About three years ago, I was diagnosed with ADD. This explains pretty much my entire childhood and most of my adult life (it also explains why I tend to insert a lot of parenthetical remarks into everything I write). I have an essay on Jonathan Edwards that I need to submit to the editor in a few days, and I have been experimenting with a new, ADD-friendly, way to write my paper.
I have used Scrivener for a while, but I do not think I have used it in quite the way it was intended. Scrivener is word processing software that is built for big projects, particularly those which tend to be written in bits and pieces, but I have used it mostly as a standard word processor. I would outline my basic argument, move a couple of things around, and then export immediately into Pages (because Word sucks) and start formally drafting.
This time I have tried something different. I have put way more of my argument into Scrivener than I normally would because I have had so few chances to sit down and devote extended periods of time to working on a formal draft. The other challenge here is that, being ADD, means that there are certain times of the day when I write well and other times when trying to write anything would be about like trying to open a bottle of beer with my ear. Painful and pointless. (That is true for everyone to a point, but for me it also means that I need to time my writing to the rhythm of my meds.)
Come to think of it, it is amazing that I got through grad school, especially when you consider that I’m not really all that smart. I’m not fishing for a compliment when I say that. I mean it. There were many people in grad-school smarter than me. I am comfortable with that. I do not have to be as smart as everyone else to be able to do good work. My I.Q. puts me in the gifted range, but Vanderbilt is…well, it’s difficult. Let’s just say that. At any rate, having ADD means that my mind tends to live outside of the box. For me, thinking about anything is like watching a dozen movies at once. Sometimes, I see things other people don’t. Yay me!
Speaking of ADD, back to the point! Like I said, I have this chapter on Edwards due in a few days. I got up early this morning to try to fill out the last few sections of my argument with sources I have been engaging, passages that I wanted to discuss, and basic points I intend to make. I have two days off work this week. Though some of that time may be occupied with me dealing with car trouble (another story), I will have those hours that I need to sit with my thoughts, uninterrupted (except by my thoughts), and finish this essay. Monday morning, I will press the “Compile” button in my toolbar, open the document in pages, and pray to Jesus and all the saints that I can understand what I have before me. Scrivener allows me to write out of sequence. Let’s hope the finished product has a beginning, middle, and end, and let’s hope that it all makes sense.
Wish me luck!
P.s. What am I writing about, you might ask. Well, as it turns out, I am pretty sure that Jonathan Edwards may actually have been a sophiologist. More on that later. I have wasted enough time with this update. If you’ll excuse me, now I need to get back to the Miscellanies.