So, obviously, I'm a writer.
I have pretty bad ADD/ADHD and though it's never bothered me before, it's really affecting my writing as of late. I don't really think this is a medical question, as doctors can't really give me advice with this. Before I got off my meds (It was a decision I made myself because of the hormonal imbalance.), it was hard for me to really focus on my writing because my medicine made me a little groggy and cranky and that interfered with my creative process.

When I got off, my mind really went a mile a minute and I had no problem doing several stories at a time. Now, I can barely get maybe ten or fifteen thousand words in before I completely lose all interest. I don't know if it's a personal bump in the road I'm going through or if I need to get back on my meds. Any advice? I mean I haven't been off an extremely long time, I stopped taking them when I was thirteen and I'm twenty now. I was on Adderall if that helps.

Update: Even though people assumed I wanted you all to tell me whether or not I should get back on my meds, I appreciate the writing advice that was given to me. I mentioned my meds because as people who take them know, they affect many aspects of your life, such as your creativity. I wanted it to be known in case another writer with the same issue could help me. I didn’t go back on my meds and my creativity has improved exponentially. I found that what I really needed was a change of scenery. The monotony of my life was beginning to affect my creativity, not the absence of my meds. A little bit about me, I’m not a very social person. I decided to change that, get out there, and actually meet other writers, go to workshops, conventions, and all in all, take writing more seriously, and it did wonders. I also learned that I’ve always been a writer that wants to read what I’m writing far more than I actually wanted to write it. I was so ready for the finished product that the actual work that I needed to put into it seemed excessive, and oftentimes boring. I’m grateful for all the advice I was given and I really want to thank everyone who answered.

  • 1
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is essentially asking for medical advice (whether to go back on meds or not).
    – user16226
    Jul 11, 2016 at 11:44
  • @mbakeranalecta - Agreed. This question is also very discussion-y and needs some focusing. Jul 11, 2016 at 15:20
  • I'm asking any writers with ADD/ADHD if this has been an issue with them and what their solution to the problem was. Its obviously one of the routes to take because that could possibly be a solution to the problem, but I highly doubt a doctor could give me credible advice on whether I should alter my creative process. @mbakeranalecta
    – L. Walker
    Jul 18, 2016 at 20:08
  • That is a question about the effect of medications on creativity, not about writing. While it is a question you might want to ask other writers, the site it defined by its subject matter, not its audience.
    – user16226
    Jul 18, 2016 at 20:18
  • Were you prescribed meds? If so, take them. If not, don't take any prescription medication you aren't prescribed.
    – anon
    Aug 16, 2016 at 21:38

4 Answers 4


You summarize the problem very well when you said:

"I can barely get maybe ten or fifteen thousand words in before I completely lose all interest."

I really hope you'll reconsider the difficulty you are going through and see that it isn't something wrong with you, but is a very common challenge among most (if not all) authors.

Most Common Problem of All Authors?

This may, in fact, be the most common problem of all authors.

Why Might This Problem Occur?

There are a few reasons why this problem may occur:

  1. Your subconscious knows there is something flawed about the story you are writing and it's attempting to let you know, but you aren't picking up on it. This is not mean to sound mystical, but instead what I'm attempting to say is that our minds are amazing and are doing far more than we know.

  2. It is a subject that you really aren't interested in. It is possible that by the time you've written 15,000 words you've explored the subject to the level you find interesting and after that, there isn't much left.

  3. The subject (or treatment) simply isn't enough to build a story around and by the time you've written some you lose interest. It is what it is.

Every Writer's Fear

Every writer's fear is that s/he will spend long periods of time writing a novel that is completely worthless -- which no one wants to read and even the author believes is a waste of time.

Wasting Time

Most authors are afraid they'll waste their lives writing the wrong thing and it often locks them up.

How Might You Get Around It?

Story Prototyping, Just Like Product Prototyping

Outline your ideas ahead of time: Oh, boy, I said the word outline. Think of outlining as prototyping your story. Write it as short as you can to determine if it hangs together and if you are going to continue to be interested in it.

Here's another similar answer where motivation was dicussed here on Writers stack: How to motivate yourself to finish something?


(I'm going to come at this from a writer perspective, not an ADD/ADHD perspective.)

Depends on what kind of writer you are. It's possible you just haven't found the story for you yet. You haven't found the one that really captivates your attention and makes you want to push through. So you may just want to keep trying out books until one keeps you.

Unless you're like me, who feels really anxious with unfinished works, and whose mind works a little differently. Some writers can go for years in between writing on one book and come back to it like it was yesterday. I can't do that. In order for me to work, I have to force myself to keep writing the book. Usually that middle part is difficult to write because it's less interesting than the beginning and ending (as is true of almost every book). So, I make myself get to the ending, because if I don't, I will never finish a book.

Something that has helped me is to know where my stories are going. I am a hardcore planner. I think up plot points for my book, I outline the overall story, I use an index card for every scene, I write up profiles for my main characters. You don't have to go to that extent (unless it works for you), but maybe knowing the ending and having some idea of the fun that's to come will help you push through the middle.


Looks like you are off the old hyper-focus.

ADHD makes it impossible to proceed with anything unless extreme interest breaks through the barrier and produces an immense ability to focus, far beyond regular levels.

If at first you could, and now you cannot, you have sunk below the threshold.

The challenge is, how to get it back. Maybe it is just a phase. Maybe there are too many new things going on. Maybe the topics you are handling no longer really engage you.
What changed between the can-phase and the current block?

You yourself are the best help you can get. You have an enormous ability to live in the here and now. You have creativity. If you give yourself some leeway and dedicate your thinking power to getting back to what you really want I think you can reacquire the initiative in your life and carry on.

It just may be something different from writing though, even if only for a period of time. Do not put yourself in a box. Life is larger than that.


I think that if you want to write more, getting back on those meds will be easier; I found these tips for when your on Adderall:

  1. Eat essential amino acids, glycemic carbohydrates and healthy fats

  2. Exercise is known to release certain hormones that relieve you (but do it as a general activity)

  3. Rest for 8 hours

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