Yesterday I met up on Zoom with my friend Laura Tucker, to show her how I write and publish my blog posts without a computer. (Generally only from my phone, though sometimes I use my iPad.)
I took Laura inside my Drafts writing app and my DayOne journaling app. It was the first time I had ever taken anyone inside what I often think of as the mess of my creative process.
My self-doubts about its messiness faded in her enthusiasm. We geeked out as I showed her some of my favorite features and how I use them.
From seeing how I use these tools, Laura was able to extrapolate how she could use them in a way that suited her needs.
On the surface it may have looked like I was helping her; but her feedback and receptiveness helped me come to a new acceptance around my “messy” process.
I never realized it would be that much value to people to see my inner workings, especially because my process can be very non-linear. Journals turn into blog posts, blog posts veer into journaling.
Somehow it works, but I’m often feeling like I need a better system, something more linear and predictable.
And yet I tend to go into despair when trying to fit myself into others’ systems, like Cinderella’s stepsisters trying to fit into the glass slipper.
The session with Laura made me realize that I actually love being barefoot. So why am I contorting and contracting trying to fit into someone else’s shoes?
And all the time and energy I spend getting mad at my ADHD brain for not “thinking straight” like other people — what a waste.
THANK GOD my ADHD brain doesn’t “think straight.” That’s my genius and my brilliance. My work doesn’t fit neatly into boxes because it’s holistic, multi-dimensional, multi-modal, and interdisciplinary.
It doesn’t fit neatly into categories, genres, files, or folders.
This is the essence of creativity.
The creative process isn’t linear. It’s a messiness of ideas and insights that come in random moments, each thought shaped by experiences we are having and information we are taking in.
As I reflected after my session with my friend I realized that the only “system upgrade” I need is trust.
Trust in my own process.
I don’t and can’t create in the ways others traditionally have.
Rather than trying to conform to the rules and processes developed by others I must honor what works for me,
It’s time to let go of the shame around my ADHD struggles. It’s time to let go of trying to fit in to someone else’s shoes and forge my path in my own shoes, or in no shoes at all.