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Advice For Neurodivergent Writers: How to Finish Your Script.

Updated: Sep 3, 2023



Do you ever watch 'Productivity Hack' videos and think 'This is it, time to sort my life out.' Then you try the tips for a few days before it all goes out the window. You feel burnt out and/or beat yourself up even more for not being able to 'do life' as well as others?


Well, Hello Neurodivergent Friend (and other suspected/undiagnosed ND allies). Welcome. You're in the right place.


Here is your permission to take the pressure off yourself. The hours spent berating yourself for not being good enough needs to become a thing of the past, as of now!


Here's the missing link that's been tripping you up: Watching YouTube videos on tips and tricks to get organised, or how to get on top of your life are aimed at neuroTYPICAL people. So don't you dare listen to them when they tell you to 'stop being lazy'. You're not lazy; you're neurodivergent. That means that the tools that will help you will likely vary and be nuanced to you... not to the masses.


Writing a script can be a challenging task for anyone, but for neurodivergent writers, it can be especially difficult. However, with the right strategies in place, neurodivergent writers can overcome (or at the very least, ease) the obstacles.


So let's get into it. Here are some tips to help neurodivergent writers finish their script:


Create a Routine:

A slightly ironic one to start with, as we all know that ND's and Routine are hardly a match made in heaven. But having a set schedule for writing can help neurodivergent writers stay focused and on track. Set aside a specific time each day for writing and stick to it as much as possible. Even if you show up and just stare at your laptop; commit to the schedule. Set up systems to help. For instance, put your phone on charge, make a cup of tea and sit down to write. That way you can bundle good habits together and trick your brain into partaking in the new routine.


Break The Script Down Into Smaller Tasks:

Writing a full-length script is overwhelming, even for experienced writers. And it's certainly not something you can do in one go. It's important to break the script down into smaller, manageable tasks. This is true for any writer but don't be embarrassed to start even smaller. Set small goals, so that you're likelier to achieve them. For instance, writing one scene a day could be just the ticket to getting to 'The End'. It might mean that it's simply the outline for each scene a day. Find what works for you.


Use Visualisation Techniques:

Visualising the story can help neurodivergent writers stay focused and make the writing process easier. Try using mind maps, storyboards, or diagrams to help you see the story visually. If being stuck on your laptop is feeling like a chore, take to pen and paper. Block out each scene on a notecard and place stick it to the wall. Often visual points in a bigger spaces (walls vs screens) can be the ingredient to help you stay organised.


Co-write:

Howdie, Pardner. Co-writing with a partner can be a great way to stay motivated and get feedback on your work. Find a writing partner who is supportive and understanding of your needs as a neurodivergent writer. Remember you're on the same team, with a great goal of completing a great script. Accountability is so helpful but so is being able to chat and problem solve with your partner in crime.


Body Doubling:

If you're not looking for a co-writer; try a double instead. Find a friend (or group of writers) that you can write in the same space with. This is a wonderful hack for neurodivergent folk where you have a person simply be present as you complete a task that you don't want to/find challenging. Creating accountability buddies can be a game changer. When you have a witness sat opposite you; you've got no choice but to write the damn thing! This is great for a few writers who are working on different projects.


Utilise Technology:

There are many tools and apps available to help neurodivergent writers with the writing process. From mind mapping software to text-to-speech programs, these tools can make writing easier and more accessible. Check out our software recommendations for dyslexic writers.


Celebrate Your Accomplishments:

Celebrating your successes, no matter how small, can help you stay motivated and keep moving forward. Whether it's reaching a certain page count, completing a specific scene, or finishing the script; take the time to acknowledge and celebrate your accomplishments. It is far too easy to feel discouraged in the world of writing. There's no 'Employee of The Month' or fruit basket gift waiting as a reward. There's just you! So be your own hype person and start celebrating your progress.


Get Support From a Therapist or Coach:

It can be helpful to have someone to talk to about the challenges you're facing as a writer. A therapist or coach can provide support and guidance as you work through the writing process. Therapists are amazing for deeper struggles and overwhelming issues you're facing. Coaches are great for helping you to pinpoint and achieve goals, helping you stay on track. If it's simply help with your script, then Script Editors will support you in your script progress. Helping you to elevate your work to a higher level. Getting script coverage is a vital tool for a screenwriter.


Take Breaks:

Take breaks before YOU break. Burnout is no joke... and we know you know that already! As an ND, it's almost impossible to avoid a hyper-fixation on a new hobby, so when the writing kicks in, you're bound to write until you pass out. You might not be able to totally avoid this, so make sure instead, that when you 'pass out' = you rest. Don't beat yourself up for not being super-human and able to carry on forever and ever. The inspiration will come again. Especially if you're utilising the tips above. So, take some quality time off and recover before getting back to work.



These tips can help neurodivergent writers overcome challenges and successfully finish their script. But it's not one size fits all. Remember to be patient and kind to yourself, and to take breaks when you need to. Perhaps a schedule that works for your friends is not suited to you. Embrace the beauty of your neurodivergent brain and create a schedule that works for you. With perseverance and determination, you can achieve your goal of finishing your script. Rome wasn't built in a day, as they say.


Did we miss any? If you've got any additional writing tips be sure to share them in the comments.

 

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