Note: I’m not a medical or mental health professional. Talk with your doctor and don’t take this as medical advice, ok?
A few years ago, I was diagnosed with ADHD, a diagnosis which both took too long for anyone to notice and, frustratingly, wasn’t really tackled even when the diagnosis came through. I was given medication, but my psychiatrist and I never really explored what that meant, the repercussions it had already had on my life, and how I’d navigate going through the rest of my life with it.
Last year, I really dove into it more as I began reading the book Driven to Distraction: Recognizing and Coping with Attention Deficit Disorder which felt like a gut punch but in the best way possible. That book really helped me uncover so many tentacles in my life, especially in my childhood, that were linked to ADHD. I wasn’t lazy, my grades weren’t because I wasn’t “applying myself” or “being challenged enough in classes.” It was like the proverbial onion-peeling that made me realize how nefarious this was and how much harder I have (and would have) to struggle to survive or, hopefully, flourish in modern society.
it seems to be clear that those of us who struggle, be it because of ADHD or something else, just do better on the fringes of the workforce.
One of the best things I’ve done is to become self-employed. I don’t do well in office settings as I often can’t handle the pedantic gossip and hold my tongue at people overstepping their job roles. I’ve talked with many other entrepreneurs, especially on the podcast, about this, and it seems to be clear that those of us who struggle, be it because of ADHD or something else, just do better on the fringes of the workforce.
But we still need to earn a living, right? One of the biggest things I see entrepreneurs and bloggers with ADHD struggle with is remaining consistent enough to earn a living (uh, you can see my post history for an example). Whether it’s marketing via social media, blogging, or even keeping up with bookkeeping, having ADHD just turns everything up to an 11 in terms of difficulty.
So here’s what I’ve learned to do to support myself as a multi-faceted content creator. This post is specifically about blogging with ADHD and the tips I’ve learned to navigate it, but for entrepreneurs with ADHD, I’ve written another post here.
Okay, since you have ADHD I doubt you’ve read any of that (it’s okay!) so let’s just get to the point. Here’s what I’ve learned that helps to maintain a successful blogging career with Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder.
5 Tips for Successfully Blogging with ADHD
1. Seize the Moment
You’re just going to have days when things are easier and days when you cannot do it. Even for those of us that have the luxury of medication and therapy, ADHD is a difficult thing to overcome, especially when earning a living means staying on a consistent schedule of writing, editing, and publishing content. What I’ve found to be the most effective is listening to my…well…self. When I have the urge to blog, I do, and I front load as much as possible. The writing of this blog post is also happening in the same batch as 4 other posts: two for beige house, one for here, and one for Tea and Anarchy. I don’t force myself to work unless I’m under a deadline and haven’t done anything yet because it just doesn’t work.
TLDR: when you have the urge to blog, blog as much as you can. Create all the content and schedule it out. Don’t try to fight the natural way your motivation works.
Do you have time for all the things you want to do? If not, then it’s time to prioritize your blogging career and figure out which tasks need to be done in order to maintain a consistent posting schedule. For me, and I know how bougie this sounds, I hired a cleaning company to clean my house twice a month. I’m just not the person who can maintain a beautiful, clean home. Hell, even tidying up before the cleaners come is a challenge (but one I make time for).
To me, my mental load feels like a finite sum, you know? So if I’m consistently worried about dusting or vacuuming, I don’t have as much free space in my brain to focus on blogging. Is that medically accurate? No, probably not. But it’s the best way I can describe the way my ability to get overwhelmed is and how I avoid, well, avoiding things.
I also automate a LOT of my marketing. I use MissingLettr to send out social media posts which helps reduce the overwhelm I feel trying to get the word out. I also use SquirrlySEO to help me figure out what to write about or how I can better word things, so it reaches the search engines easily. For example, I knew I wanted to write about how I earn a living with ADHD, so I used Squirrly to help me figure out the best keywords to use to get this post to you (it’s blogging with ADHD if you’re curious)
TLDR: Decide what things are standing in your way from blogging and take steps to remove them from your way.
3. Accept You Are Neurotypical
Maybe this one should be first, I don’t know. When I began digging into my ADHD, my therapist made a throwaway comment about how I’m neurodivergent, so of course things will be difficult, and that really shook me. I never thought of myself as atypical, biologically speaking, and I had a lot of internal stigmas I had to overcome about it. It was freeing, in a way, leaning into the idea that my brain just works differently. I think I kept trying to fit my square peg into round holes in society and kept getting rebuffed. Now I realize it’s not a flaw, it just is, and I need to explore what that is is and how it affects me.
TLDR: Don’t let yourself feel like the “weird” person because of things you cannot control. Stop banging your head against a wall and instead accept you’re a neurodivergent person.
4. Seek Support
This one is really important to me. The thing with ADHD is that it’s hard to know where to turn for help. I didn’t know about ADHD when I was first diagnosed, and it was only after a lot of research and talking to other people that I realized what was happening. There are so many myths out there about ADHD, and frankly, a lot of them are pretty harmful. The fact is, ADHD is real, and it impacts people in ways that can be difficult to understand or accept. If you’re looking for support, whether it be from others with ADHD or from professionals who can help guide you on your journey, find someone who will understand and help you work through your challenges.
TLDR: Don’t suffer in silence; seek support if you need it. It will help you overcome many challenges along the way.
5. Be Upfront with Your Audience About Expectations
I know this one is going to be hard, but it’s important that you communicate with your audience about what’s going on and what they can expect from you, given your ADHD. The thing with ADHD is that it can be difficult to keep track of time, and sometimes that can lead to oversleeping or getting easily distracted instead of pushing out content every Friday at 2 pm. This means that our written work may not always reflect our actual capabilities. It’s important to let your readers know this in advance so they’re not left feeling disappointed or frustrated. Thank them for their understanding, and give them a heads-up about what to expect when reading your work.
TLDR: honesty is key – let your readers know what to expect. They deserve your honesty, and you deserve to not feel beholden to constraints you cannot fit into.
There are a lot of things you can do to make blogging with ADHD easier. By being upfront about your challenges and communicating effectively with your audience, you’ll be on your way to a successful blog.