7 Tips For Neurodivergent Writers
Let me start by saying that I am by no means attempting to give you a definitive guide to writing as a neurodivergent person. Every writer has their own unique interaction between neurotype, personality, history and current circumstances.
Although I consider myself a good writer, like many things in my life, there are times when I struggle with it. When I was in high school, my English teacher said told me, “you make writing much harder than it needs to be.” It took me decades to realise what she meant.
I had no idea then that I was autistic or that there was anything different about my brain. I had no frame of reference for exploring why things were harder for me. Hard was my normal and my answer to most things was to try harder.
Neurodivergent folk don’t really do straightforward. Having all that messaging pinging back and forth in your brain at any given time tends to complicate things.
So why would I continue to struggle with something I find difficult, anxiety provoking and at times, exhausting?
My need to write is something that cannot be extinguished because it burns with the urge to express myself authentically. I’ve learned that the more I’m able to do this, the more it resonates with readers. While that’s not necessarily the end goal, it certainly adds depth and satisfaction to the practice of writing.
So here’s some ways I’m learning (note: it’s a work in progress) to manage the writing process.
Plan your time and use it intentionally
Okay so let’s get the boring part out of the way. Turn off the phone and other electronic devices or at least put them out or reach so you can’t just mindlessly reach for them in an idle moment. Time block an hour, two hours, whatever you can handle and commit to writing for that time. Set an alarm and when it goes off, stop.
I find my productivity drops dramatically after two hours and I generally don’t feel great about any work I do after that time. Ending when it’s going well makes me more inclined to go back to it. Ending mid-sentence is actually a good idea because it gives you an easy way…