How To Build an Effective Writing Routine for Neurodivergent People

Autistic and ADHD writers, these tips are for you

Phoenix
SYNERGY

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An empty notebook sits on a wooden desk, with a pen sitting atop it.
Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

As a writer with autism and ADHD, I struggled for years to build a sustainable writing routine.

It always turned out the same. I would decide to start writing consistently, manage it for a few days, and then… stop. Since I wrote constantly as a child, I grew increasingly frustrated and baffled by this issue. But the issue wasn’t that I had lost my ability to write — I was using the wrong strategies and hindering my progress. If I’d known then what I know now, I wouldn’t have wasted all that time working against my brain and not with it.

Now, I’m sharing those tips in the hopes that they help others like me.

Start small and break down tasks

My writing process is as follows:

  • I create a very rough, simplistic outline. If I’m working on a novel, I create either a list of everything that should happen in the novel or a zero draft. For an article, I make an outline that lists the main points, where I’ll usually add more details later.
  • Then I go back to my outline and expand on each point. I turn them into paragraphs and subheadings (assuming I’m writing an article).

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Phoenix
SYNERGY

Neurodivergent and queer writer of both fiction and nonfiction. He/they. Check out my recommendations (affiliate links): https://benable.com/nebulanix