Dylan.Blog Writing and musings by Dylan Reed

ADHD and Hobbies

ADHD and Hobbies - picture of a puppet

Everyone has hobbies right? Or if they don’t they want one. Hobbies are the things that keep us sane when work sucks, or life sucks, or whatever. Having a thing you do that makes you happy is important.

One of the hard parts of having ADHD is that I am not great at finishing things. I am an expert at starting projects, probably one of the best in the world at starting things.

I am unclear if my passionate curiousity is part of my ADHD or if it is just who I am, but I am in love with learning new things. Not enough that I will ever have a bachelors degree, but I am constantly researching and learning new things.

Take those first three paragraphs and you can imagine what my hobbies look like. I have many hobbies, I rarely finish projects, and I constantly aquire new hobbies. It has taken actual will power on my part to not continue buying things for hobbies I don’t actually do.

What is great about this “problem” is that I am never bored. If I don’t feel like doing one hobby, I can jump over to another without feeling guilty or anything.

Here is the list of current hobbies that I am activly participating in:

  • Puppet fabrication
  • Minecraft
  • Music production
  • Quilt piecing
  • Dungeons and Dragons
  • Ukulele Playing
  • Knitting
  • Writing
  • Drawing

Each one of those branches off into its own little side branches. Which leads me to new things to research and try out.

One of the “problems” I currently have is I am in a place where I can spend money on hobbies, instead of just looking and never buying. Because of my ADHD I lack impulse control so not buying things is super hard.

Since the internet makes buying things so easy and a lot of the equipment I need to do things I am fascinated with is no longer hard to optain I have been able to explore things I couldn’t before.

Puppet building is the greatest example of this. When I first made puppets about ten years ago I used inferior materials. The good stuff was to difficult to obtain and so I made do with what I had on hand. Now I can find amazing materials that take my puppets to the next level and they show up in a couple days.

I have often thought that I should prioritize my hobbies. Pick the ones that are my favorite and focus on those. I have even read that focusing on multiple things makes you mediocre at all of the things. But I do it all for fun so who cares. Just like when I was entertaining I will be a Jack of All Trades, Master of None.

If you look at the list of hobbies that I work on and take out the games, you are left with a list that is all about visual story telling. Making puppets, making clothes, making music, drawing storyboards, and writing a story. If I would take the time, I could make a movie. I probably won’t, but I am developing the skills to do just that.

What I need to do is figure out how to make my hobbies into a Voltron like hobby. Combine them all into one super hobby. That would be so awesome. Or maybe I should just make a mascot costume.

Trying and Failing

Trying and Failing - Picture of my cat Ramona being beautiful

In my previous post I said I was working on new writing at that my focus for the rest of 2018 was to write new things. That didn’t happen. For a lot of reasons that aren’t really important I have fallen out of practice witing.

When I do sit down to write I feel lost as to what I should be working on. I have a lot of ideas, but I can’r seem to focus on any of them. I bombed NaNoWriMo the past two years because I can’t pick a story to focus on.

I don’t have any idea how to fix this, I just have to keep trying and know that failure is part of the process. Reviewing my writing plan that I set up a year ago I found a well thought out plan for a year of productive writing. I just have to do it.

That is what I am hoping to do in 2019: Focus on the plan and produce work.

I did some reflecting on my two sucessful NaNo years, which were my two most productive writing years and here the biggest change was my job and Sarah’s job.

Previous to my current job I was able to carve out time to write during the day and didn’t have the same emotional stress in my job. Being emotionally drained at the end of the day makes it hard for me to pour my emotions into a story.

Previous to Sarah’s current job, she would leave the house at ungodly hours in the morning, leaving me with an hour before I even had to think about getting ready. I love the time I have with Sarah, and trading that writing time to spend more time with her is a no brainer.

As every article, book, or post about writing says: it is up to me to make time to write. That is what I need to do. Figure out a time everyday that I can sit down and write. This will force me to get back into practice and increase my output.

The one positive from this last year for my writing is that I have read a lot of new books, writing by a pretty diverse group of people, which will make my fiction stronger.

Stay tuned for more writing.

Don’t forget that you can support my writing efforts on Patreon

And so it begins

And so it begins - Door Mat that says There are a bunch of cats in here

I am at a small crossroads in my writing. It is a wonderful crossroads, but one I haven’t come to before. When I first came to it, I panicked. But I have come to realize that I am lucky to find myself here.

One path is continuing to try and fix my first novel. To start and complete another rewrite, because it still doesn’t feel right. Using the feedback I have recieved from people I respect to try and make it the best story possible.

The other path is to let it go. To realize that since it was my first novel that it has A LOT of problems that won’t be fixed easily. To instead focus on a new project.

The second path doesn’t mean the end of the line for Calliope or the world I have created. It means that it is going to sit in a virtual box and be left alone until I am able to give it the attention it deserves.

I have already started on the second path. I have been outlining and planning new stories and that is going to be my focus for the rest of 2018: to produce new works and become a better writer.

Don’t forget that you can support my writing efforts on Patreon

Idle Hands

Idle Hands - A bullet in a drainage grate near IKEA

This blog has existed for almost 6000 days and I have written 716 posts. Doing the math shows that I have posted a blog almost every week for sixteen years and five months.

Granted, there have been times when I haven’t posted for months at a time, but there have been times when I have posted daily. It all evens out.

When I was first looking at the numbers I was shocked that I averaged one post every eight days. I assumed that it would be one a month or every two weeks. Apparently I am cooler than I thought.

What I have been upto since December 2017

  • Working a lot
  • Reading a lot
  • Writing some
  • Playing a lot of idle games
  • Role Playing Games
  • Thinking about things

About a year ago I changed jobs. I went from a very negative, almost hostile, work environment to a place that values me for who I am. And I love it.

It isn’t just that I am suported at work, it is that I love what I do. I spend my days talking about death and dying. It is amazing.

Last year I planned out the books I was going to read and this year I have just been reading what interests me. And it has gone a lot better. Part of my reading this year has been focused on the craft of writing.

I haven’t been writing as regularly as I would like. Part of this was because I was brain dead when I got home, part of it was stress related, and part was because I got lazy and fell out of practice.

Idle games are my newest crack. They are great time wasters and they give me a break when I have a moment in my day. I will probably be writing about them more in the future.

My friend Jon and I have been experimenting with tabletop RPGs over the internet. Since Jon moved to Steamboat I haven’t had a steady game and it has been nice to be able to do some collaborative story telling with a friend. Also of note: STARFINDER IS FANTASTIC!!

I have been exploring meditation as a way of coping with the heavy emotional burden my job can place on me. Sitting still is hard, but it has been worth it for the peace of mind I have.

Don’t forget that you can support my writing efforts on Patreon