Blogging for the attention impaired

This may not come as some great surprise or amazing revelation: I have ADD. Or at least that's what the psychiatrists told the parents of the fifth grade version of myself.

I often think that I was misdiagnosed as I do possess the ability to concentrate on certain activities for absurd lengths of time while managing to shrug off any pending distraction. Other times, I'll start something when OOH SHINY!

On most days (even good days) it doesn't take much to lure me away from focusing on the task at hand.

I'm going to go off on a tangent here - and it might appear like I'm chasing squirrels but I assure you it is both purposeful and relevant.

The wildly successful and hilarious blogger Jon Acuff posted an invitation on his blog to work with him in writing his third book. He asked his readers to fill in the blanks: “I’m a __________, but I want to be a ___________.”

That is an easy answer for me. I'm a data analyst but I want to be a writer.

And for those of you who knew the younger version of me - the freshly diagnosed with ADD kid - you would know that the school aged Nic hated writing. The last thing I wanted to do was put pen to paper and the practice of typing was torture. In fact, I refused to spell my name with a "k" because that extra letter took too much effort.

Yet now, as a grown man in my 30s, I want to be a writer. Which leads us all back to my penchant for all things except what I should be doing.

Blogging is the perfect medium for the ADD brain.

No one with a sane mind spends several days writing a single blog post. Mosts posts (at least in my corner of the interwebs) contain no more than a few hundred words - at most less than two thousand. It's not a massive time sucking vortex that consumes all parts of your waking life. If you get distracted - no one cares. You can change topics and themes at whim. And you can always go back and change things. There is a method to blogging - but it's not an exact science.

Yet I feel that keeping a blog is not the end result for me. It's a great outlet to speak my voice, but it's not a calling. It's fantastic practice in the art of prose, but it's not the object of my hopes and dreams. I want to explorer that strange intersection where faith and pop culture collide. I want to inspire, encourage, and entertain.

And most importantly, I feel like God has placed in me a story and it is up to me to figure out how that story will be told.

Here's where I get distracted. I've tried to write a story with more significance than what will fit in a blog post. I have opened up MS Word and began plunking out the beginnings of a tale with substance. In a few instances, I've made significant progress. Yet each time, I get distracted with a bigger and better idea. Or I get bored. Or I completely forget about the project like drivers in North Idaho forget their winter driving skills every time it snows. If you were to peek inside the My Documents folder on my computer, you'd find the skeletal remnants of abandoned stories. All started and never finished.

I'm hoping to change that with the new year.

But I'm not insane. I'm not doing the same thing the same way while expecting a different result. I've been planning. And plotting. And practicing. And presearching. (Really, I meant "researching," but all the other words started with a "p" and I can't resist a healthy dose of alliteration.)

As of January first, I will be starting a new project. But that's only part two of my goal (part three if you include the prerequisite work I've done). The first part was building a better habit. If you haven't yet noticed, it is the 30th day of the month and I have posted 30 different blog posts this month. After my Five for Friday post tomorrow I will have (for the first time in my history of blogging) posted something every day for an entire month.

This is new for me, the practice of writing something every day. Now I've built a month long habit to continue. I've found a good rhythm increasing my odds for success in writing my new project. I have someone to (hopefully) keep me honest - my sister-in-law, who is a talented writer with a handful of completed projects to her credit.

Now for the bad news. Now that I've found a steady pattern for posting new stuff here, I'll be translating that effort to my new project - which won't be for public consumption. That means there will be less new content on this blog - but I'm still aiming to keep a two to three posts per week pace.

We'll see how this all goes. Data analyst by day, daddy and husband by evening, and writer at night. It might make me crazy (crazier?), but it could turn out to be wonderful.


  1. YOU CAN DO IT!!!

    *jumps up and down, waves pom-poms*

    Call me if you need to vent... :)

  2. Sounds fantastic! I'm so excited and amazed at your new writing habit. (This is a habit I'm hoping to build in myself this new year too!) You are a step ahead.