything.

So here’s some tips that I’ve picked up that help me actually get some writing done when my mind is running a hundred miles an hour.


  1. Set a timer – better shorter than longer

This helps me because I have a deadline. If I know I need a certain amount of words done in 15 minutes then I’m going to work harder at getting those words out there because I know I can’t lollygag. I prefer shorter times rather than longer because if I say I need 500 words in 1 hour, then I’m going to sit there for 30 minutes procrastinating.


  1. Turn off the internet

One of the biggest obstacles in my writing path is the internet. One minute I tell myself I’m just going to watch this one video and the next thing I know is it’s been 2 hours and I’ve gotten 0 writing done. When I write now, the only internet access I allow myself is Pandora, thesaurus.com, or bing if I need to research anything.


  1. Music

Music is either your best friend, or the worst thing you could possibly listen to while writing. I have experienced both. Really, you just have to determine for yourself whether you get distracted or not. For me, I don’t listen to songs with words while writing. I have a nature sounds radio and a violin radio, which I can write while listening to, but at the same time it doesn’t always work out. There are some days where silence is the best sound that helps you keep focused on writing.


  1. Change your scene

I simply can’t write in the same spot day after day. If I’ve spent the week writing at my desk, I start to get bored and don’t focus as well. Sometimes all it takes is for me to move to my bed and suddenly my mind has switched gears and I can write easier.


  1. Don’t worry

It’s difficult having ADD and trying to sit still while focusing incredibly hard. Some days, no matter what you do, you aren’t going to be able to write all the words you want. That’s ok, just don’t give up. Try again tomorrow. Or sometimes you just need a little break. For me, I find I can write every day after work somewhat easily, but as soon as the weekend hits I can barely put two words together. Maybe that’s just the way my mind tells me that it’s done for a little bit. I don’t push it too hard on those days and use that time to expand my mind by reading or doing some other craft. Either way, I’m not being a failure by not writing for a day or two. I’m just recharging.


That being said, the longer you go from not writing, the harder it will be to start back up. So after a couple days, you may need to force yourself to write, no matter how much you don’t want to do so. On those days, try the tips above.


Now I don’t know if every writer with ADD struggles like I do or if these tricks will work for other people. They do work for me, however, so I thought I’d share them. The most important thing to remember is simply don’t give up. If you feel the need to write deep in your soul, then you fight against your ADD with all your might and write.


It’s easy for me to watch YouTube for hours, but at the end of the day I know I didn’t do anything worthwhile. I lived a pointless day. It is those days that inspire me to leave ‘easy’ behind and do what’s hard. Writing is hard, but I wouldn’t give up on it for the world. I have stories living inside of me that need to be told, so I’m going to tell them.


Anna Christine ❤