Piece by Piece

One of my biggest challenges with ADHD has always been with breaking projects into smaller pieces or in understanding how small efforts will add up to a larger whole.

I’ve referred to it before as a ‘reverse forest for the trees issue.’ It’s not that I get so caught up in the trees that I can’t see the forest, it’s that the forest is one solid unit – I have to work hard to see that it is composed of a series of individual trees.

However, a combination of a food level of medication and some excellent systems has made piece by piece planning and work readily available to me for the first time in my life.

It really takes a lot of stress out of things, doesn’t it?

No wonder you can all work so steadily!

A GIF of red lego blocks being added together to build a larger block.
GIF description: red lego blocks are added one by one to make a larger lego block.

Taking better care of myself

Like everyone else, I find that I frequently have a stiff neck. This is, in part, because of bad habits while texting, reading, or using the computer, but it’s also definitely related to the fact that I ‘brace’ when I am trying to concentrate.

My ADHD meds help me a lot but but I still have a little extra trouble focusing at times and I fall back into old habits – pushing my hand on the desk or clenching my jaw or holding very still – to hold myself ‘in place.’

Luckily, I stumbled on this video a while back and it is very restful and fun way to help find some ease in my neck.

Writing & Planning

I’m still figuring out how I want to organize my writing time this summer.

For a change, I have a lot of control over my own schedule. And my ADHD meds are at a level that allows me to plan out my projects and make the most of my time in a whole new way.

I have a novel and a bunch of short stories to revise and it feels great to know that I have the time and the capacity to reshape them into the stories I want to tell.

I haven’t figured out my schedule yet but I know that I can, and I am just going to enjoy this feeling for a few more days before I make myself decide.

After all, I don’t want to let all of this marvellous time slip away from me.

A person’s hands unrolling a rolled ‘battle plan.’
It won’t be a battle but I like the idea of unfurling a plan like this. image description: a GIF of a person’s hands unrolling a large, hand-drawn ‘Battle Plan’ on a table top.

Isolation Brain?

Normally, I pride myself on my ability to communicate effectively.

I am careful with what I say. I weigh the possible impact of my words before I say them. I try to see the other person’s perspective so I can imagine how they arrived at the conclusion they did. I examine what I am saying for possible bias, privilege, and all of the (mostly) invisible things that come along with those things.

But now, in the last three days, I have made several fairly upsetting communication errors that have caused me a lot of stress.

(I’m not vague-blogging here, the details of the errors are just not relevant.)

I’m wondering if the switch to mostly digital communication has made it trickier to use the skills I have. Or, if the combinations of ambient stressors right now has just made my skills less sharp.

I have been saying that this whole isolation thing has affected me less than it has affected many others because I already work from home and my whole family is full of homebodies. Not having to go out is not a source of stress for us (at least not a conscious one.)

But the frustrations of the past few days are making very curious about the subconscious effects of this whole situation.

Or, you know, maybe I’m just out of sorts. 😉

Writing workshop with Rana Tahir

I enjoy all of the opportunities that have sprung up for me since everyone is moving their lives and businesses online.

I’ve attended a story circle in Ottawa and I played games with a friend in Toronto and I’ve written with people all over the world.

And yesterday, I attended a ‘How to write a Choose Your Own Adventure book ’ workshop led by Rana Tahir and hosted by Book Revue.

The funny thing was that, on Wednesday, I was driving home from the supermarket and thinking about different types of writing I would like to do. One of the types that crossed my mind was Choose Your Own Adventure books. When I got home, one of my friends had posted about Ms. Tahir’s workshop in a group chat. Serendipity!

Anyway, the workshop was great! Not only is Ms. Tahir an engaging and knowledgeable instructor but she had chosen the perfect amount of information to include.

She was clear from the start about how much information she was covering and she delivered the information clearly. It’s no wonder she could write a detailed and interlocking book – she obviously knows how to make a good plan!

I’m excited about trying to write a CYOA book but I am even more excited to see how I can use the knowledge I gained about workshop scope and design from watching Ms. Tahir.

Thanks to Rana Tahir and Book Revue for the workshop and thanks to Monique for letting me know about it!