Writing on, and about, an island

Posts Tagged ‘Author’

Brain soup: writing + ADD + adulthood

In Writing on February 14, 2015 at 7:32 am

I don’t believe in god, but when she was wiring up my brain she obviously took some creative licence.

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I’ve just been diagnosed with ADD, about 30 years after it would have been helpful (but better late than never, I guess). I also have an anxiety disorder – fairly severe at times – plus OCD and a few other things thrown in (synaesthesia and sensory processing disorder).

On paper I sound like a bit of a basket case – but funnily enough I am, in others’ eyes at least, pretty successful, in-control and happy (I’m clearly not a bad actor either!). I’m also lucky to be gifted with a natural talent for writing, drawing and a knack for quickly mastering most things I try… when I can be bothered, which is almost never. I have noticed that, when I put in 10% effort, I get a 90% return – it’s probably why, despite my particular challenges, I’ve sailed through a lot of things with minimum commitment – but the occasions when I put in that 10% are very, very few and far between. And it’s getting harder, and more stressful, to pull off. As most ADD-ers would relate to, I feel like I’m in a permanently suspended state of ‘potential’, without ever achieving anything of any real substance.

The ADD diagnosis came at about the same time I received a literary grant to complete my first novel, and the time I found out I was pregnant. I have some large, immovable deadlines looming. As I run my own business as a writer and editor, and have a young family, I have layer upon layer of deadlines and responsibilities to manage.

To be honest, I’m not entirely sure how to do this year. I am anxious, angry, and immensely fucking frustrated. Finding out there’s a reason why my inner world is so splintered is a relief, and I wouldn’t necessarily want to be different, but I’m completely struck by the enormity of what’s in front of me. I can’t focus for more than a minute or so at a time (oh, how I thought that was normal…), yet I am going to be attempting a 60,000 page novel?

Right now, I’m thinking that I might aim for 333 words a day (that’s the OCD in me). I have also started reading other ‘ADD’ writers’ experiences, and they are inspiring. I will let you know how I go.

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An Idea: Writing Real Letters to Your Readers

In Books, Crime & Mystery Writer, Writing on March 27, 2012 at 4:24 pm

There’s a newish service you can subscribe to, called Letters in the Mail, where you receive ‘real’ letters in the post from authors on a regular basis. Apparently, it’s pretty successful. It gave me the idea that I should take the time to write – that’s handwrite – to people I know about the launch of my soon-to-be published book. It wouldn’t be to a lot of people, but in ‘this day and age’ (I sound like my grandmother), you should never underestimate the personal touch…

Twenty-First Century Ideas for Tasmania

In Books, Island Life, Tasmania, Writing on February 28, 2012 at 4:31 pm

I believe passionately in a new way of thinking and (more importantly) doing for Tasmania. For far too long, this island of huge potential has been held back by those who seek to maintain mediocrity – for what purpose, I can only begin to fathom. It makes me immensely angry.

There’s that thing called critical mass, though. And I feel we’re nearing it.

For example:

I was in the surf at North Bruny this past weekend (seeking relief from startling 40-degree heat; bushfires on the horizon) – and a few metres away from me, doing the same, was Dr Natasha Cica: fellow shack owner, talented author of Pedder Dreaming, former lawyer and current Director of the Inglis Clark Centre for Civil Society at UTAS.

In that moment, I felt grateful for the intelligence that can be found in Tasmania. Dr Cica is one of 12 ‘thought leaders’ who have received a 2012 Sidney Myer Creative Fellowship worth $160,000 over two years. She was selected with regard to two intellectual superhero-style criteria: outstanding talent and exceptional courage. Cool indeed.

Later that day, at North Bruny’s boat-inspired Jetty Cafe, I picked up a copy of the 2011 SALON/SOUTH: Twenty-First Century Ideas for Tasmania report. Natasha Cica has been instrumental in the SALON/SOUTH series; in its second successful year.

SALON/SOUTH brings thought leaders together to workshop new ideas and directions around ‘culture’, ‘community’ and ‘capital’ – all in the desire to create positive change for our challenging island environment.

As an example – and I can’t believe this is even an issue in 2012 – how about Tasmanian leaders investigate the idea of making Grade 12 the end of compulsory schooling, not Grade 10? Our education stats are improving, but still woefully inadequate on the world stage.

So, for the amateur thought leaders out there…

If you believe in thinking outside the lines, challenging the status quo, and looking forward – regardless of where you live – I recommend you read the report. And be inspired to create change.

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