How I am handling being a creative with ADHD Part 2; how this effects my songwriting, workflow plus the tools and work arounds that I am using to push forward.


What is your creative outlet? While I personally feel that music is the most important art form, I realize I am biased. Do you play an instrument? Do you draw or paint? Are you a singer or songwriter? These are some forms or creative expression. Whatever your creative outlet, think to yourself, how often do you get to create? And when you do have time to create, are you able to fully complete and express yourself? Or are you like me and you struggle to stay interested, even if you’re having fun? Ever get stuck in a process that is more distracting than productive? 


Hi, my name is David and I have ADHD. (I am applying this to music and creative outlets with the thinking that if effective and adopted consistently, could be applied to other aspects of my life) 

I’ve been writing songs ever since I learned bar chords and drop D on the guitar. Lyric writing has always followed melody creation and up until I had recording equipment, I would only have my memory and a mini tape recorder to capture my ideas. It wasn’t until I was writing/recording all the parts by myself that I realized I had really only been “riff” writing and I had no idea that songwriting had more to it. 

Having had past drum and vocal experience, I had the ability to write those parts but I never spent time doing all the parts at the same time. I had other people to write part with/to. So the idea of layering and structure of a song was unknown to me. I would simply write mimic bass parts and use a drummer program. The problem is I would get stuck trying to record my idea while I was writing it and I would instantly get distracted trying to complete it. I like the riff writing process! It’s fun and allows me to create. But getting past the verse/chorus 16 bar loop was not something  I had success in yet. 

Do you have trouble finishing your creative projects? I have GIGS and GIGS of loops, ideas, half songs, and worst of all, mostly finished songs that I lost interest in.  My brain is sped up thinking about everything all the time. What I realized is, I need is songwriter process with a realistic writing schedule. 

I searched the inter-webs for resources and found some really great tools. I even found some ideas for what to do when you get board, aren’t inspired to create and tips for cool activities that are productive. Example? Take your songwriting time to come up with a list of song titles, just to have. You know? when you’re naming a song idea and can’t think of anything so it ends up being called something silly like “That sweaty night in Lynnwood”. 

Next time: 

How I am handling being a creative with ADHD Part 3.

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