BLAME IT ON THE A.D.D.
You can find many, many more detailed, well-thought out and balanced articles online than what this article will be. My focus… or lack of focus… ba dump-bump… RIMSHOT… is going to be more personal. This article is about how ADHD affects ME, especially when it comes to Learning and Creativity.
CJB… JACK OF ALL TRADES:
Just the awkward way I introduce myself as an Artist and a Businessman shows my problem. Or, rather, reflects my disorder. So, here goes: I’m a writer, editor, comedian, and musician. I write Crime novels, comedy material, spec screenplays, genre short stories (mysteries, Crime fiction, Westerns, Science Fiction, Horror, even Romance,) Songs, Journalism articles, reviews, and other things. As a Comedian, naturally I write my own comedy material and have written for others, but I’ve also written Humor articles, newspaper columns, comedy screenplays and teleplays.
MASTER OF NONE
None of this stuff, all of the genres I write in, all of the instruments I play, are listed here to impress you or to make myself sound like some sort of Renaissance Man, or Polymath, Heavens no. There’s a point to all this madness, all these irons-in-the-fire, all these pots-on-the-stove. My point is this: I taught myself how to do all these things. How to write a screenplay, a mystery novel, a science fiction short story, all requiring different rules and traditions. I taught myself how to play guitar, mandolin, bass, harmonica, all requiring different tunes, scales, and chord shapes.
IT’S ONLY ROCK N ROLL
As as Musician, I’m an ASCAP affiliated songwriter and music publisher, I sing, and I play guitar, blues harmonica, mandolin, bass guitar, Dobro, and some chord piano and organ, and some mediocre drums. I’m not a virtuoso on any of those instruments, although my Blues harp (harmonica) is really good, and I play a killer rhythm guitar and slide guitar. The positive part: I can play all of those instruments well enough to accompany myself on a recording, and it sounds like an actual band playing. That eventually became the entire reason for learning those instruments just well enough to get by.
I did it all because of my ADHD.
SO YOU WANNA BE A ROCK AND ROLL STAR
At the turn of the millennium, I was an Indie recording artist. Actually, I was TWO recording artists. I recorded Techno/House/EDM as DJ Blurry Guy, and I recorded original Singer-songwriter/Americana music as Chris Jay Becker.
I later resurrected the DJ Blurry Guy name by dropping the DJ part, becoming just plain Blurry Guy, and putting out a couple Indie Rock songs under that name. I didn’t feel good about doing that, so I changed the artist name to my fake band name… The Dreaded Telemarketers. That’s my conceptual band name, not unlike The Plastic Ono Band.
I never made any money, or for that matter, played any gigs, with any of these musical entities. I did, however, as DJ Blurry Guy, get fan mail from Spain, India, Belarus, and Israel. There was even talk of DJ Blurry Guy playing Ibiza. That was it, though, just talk.
TOO POOR TO PAY ATTENTION
ADHD made me flit from one interest to another. From one study subject to another. From one writing medium to another. From one musical instrument to another. My restlessness and dissatisfaction caused my to jump from one thing to another, and then my ADHD hyper-focus gave the ability to obsess on the new thing long enough to learn how to do it.
I’m not writing these things to brag about my accomplishments. I was not successful at doing any of these things for a living. I earned maybe $2000 spread out over 40+ years. But actually creating all of the things I created was rewarding in it’s own way. And I still dream of creating/writing for a living. Someday I will.