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  • Writer's pictureluisaraegan

10 Tips for the ADHD writer to help start and finish your novel

Updated: Apr 5, 2022

As many of my fellow ADHD peeps know, the hardest thing about having ADHD is getting started! That’s why I had countless unfinished stories that had been tossed aside either out of frustration, disinterest or simply because something else bright and shiny caught my eye.

Regardless, I couldn’t write or finish a novel to save my life, not until I found the right tools and by utilizing these tools and tricks I was able to write and finish a 100,000 words paranormal romance!

Me and my schnauzer Bo having a writing break cuddle

If you are struggling to finish or start your novel, here are 10 tips from my own experience that I hope will help you as well!

For me I realized I didn’t actually know how to go about writing a novel. Another problem was that I wasn’t writing enough on a regular basis to find my voice. Whatever it is, identify it and then research the tools that are out there (books, podcasts, support groups) to help you.

This book was the key to helping me start and complete my novel.

I realized before I would just have an idea and start writing without any idea of who my characters were or how my plot and scenes would unfold. Planning and brainstorming your novel is key, and once you do that it’s okay if some pantsing (writing on the fly) occurs as you continue writing.

I still do a lot of writing on the fly when an idea strikes. It’s good to have a balance!

* This book is available electronically, in print or on Audible

While using a computer is handy for actually writing, the brain processes handwriting better, and the ideas just pour out onto the page so much better.

Bookstores generally have packets of three, small lined notebooks for cheap ($12 and under). Those are my go to.

Whenever I’m stuck on a scene or character or plot hole I go back to pen and paper and write out possibilities no matter how ridiculous. The key words I start with are: “what if…” (a recommendation from KM Weiland that works so well!)

Then once you have your ideas better formulated, transfer it to your computer. Speaking of computers…

I use Dabble because not only is it affordable ($10 USD a month) it is also very user friendly and there is not a huge learning curve.

It allows you to plot your novel and have your chapter separated for ease of access.

If purchasing a writing program subscription isn't in the cards, utilize google docs! It's free and cloud-based so you will never lose your work. I can't stress that point enough. Whatever medium you choose to write your story, ensure it is cloud-based so you never go through the heartbreak of losing what you've written.

Whenever I feel unmotivated to write, I read and usually that helps spark my creative juices. Movies & television shows are also great for inspiration.

Even if writing feels painful, push through! Set a timer for 5-10 minutes, and if you still hate your life when the alarm goes off, stop, but as my fellow ADHD peeps can attest, the hardest part for us is getting started.

This guide details how to get more words on the page as well as excellent editing tips.

There is a free version where you can do 500 words at a time. I highly recommend.

What tools and tricks do you use to get your novel done? I’d love to hear from you!

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