About Me
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Blogging with ADHD (Or Why You Don’t Blog to Impress)

Before I even get into this post, let me make this statement.

Disclaimer: Do not try what is written in this post without first consulting your Physician, Therapist, Danny Brown or all three. Then don’t do it anyway.

I really don’t have a process or strategy in the strictest sense of the words when it comes to blogging.

My process is more visual which I will explain next, but first a little background.

ADHD and Me

I have a severe case of ADHD. I’ve been ADHD since I was a kid. As a child, I remember being given medication which really didn’t do a thing.

Then I met with a therapist who used meditation and yoga to get me under control.

It worked fantastic and for years I controlled myself that way. About two years ago, when I was 59, I went to see a Psychiatrist for testing again just to get confirmation at this age.

I was really thinking maybe I was getting better.

I took a few different tests and a week later I was called in, and told I scored the highest they had ever seen in that office for as long as they had been open, which was 30 years.

I scored a 99% on the testing.

Anyway, when I write I write from that position in life. I write from a standpoint of never knowing where I am going after I start.

So hang in there as you read because it all comes together in the end. At least I believe it does.

Back to The Process

My ideas form, of course, as everyone, in my brain. I get the idea and if I can not see the story in a visual sense I drop it.

I need to see the story. I need to see the writing and the pictures that go with the story.

When I write I write to tell a story, not to impress. I was taught that when I was in college taking a creative writing course. The instructor was demanding and would tear apart any story that was written to impress.

He drilled into our heads for two semesters that as a writer our job was to tell a story not to impress the reader. I took that advice and even in my technical writings for business I did the same.

I told a story.

The Day Starts

Ideas pop into my head when they want. As soon as they do I look for the visual as I said above.

I actually go into a complete visualization of the story. I feel it, feel like I am living it or lived it.

I want to know everything about what I am going to write about.

A perfect example is this post. I have been working on this post for four days. In the past four days I have written over and over what I want to say.

Then the visualization finally came to me. This morning while in the shower I could feel and see the words come to life. I could see these words I am typing right now on paper.


Music. That’s correct, music – but a special album. One of the greatest albums ever written as far as I am concerned.

I start to play the album and kick back. Sometimes with headphones sometimes not.

The music takes me to the place and visual place I need to be to finish my writing. I’m not spiritual at all. I am talking about what’s inside of me.

The album I am talking about is Pet Sounds by The Beach Boys, but mainly the work of Brian Wilson.

I listen to the original, the live version and anything else I can to get in the mood and get my words out.

I may sit some days like today where I listened first and then restarted the music and wrote. Wrote like a crazy man with ideas and words flowing.

Why this album? I grew up with listening to The Beach Boys due to my Dad.

Also, because I was a surfer from the East Coast who loved the idea of surfing in California. I wanted to live the life The Beach Boys sang about.

Although I knew it would never happen.

Now I Write

I don’t outline. I refuse to outline. I sit down as soon as I am ready and type or write.

I get going and put everything in my brain on paper so I can see it live. I’ve already seen it in my mind, now I need to see it on the big screen or a legal pad.

I have to admit I dislike writing nowadays. I enjoy typing and seeing it all happen. I enjoy seeing my fingers scroll across the keys, even though I make a gazillion mistakes.

I can fix them after.

My writing is a flow once I get going. I find that an outline would make my writing disjoined if you can imagine that. I’d rather just sit down and type.

Type ’til I finish getting everything out that I know I need to.

Blog until you finish getting everything out that you know you need to. #pureblogging

First and last time I used an outline I read the post and laughed at myself. It looked like a first grader wrote the post. Maybe a second grader, but not much higher.

At that point I threw the outline in the basket and never used an outline again.

I use my shower. I use my bathroom or whatever room is the one that gives me the visual of the post/story.

I’ve even been in the car and this idea comes into my mind and I can see it and feel it and type it into my phone.

Then again, I will get an idea about a post and it dies. It’s not visual. I may write the idea down, but the words and feeling aren’t there. I’ll keep it around incase at another time that thought comes back.

They usually don’t. The visual is the key for me.

I see the story, the words and feel them and begin to write. I begin to write in my head and then get to the computer to see the words form the story in my head.

It works.


I feel good when I finish. I only hope the reader can visualize what I have. I hope they enjoy the writing as much as I enjoyed writing.

For me, it’s not work, it’s me telling a story from my heart and soul. It’s me letting others into my world to also enjoy the visualization that I did.

I can only ask that you give the words a chance to fill you and give you the ability to feel part of the story because as a reader you deserve to be that. To be part of my story.

By Mark-John Clifford

Husband, Dad, Papa. Californian from Boston. Love the ocean and everything that goes along with it. Sicilian and Irish, inside and out. Enjoy listening and partaking in great conversations.

Comments (16)
  1. Nancy Davis September 10, 2015 at 9:42 am

    I blog in a similar manner. It all comes roaring out at once. That is how I know I got into something others can possibly feel also. I don’t see things, I feel them. If I feel nothing about what I am blogging about, the post gets trashed. If my post does not make me laugh, cry, or question things then it gets redone, or it goes in the draft file for later.

    My attention span has been compared with a gnat. Nothing helps either.

    Typically, I have to focus solely on what I am blogging about or the result will not be any good. So many things attract my attention that a typical post can have several points before I start editing myself.

    • Mark-John Clifford September 10, 2015 at 12:12 pm

      Hi Nancy,

      Glad to find someone else that blogs like me. You have the same attention span I have. Although it can be a curse I have found it to be the best way to write.

      I get right down to it and proof I’m done.

      I understand about several points. I get to a stage where if I don’t stop myself, I’ll write the next novel instead of a blog post.

      I always thought about getting a few bloggers who write like this together and write a combined post between them to see what happens? We should try that one day.

      Thanks for reading and commenting.

      • Nancy Davis September 10, 2015 at 1:00 pm

        I would love to see what happens when a group of ADHD bloggers all converge. The results will be unforgettable no matter what.

        I too am so glad to realize I am not that unique. Nice to know there are others like me out there.

        • Mark-John Clifford September 10, 2015 at 1:16 pm

          Doesn’t it make you feel better just knowing Nancy? I know I feel better now and with that as soon as it is time I’ll be ready for a beer.

          By the way I grew up in my teen years in the North End of Boston.

    • Danny Brown September 10, 2015 at 12:43 pm

      Ah, but did you know that gnat’s are second only to ants when it comes to superhero strength when it comes to body-to-strength ratio?

      • Nancy Davis September 10, 2015 at 12:47 pm

        Hey, I am small like an ant and have the attention span of a gnat. I have the best of both worlds. Maybe I can leap tall buildings in a single bound.

  2. Danny Brown September 10, 2015 at 9:52 am

    Hi there mate,

    First, I have to admit, that little disclaimer at the start of the post made me chuckle, so cheers for that!

    You know, when I first started blogging, I used to be really rigid in my process.

    – Get a title
    – Flesh out an idea from that title
    – Reach a minimum word count
    – Revise so SEO is key
    – Edit
    – Revise
    – Publish
    – Worry about whether there were enough revisions or not….

    Man, I grew to hate that “process” so much! Now, pretty much like you, it’s all on the fly. And if I can’t “feel” the post, it’s rejected. It doesn’t matter if the post is 30 words or 3,000 words, I have to feel it – otherwise, how can I expect my readers to feel it if I’m just throwing it out there.

    Thanks for giving us this look inside your own work method – especially given the extra component of ADHD, which I can only guess at how “fun” that must make content creation for you at times!

    • Mark-John Clifford September 10, 2015 at 12:29 pm

      Hey there Danny,

      I couldn’t leave that disclaimer out. Heck, someone might actually try this and never blog again?

      Now I’ve met two other bloggers who blog the same or roughly the same it warms my heart to think I’m not alone out there any longer.

      I feel like Fox Mulder from the X-Files. The truth is out there and there are others that believe!

      I remember when I first started blogging when I had been diagnosed with diabetes and had a friend editing my work before publishing it. He did everything you mentioned above. The SEO stuff the Google stuff making sure my title wasn’t too long and the rest of it.

      I hated that. I would wait for a day and he would come back with suggestions like “the title is too long for Google search.” I would have to change it to fit what he wanted.

      Or he would edit a paragraph that would cause the entire idea to fade away and people wouldn’t get the real meaning.

      That’s when I went back to what I college professor stated. Write to tell a story not impress. Then the flow started and I didn’t want to stop. I felt good about writing again and never wanted to stop except for when I was wrestling with ideas.

      It helps that friends and mentors like you recognize that and also give other bloggers a place to write as they feel not how they have too.

      Always a thanks to you for this platform and for being my mentor in this growing process.

      • Nancy Davis September 10, 2015 at 12:50 pm

        Oh jeez, you both just reminded me of when I worked for an online start-up run by fools. I would research, write, and present my posts only to hear “Not enough keywords. Needs more keywords.” Mind you, I was the one running the conference call about what keywords were.

        I now need a beer. Thanks guys.

        • Danny Brown September 10, 2015 at 12:52 pm

          Don’t you mean, “I now need a beer, need a beer in New York, where is the best place for a beer in New York, New York beer houses?” 😉

          • Nancy Davis September 10, 2015 at 12:56 pm

            Except that I am in Pittsfield MA. I wish I were in New York. The best I can do at this hour is the local package store

      • Danny Brown September 10, 2015 at 1:07 pm

        Hey there mate,

        It’s funny – even now, when I edit a post (either on my own blog, or here at Pure Blogging), I do keep in mind how it’ll appear in search. But that’s about it – I really don’t care if it’s on page 1 or page 100 (okay, maybe I care a little, but not to the point of pickiness).

        Instead of search, where Google defines what quality is, I’d rather leave it to the blogger and reader to define that. After all, Google doesn’t care about how your post was received, and how much impact it made in someone’s life.

        But we can. And should.

        So to heck with SEO perfection, and here’s to blogging perfection, flaws and all.

        • Mark-John Clifford September 10, 2015 at 1:18 pm

          Well, I know I definitely hit the man on blogging flaws. I try to do my best to contribute to the work an editor, but I really do try to make it easy for them also.

          I mean I took english/creative writing in college I should know some of this stuff. Although know and remembering are two different things that defy laws unheard of with age.

          That’s my story.

  3. Tony September 11, 2015 at 3:52 pm

    Oh My,
    As I read down the comments of this lil conversation I can’t help but laugh at myself.
    I also feel like i’m butting in on a private beer room conversation

    I too have the attention span of a 6mth old and must hold the UK record for draft posts in any one blog!
    I often open up a dashboard and decide that I;ll be deleting this and that draft as I’m totally bored by the subject.

    I wonder what % of bloggers would consider that they “have concentration issues”

    Quality post, I’m well glad I found it.

    Nice one Mark, Danny & Nancy …

    • Mark-John Clifford September 11, 2015 at 3:57 pm

      Thanks Tony,

      I keep hearing about writers block. I have never had writers block. I don’t even really know what it is. I have ideas constantly and my only issue is getting them down on paper if they are good?

      So when I hear about writers block I want to offer ideas I have never followed through on for these writers. Which I don’t think they would appreciate.

      Attention spans come in different shapes and sizes and no matter what attention span you learn how to deal with it and make it work. At least that is what I have seen by other bloggers.

      Welcome to the world of little or no attention span. It’s a wild community and it continues to grow.

    • Danny Brown September 11, 2015 at 4:07 pm

      Ha, we should all grab screenshots of drafts and and have an international competition!

      We have a Brit, a Canadian (okay, I’m Scottish and now live in Canada) and two Americans.

      If that’s not the setup for a barroom joke, not sure what is.

      Cheers, Tony, glad you found Pure Blogging mate, and hope to see you around more!

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