The ADHD Writer

25 Strategies to Break Through Creative Barriers

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) presents some unique challenges for writers. The core symptoms of inattention, impulsivity, hyperactivity, and emotional dysregulation can make it extraordinarily difficult to focus on writing tasks, outline stories, organize thoughts, and sit still long enough to bring projects to completion.

However, the gifts that often accompany ADHD like high energy, outside-the-box thinking, hyperfocus on passions, and quick-flowing idea generation can be a real asset for creativity. Writers with ADHD just need to develop the right strategies to minimize the difficulties and truly harness the advantages.

Here are 25 thoroughly researched, comprehensive strategies to help ADHD writers break through those pesky creative barriers and truly thrive:

Identify and Work During Your Peak Concentration Times

Pinpoint the specific times of day when you have the most energy and focus through trial and error. Is it first thing in the morning before external stimuli pile on? Late at night when the world quiets down? Whenever you experience that elusive feeling of “flow?” Schedule your most demanding writing sessions during these peak productivity times when your mind is least distracted. Don’t try to force writing when you know your concentration will be poor.

Use White Noise, Music, or Nature Sounds to Block External Distractions

Experiment with putting on some gentle, non-lyrical white noise, instrumental music, nature sounds, or ambient soundscapes to help drown out external distractions. Having a consistent neutral audio background can prevent you from being sidetracked by errant noises like traffic, neighbors, or outside conversations. Customize the soundtrack to your preferences. Cafe chatter, thunderstorms, or piano music could all do the trick.

Write by Hand to Avoid Digital Diversions

Typing on a computer makes it all too easy to compulsively check email, and social media, or search down tangential internet rabbit holes. The simple solution? Occasionally write by hand using old-fashioned pen and paper. Not only will avoiding digital devices eliminate those online temptations, but writing by hand may actually boost creativity. Studies show that handwriting engages the brain differently than typing, activating the visual centers and improving learning, focus, and idea generation.

Use a Timer App for Focused, Timeboxed Writing Sprints

Use technology to your advantage. Download a timer app and then hyperfocus in short, concentrated bursts. Set the timer for 25-minute writing sprints, then reward yourself with a 5-minute break when the alarm goes off. The pressure of the ticking clock can boost motivation and productivity. Repeat these pomodoro technique intervals as needed.

Change Up Your Physical Scenery to Stimulate Creativity

If you’re feeling stuck or stymied in your regular workspace, get out and write somewhere totally new like a coffee shop, library, coworking space, or different room in your home. Sometimes, simply changing your physical scenery and moving your body can generate creative breakthroughs. Exposure to new sights, sounds, and people sparks the mind.

Brainstorm Out Loud Into a Voice Recorder App

Unstick your mind by free-associating ideas, characters, plot points, or snippets of dialogue out loud rather than just inside your head. Pace around, gesture with your hands, make faces and speak the ideas aloud. Let it flow uncensored. Recording tools on your phone can capture spur-of-the-moment thoughts whenever inspiration strikes. Transcribe your ramblings later to extract the gems.

Find an Accountability Partner to Report Progress

Knowing you have to report your writing progress to someone else can provide the external motivation and accountability so many ADHD writers need but lack internally. Find a trusted writing friend and check in regularly. Or go public and post your goals on social media where friends can cheer you on. Joining a writer’s mastermind group promotes communal progress.

Outline Visually to Organize Your Thoughts

Writing down an ordered outline can be torture for ADHD brains. Organizing and properly sequencing your ideas seems impossible. So don’t do it the traditional way. Create a rough mind map, sketch, or doodle to outline the structure visually. Add bubbles, boxes, icons, and colors to represent different elements. Arrow flow charts between points. Draw it by hand on whiteboards or use software mind mapping tools.

Leverage Writing Apps With Organization and Project Management Features

The right software can provide invaluable structure when your ADHD brain is chaotic. Apps like Scrivener, Storyist, and Milanote have document management, note-taking, corkboard, and organization features specifically designed for writers. Use them in tandem with to-do list apps to schedule and track progress.

Set a Daily or Weekly Word Count Goal

Nothing motivates like a measurable goal. Establish a baseline daily or weekly word count objective tailored to your schedule. Start small, then increase the goal gradually as you build momentum. Simply focusing on consistently writing 250 words per day is more sustainable long term than demanding 1,000 words sporadically.

Write in Focused Bursts More Frequently

Your ADHD brain is unlikely to maintain concentration for hours-long writing stretches. Instead of agonizing over writing for prolonged blocks, break projects into bite-sized chunks. Aim to write for 20-30 focused minutes two to three times per day rather than a lengthy session. Frequent short bursts are more easily digestible.

Schedule Mandatory Breaks to Regularly Recharge Your Brain

Don’t burn yourself out trying to write for multi-hour marathons. Build in frequently required minibreaks where you deliberately stand up from your desk, walk away, stretch, grab a healthy snack, chat with a friend, or do 10 jumping jacks. Schedule these breaks on your calendar or set a timer to enforce them. Your brain needs regular recharging to rejuvenate focus.

Maintain a Consistent Sleeping Schedule, Even on Weekends

ADHD brains particularly require 7-9 hours of quality sleep per night to function optimally. But irregular sleep cycles can exacerbate ADHD symptoms and daytime drowsiness destroys concentration. Establish consistent bedtime and wake-up times, even on weekends. Keeping a stable sleep schedule ensures you’re operating at peak performance all day.

Limit Distracting Phone Use and Online Activities

For ADHD minds, glancing at phones can quickly spiral out of control into full-on social media escapades, link-hopping, and YouTube binges. Set clear limits on distracting digital activities during writing time using website blockers like Freedom or Forest, hiding apps in folders, or enabling Do Not Disturb. Gradually extending focus away from phones trains your brain.

Work Outside Your Comfort Zone and Perfectionist Tendencies

The blank page can instill paralyzing perfectionism, preventing you from starting because you know it won’t be flawless immediately. Don’t wait for divine inspiration to strike. Just start writing anything – you can edit and polish it later. Doing beats doubting. Shut off your inner critic and work beyond your comfort zone.

Set Process Goals Rather Than Outcome Goals

People with ADHD tend to be less motivated by end results and more driven by the process itself. Rather than focusing on desired outcomes, set goals for the work and process like writing for 30 minutes daily, brainstorming chapter outlines twice per week, or researching a niche topic. Celebrate checking items off your process to-do list.

Batch Similar Writing Tasks to Maintain Momentum

Organize your writing to-do list into related items you can do in one sitting before switching gears. For example, knock out outlining three chapters in a row rather than constantly switching between outlining, researching, editing, and emailing. Grouping similar tasks together reduces task-switching drainage.

Stock Healthy Snacks to Avoid Decision Fatigue

Midafternoon hunger, low blood sugar, or vitamin deficiencies severely drain mental stamina. Keep your desk stocked with protein bars, nuts, fruits, jerky, yogurt, and other brain-boosting snacks you can munch mindlessly while writing. Preparation eliminates decision fatigue when focus wavers.

Stay Properly Hydrated with Water or Herbal Tea

Dehydration exacerbates common ADHD symptoms like headaches, distractibility, fatigue, and restlessness. Keep water or herbal tea at arm’s reach and set phone alerts if necessary. Proper hydration energizes the mind and body. Bring a refillable water bottle everywhere.

Use Calming Essential Oils to Get in The Zone

Inhale soothing scents like lavender, bergamot, cedarwood, and frankincense during writing sessions to reduce stress and relax your racing mind. The aromatherapy benefits can set the mood. Dab oils on your wrists or diffuse them around your workspace.

Take Regular Movement and Exercise Breaks

Sitting motionless for too long can take an immense toll on ADHD bodies accustomed to fidgeting and motion. Every 30-60 minutes, take a 3-5 minute break to walk around, stretch, dance, do jumping jacks, take a lap around your block, or do anything active. Get your blood and ideas flowing.

Set Up Reminders, Alarms, and Alerts

Use calendar appointments, timer apps, alarm clocks, or phone alerts to remind yourself of scheduled writing session start times. Auditory reminders help snap you into action if distraction sets in. Visual reminders keep sessions top of mind.

Reward Yourself After Reaching Concrete Milestones

Attach rewards like watching an episode of a favorite show, enjoying a special treat, taking time off, doing a beloved hobby after finishing sections, or chapters, or hitting daily word count goals. Having something tangible to look forward to motivates progress.

Verbalize Your Writing Goals and Affirmations Daily

The simple act of vocalizing your intentions helps cement them in reality. Repeat your writing goals and affirmations out loud to yourself every morning. Hearing yourself state and commit to your aims, rather than just thinking about them, imprints them deeper.

Silence Your Inner Critic in Early Drafts

The instinct to judge early drafts as inadequate or poorly written can severely hinder getting words on paper in the first place. Remind yourself over and over that you can polish, refine, tweak, and perfect later stages. Initially, just focus on brain-dumping ideas without overthinking quality.

Conclusion While ADHD can undoubtedly complicate the writing process, implementing even a handful of these strategies allows you to actively manage symptoms, play to your strengths, and break through obstacles holding you back. Experiment to determine which specific approaches best support your unique needs and wiring. With the right structure and systems in place, your neurodiversity can become a portal to far more effective writing and unleashing your creativity. The obstacles melt away when you truly embrace your inner ADHD writing superpowers. 

Welcome to Chris Jay Becker.Com

Hello, there, I’m Chris Jay Becker. I’m a veteran writer. I’ve written everything from screenplays to mystery/crime novels to stand-up comedy. I’ve also written ad copy, radio and TV commercials, telemarketing scripts, and website and blog content with or without SEO. I’m also a freelance editor specializing in both Fiction and Non-Fiction Kindle books. Let me know what you need written, edited, or both.

Carnegie, Hill, & Stone’s Rules of Success

Andrew Carnegie’s 10 Rules of Success. These often-cited rules were never actually listed as-such by Carnegie, but were drawn from Napoleon Hill’s articles from Success Magazine:

1. Define Your Purpose

2. Create a Master Alliance

3. Go the Extra Mile

4. Practice Applied Faith

5. Have Personal Initiative

6. Indulge your Imagination

7. Exert Enthusiasm

8. Think Accurately

9. Concentrate your Effort

10. Profit from Adversity.

Napoleon Hill’s “Think and Grow Rich” outlines the following 13 Steps to Success, which he also attributes to Andrew Carnegie:

1. Desire:

Have a burning desire for your goal.

2. Faith:

Believe in yourself and your ability to achieve your goals.

3. Autosuggestion:

Use affirmations and positive self-talk to program your mind for success.

4. Specialized Knowledge:

Acquire specialized knowledge and skills in your chosen field.

5. Imagination:

Visualize and create a clear mental image of your desired outcome.

6. Organized Planning:

Develop a detailed plan of action toward your goals.

7. Decision:

Make prompt and decisive decisions.

8. Persistence:

Persevere in the face of obstacles and setbacks.

9. Power of the Master Mind:

Surround yourself with a group of like-minded individuals for support and collaboration.

10. Transmutation:

Channel your sexual energy into creative endeavors. Freud called this Sublimation.

11. The Subconscious Mind:

Understand and utilize the power of your subconscious mind.

12. The Brain:

Develop and utilize your brain to its full potential.

13. The Sixth Sense:

Tap into your intuition and higher consciousness for guidance.

These 13 steps are presented as principles and strategies for achieving success in various aspects of life.

W. Clement Stone distilled these 13 Steps into 3 Keys in his Success System that Never Fails:

Three Keys:

1. Inspiration to Action:

Your Goal, your burning desire.

2. Know-how:

Learning the steps necessary. Research. Study. Create a workable plan.

3. Activity Knowledge:

Learning through trial and error. Work the plan. Don’t give up.

To quote Earl Nightengale, “All you need is the plan, the road map, and the courage to press on to your destination.”

Mastering the Craft:

Essential Copywriting and Content Writing Tips for New Writers.


In the digital age, where captivating content reigns supreme, mastering the art of copywriting and content writing is a valuable skill for aspiring writers. Whether you’re crafting compelling headlines, penning persuasive sales copy, or creating engaging blog posts, honing your writing skills is essential to captivate your audience and drive results. In this blog post, we will explore fundamental tips and techniques that will help new writers navigate the world of copywriting and content writing with confidence.

  1. Understand Your Audience: Before you start writing, take the time to understand your target audience. Research their demographics, interests, pain points, and aspirations. By developing a deep understanding of your audience, you can tailor your content to resonate with their needs, emotions, and desires. This understanding will guide your choice of language, tone, and style, enabling you to connect authentically with your readers.
  2. Craft Compelling Headlines: The headline is the first point of contact between your content and your audience. A powerful headline grabs attention, piques curiosity, and entices readers to explore further. Experiment with different headline structures, such as asking questions, offering solutions, or evoking emotions. Make your headlines specific, concise, and relevant to your content. Remember, a well-crafted headline can make all the difference in capturing your readers’ interest.
  3. Write with Clarity and Simplicity: In the world of copywriting and content writing, clarity is key. Your message should be easily understood, even by readers with limited knowledge of the subject matter. Avoid jargon, unnecessary complexity, and convoluted sentences. Instead, strive for simplicity and conciseness. Use clear language, break down complex ideas into digestible chunks, and ensure your writing flows smoothly from one point to another.
  4. Tell a Compelling Story: Humans are wired to connect with stories. Infuse your copy and content with storytelling elements to engage and captivate your readers. Start with a strong opening that grabs attention, weave a narrative that resonates with your audience, and conclude with a memorable takeaway. Incorporate relatable characters, conflicts, and resolutions to create an emotional connection. A well-told story has the power to leave a lasting impact on your readers.
  5. Edit and Proofread Diligently: Great writing is often the result of careful editing and proofreading. After completing your first draft, take the time to review and refine your content. Check for grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors. Ensure that your sentences flow smoothly and your ideas are organized logically. Remove any unnecessary fluff or repetition. Consider seeking feedback from trusted peers or utilizing editing tools to enhance the clarity and effectiveness of your writing.
  6. Embrace SEO Principles: In the realm of online content, search engine optimization (SEO) plays a crucial role. Familiarize yourself with basic SEO principles, such as keyword research, meta tags, and optimized content structure. Incorporate relevant keywords naturally within your content to improve its visibility in search engine results. However, always prioritize writing for humans first and foremost. Balancing SEO and reader engagement is the key to creating content that performs well in search rankings and resonates with your audience.


Embarking on a journey as a copywriter or content writer can be both exciting and challenging. By implementing these fundamental tips and techniques, new writers can enhance their skills and create compelling, impactful content. Remember to understand your audience, craft attention-grabbing headlines, communicate with clarity and simplicity, infuse storytelling elements, diligently edit and proofread, and embrace SEO principles. With practice and perseverance, you will develop the proficiency to engage your readers, drive conversions, and make a lasting impact in the world of writing.

Positive Thinking & Positive Actions

A forgotten key to harnessing Positive Thinking, Manifestation, and the Law of Attraction.


In a world filled with challenges and uncertainties, the power of positive thinking, manifesting our desires, and the law of attraction offer a beacon of hope and transformation. These concepts empower us to shape our reality, attract abundance, and live a more fulfilling life. In this blog post, we delve into the profound impact of positive thinking, explore the art of manifestation, and unravel the mysteries behind the law of attraction.

The Power of Positive Thinking:

Positive thinking is not merely about plastering a smile on our faces or denying the existence of challenges. It is a mindset that embraces optimism, resilience, and the belief that our thoughts shape our reality. As we cultivate positive thoughts, we create a fertile ground for personal growth, happiness, and success. It is the key that unlocks our potential and propels us forward, even in the face of adversity.

Manifesting Desires:

Manifestation is the process of bringing our desires into physical reality. By aligning our thoughts, beliefs, and actions with what we want to attract, we open the doors to unlimited possibilities. When we vividly imagine our goals, feel the emotions associated with their achievement, and take inspired action, we set in motion a powerful force that guides us toward their fulfillment. Manifestation is a dynamic dance between intention and inspired effort, where we become co-creators of our destiny.

The Law of Attraction:

At the heart of manifestation lies the law of attraction, a universal principle that states that like attracts like. According to this law, our predominant thoughts and emotions send out energetic vibrations that magnetize similar experiences, people, and opportunities into our lives. By consciously directing our focus toward what we desire, we create a magnetic field that draws those experiences closer to us. The law of attraction reminds us that we are not victims of circumstance but powerful creators of our reality.

Your mindset is a magnet, attracting experiences that align with your thoughts. Embrace positive thinking and watch your world transform with endless possibilities.

Gratitude should fuel your journey each day. Take a moment to appreciate the small joys, kind gestures, and the lessons learned. Gratitude opens doors to abundance and invites more blessings into our lives.

Positive Actions:

The hardest part for most of us is moving from POSITIVE THINKING to POSITIVE ACTING, or, if you will, POSITIVE ACTIONS. Note that I didn’t say “Action” which can be singular or plural, rather I said “actions,” which is undeniably plural.

In his masterful work, “The Success System That Never Fails,” W. Clement Stone in essence distills Napoleon Hill’s 13 Steps for Success, which Hill received from Billionaire Andrew Carnegie, into Three Keys:

  1. Inspiration to Action: That is, your burning, driving desire, your Life’s GOAL.
  2. Know-How: Doing the market research, and the education, on the steps needed to achieve that Life’s Goal.
  3. Activity Knowledge: This is the further knowledge you gain by actually DOING the necessary work, going the extra mile, being persistent, grinding it out, day in, day out, through trial and error. As inventor William Painter said, “The only way to do a thing… is to DO it.”


Positive thinking, manifesting our desires, and the law of attraction are not merely abstract concepts, but powerful tools that enable us to live a life of purpose, abundance, and joy. By cultivating positive thoughts, visualizing our goals, and aligning our energies, we tap into our innate potential to create the reality we desire. Let us embrace the power within and become conscious creators of our destiny. As we navigate life’s journey with optimism and unwavering belief, we unlock the magic. Then, once our mindset is right, we must get to work, using Positive thinking AND Positive actions.

The success system that never fails?

I have written before about my early experience with the writings of W. Clement Stone. I recently found a PMA Coin on eBay, similar to the Challenge Coin I was once awarded in Combined Insurance sales school in 1986. The bronze coin has Mr. Stone on it along with “PMA” and the three keys to Mr. Stone’s “Success System that Never Fails.” The three keys: Inspiration to Action, Know-how, and Activity Knowledge. To a modern reader, the first two steps are fairly self-explanatory, but let’s break them down:

Inspiration to Action

This is when you are motivated to do something, to get something, to achieve a goal. It could be something as simple as making some extra money. The key is turning that want, that need, that goal, from a simple desire to something actionable. Doing something. Adding the Action to the Inspiration.

But what action do you take? That’s where the second key comes in:

Know How

Now I realize that “Know-how” is kind of an archaic term that sounds kind of folksy and quaint, but we all know what it means. Know How is the knowledge we get when we research our Action to see what steps are necessary to achieve our goal. For example, say we’ve identified our goal of making passive income from home. We must then research the various ways to make passive income then see which strategy appeals to us as being achievable. We have to weigh the pros and cons of each method, each product, each service. Once we’ve decided on the plan we wish to do, based on our Know-How, then come the next step:

Activity Knowledge

This is the Test phase. We learn, through Trial and Success, how to sell our product, how to monetize the thing. If our product, for instance, was a copywriting Sales Letter, this would be the Test Letter phase where we learn whether or not our Sales Letter is the Control… the one that motivates customers to buy. When it does not work, we try something else. As Mr Stone put it, “Through Trial and Success.” Note, that it’s not through Trial and Error, but, rather, through Trial and Success. That’s the PMA way.


Note that the Three Keys not only segue from one to another, they actually contain aspects of each other because it’s basically Desire-meets-Action-meets-Result. So this continuum of Thought-meets-Action is an organic process. If I want a Pepsi, and I know that there is a Pepsi in my refrigerator, then I must get off my couch, walk across the room, open the refrigerator, and grab that Pepsi. Then I must cross the room back to my couch, open the bottle, and drink that Pepsi.

Whether my goal is to get a Pepsi, or to make $1000, the process is the same:

Inspiration to Action: Make a Goal

Know-How: Learn How To Achieve that Goal

Activity Knowledge: Execute the Plan

Conceive, Believe, then Achieve

“Whatever you can conceive, and believe, you can achieve, through hard work and a positive mental attitude.” W. Clement Stone.


The first step in manifesting your destiny is to conceive of what you want. This means taking the time to think about what you want to achieve and how you want to live your life.

It is important to be specific and to focus on the positive aspects of what you want to create. Once you have a clear vision of what you want, you can begin to believe in it.


Believing in your vision is essential to manifesting your destiny. You must have faith that you can make it happen and that you are capable of achieving your goals. This means believing in yourself and in your ability to make your dreams come true. It also means believing in the power of the universe and trusting that it will help you manifest your destiny.


The final step in manifesting your destiny is to take action. This means taking steps to make your vision a reality. It could be as simple as setting goals and taking steps to reach them, or it could involve more complex actions such as networking and finding mentors.

You’ve heard the maxim: Necessity is the mother of Invention? Throughout human history people have looked for solutions to everyday problems and have invented tools and technology to solve those problems.

Whatever it is, it is important to take action and to keep taking action until you reach your goals.

Conceive, Believe, then Achieve: Manifesting your Destiny is a powerful concept that can help you create the life you want. By taking the time to conceive of what you want, believing in it, and then taking action to make it happen, you can manifest your destiny and create the life you desire.

Surefire Hacks to Supercharge Your Writing

This article is for all the writers who want to improve their writing skills. It will provide tips and tricks on how to write better, faster, and smarter.

Some of the tips and trade secrets that will be discussed in this article are:

  • How to write more efficiently.
  • How to use your time wisely.
  • How to use your writing skills more effectively.
  • Some hacks that will help you create more engaging content.

Setting The Stage:

There are many tips and tricks that we can use to help us become better writers. These include reading, writing, and taking care of our mental health.

It is important to read to improve your writing skills and to be aware of what other writers are doing in the industry. Reading will help you understand different styles of writing and how they work. It will also make you more knowledgeable about a topic if you read books on it or articles on the subject.

Reading is not the only way to improve your writing skills though; it’s just as important to write. Writing allows us to practice our skills, build our confidence, and get feedback from others. The more we write, the better we’ll get at expressing ourselves through words. All the craft books in the world will not teach you how to write a novel, or a screenplay, or a short story, or a brilliant Twitter thread.

The 10/1 Rule:

It’s often been said that it takes writing ten novels, or ten screenplays, to learn how to write one really good one. We’ll call that the 10/1 Rule

Another way for improving your writing is by taking care of your health – this includes eating well, exercising, getting enough sleep, etc., all of which can have a positive impact on your mood and productivity levels.

 12 Hacks:

1. Know your audience.

2. Use strong verbs.

3. Keep it short and simple.

4. Be consistent in tone and voice.

5. Keep a journal and write every day, even if it’s just for five minutes.

6. Read as much as you can in your area of expertise.

7. Learn the basics of SEO and keyword research so that you can optimize your content for search engines.

8. Use a variety of sentence structures to keep readers engaged with your content, not just the same old structure repeatedly (ex: “I think” vs “In my opinion”).

9. Always be open to feedback from readers, editors, and mentors to get better at what you do best: writing.

10. Read out loud. This will help you catch mistakes in sentence structure and word choice.

11. Read what you have written to someone else. This will help you find typos and grammar errors that you might not have noticed on your own.

12. Invest in a good dictionary and the AP Stylebook. Use a thesaurus sparingly.


Most of the tips tricks, hacks, and fixes above may be familiar. That’s because they are time-tested and they work.

Here’s a few bonus tips that have worked for me:

  1. For fiction writers: Write your scenes first in dialogue. You can write the exposition later.
  2. Write long Exposition passages in bullet-points.
  3. When drafting, type your longer pieces like novels in the Comic Sans font. Then covert it to a reasonable font like Courier, Times New Roman, or Garamond later. Writers who try the Comic Sans trick swear that the fun of writing in such a silly font makes them write faster. Plus, writing should be fun, right?

Writing and Editing Services


Services offered at CJB Writing Services include:

Web Content Writing including SEO-Content,


Blog Posts,

Product Descriptions,

Product Reviews,

and Custom Writing Services.


Freelance Editing Services include:


Copy Editing,

Line Editing.

I will edit full booklength manuscripts, both Fiction and Non-Fiction, but I only edit for grammar, punctation, and typos… I don’t do Developmental Editing as in plotting, characterization, or anything like that. I’m too new as a novelist myself to be able to tell another author how to plot their books, write their characters, anything of that nature.


E-mail me for a quote:

Writing To Understand The World


A famous writer once wrote that writers write to understand the world. I believe that this is an incontestable truth. There’s simply too much well-documented evidence that we writers think with our fingers, per se. As Natalie Goldberg says in her seminal books “Writing Down The Bones” and “Wild Mind” it is of paramount importance that a writer keeps their fingers moving.


There’s a famous old joke about the tourist who stopped an old violinist on a Manhattan street, asking, “Excuse me… how do I get to Carnegie Hall?” The old musician replies,” Practice! Practice!”

In the same way that a baseball player needs to hit hundreds of baseballs off tees, pitching machines, soft-tossing, and batting practice pitchers in order to hit well in an actual game, a basketball player must shoot hundreds of free throws before a game, and a painter must draw hundreds of sketches before tackling the canvas, so must a writer “Write our way into” a piece of writing. It’s how we get to Carnegie Hall.

You Write Because You’re A Writer

But enough about writing practice. Back to the original point of this post… writers write to make sense of the universe. In my humble opinion, this is far more important to our Souls and our Art than the old idea that writers write because they have “Something to say.” A platform, a soapbox, a bone to pick, an axe to grind. Boring.

My Message?

Sorry. Don’t have one. I’m a wordsmith, a storyteller, a comedian, a provocateur, and a salesman. But it’s all to entertain, to educate, to irritate, to stir up your emotions. The writer, the artist, the Content Creator is, at best, a Catalyst to help us feel. As I overheard someone say once, it doesn’t matter if it makes you feel good, or feel bad, as long as it makes you feel.

ADHD and Creativity as an Older Creative

Confessions of a Grizzled Newbie

As I’ve said in previous posts, I’m a veteran writer, because I’ve been writing seriously since I was 14, which was in 1973, and I’ve been writing for publication since 1982. However, I’ve never earned my living from my writing, so I’m also a newb in that sense. I suspect that I’m nowhere near unique. The American Capitalist economic system being what it is, many talented writers have had to wait til they retired from their day jobs to write full time.

Don’t Quit Yer Day Job

I’m 63, and I have not yet retired from my day job. So, until I do, I have a hard time coming up with the energy to crank out novels the way many younger people seem to be able to do so effortlessly. It’s intimidating for me when I look at my 3 titles on Amazon, 1 short novel and 2 standalone short stories, and I see that successful Amazon authors, some of them in their 20s, have anywhere from 12 to 50 novels in their catalogs. How can I ever catch up to that?

Finishing What I Started

As I speak, I have my second novel in my current trilogy almost done, plus a Cozy Mystery and 2 Westerns 1/2 to 3/4 done. So, I could finish my 2nd King Leary Crime Novel, and write the 3rd really quickly. Then I’d have the King Leary Trilogy, the Cozy, and 2 Westerns done. That’s 6 novels or novellas done in the next 6 months.

Trilogies We Have Trilogies!

The Cozy would be part of a series, at least a trilogy, and the 2 Westerns are the first novellas of 2 separate series, also trilogies at minimum. So the one novel I have published and the other 5 novels I need to finish could turn into 4 trilogies, 12 books total, in a year. To finish the books I have almost finished, I probably need to write a little over 100,000 words, that includes a full NaNoWriMo length 50K King Leary novel.

Crunching The Numbers

100K spread over 6 months is 555 words per day. I can do that. AND, if I could knock out 50K of that for NaNoWriMo, that makes the remaining 50K over 5 months a mere 333 words per day. Which gives me time to work on other projects like the Full-length Screenplay I’m writing for a Screenwriting class I’m taking from Michigan State University.

Screenplays, Short-Stories, and Sundries… Oh, my!

I’ll continue to write Screenplays and Teleplays, as well as short stories.

Today, as I worked to get my newest Mystery/Crime short story ready to be sent off to my Beta Readers, I was pleasantly surprised that two other short stories, both Mystery/Crime/Noir stories, were both self-edited and ready to go to my Beta Readers as well. I knew that one of those stories was done, but I’d remembered the second story as being not quite finished.

So, suddenly, thanks to my ADHD brain, I’m suddenly quite jazzed that I will soon have THREE short stories ready to submit to markets like Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, and Mystery Weekly.

Writers Of The Future

The other day I signed up for the free WRITERS OF THE FUTURE ONLINE WORKSHOP course. Yes, the L. Ron Hubbard Writers of The Future. The course is taught by David Farland, and Science Fiction legends Orson Scott Card and Tim Powers.

The course promised that the diligent student will have a short story done by the end of the course. Although the course is a general fiction course, I , in deference to Hubbard, Farland, Card, and Powers, am using it to write my first sellable Science Fiction story.

My next step after getting those three Crime Fiction stories submitted to the aforementioned markets was to write some new SF stories for markets such as Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, Analog Science Fiction Magazine, and the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction.

Not coincidentally, when I began writing for the markets way back up in 1982, I was submitting Mystery/Crime stories to EQMM and AHMM, and SF stories to Asimov’s, Analogue, and F & SF.