Do ADHD Meds Make You Less Creative?

Disclaimer: This blog post is based on my own experience. Always talk to your doctor before making any changes to your medication, dosage, or treatment plan. 


I didn’t want to dull my sparkle. 

When my therapist and I first began recognizing my ADHD, I was unsure about medication. I had heard horror stories of people becoming a “zombie” while on meds—as though they were just drifting through life, detached from their own personality, going through the motions—a mere shell of the person they once were.

I didn’t want to lose who I was just to fit into the box of what a “productive member of society” is. 

And I wasn’t alone. 

The concern that medication will take away the positives of ADHD—creativity, unique perspectives, quick thinking, hyperfocus, intuition—is one shared by many in the ADHD community. 

And it makes sense that we’re worried: being highly creative is one of the great ADHD superpowers. It’s just one of the reasons ADHDers make great writers, and we don’t want to give that up.

But the challenges of ADHD—executive dysfunction, working memory challenges, difficulty focusing—can also make writing (and writing consistently) a challenge. For many of us, medication is a treatment option worth looking into. 

The decision to go on medication, especially as an adult diagnosed later in life, is a very personal one.

I’m not a licensed psychiatrist. I cannot tell you what to do. 

But what I can do is offer up my story so you can glimpse a firsthand experience, separate truth from rumor, and ultimately make the best decisions for you and your brain. 

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How to Set Up an ADHD-friendly Writing Schedule

“Just sit down and write.”

“It’s not about having time, it’s about making time.”

“If you really cared about writing, you’d do it.”

The problem with most writing advice is that it assumes what works for neurotypical writers will work for all writers.

But for writers with ADHD, these refrains only serve to make us feel worse.

Wanting to write but, inexplicably, not being able to, is like being trapped in a glass box where you can see the other side—can see other people doing it—but everywhere you turn you’re bumping into an invisible obstacle.

Once I started working with more writers like me—writers with ADHD—I began to realize that these invisible obstacles weren’t laziness or procrastination or lack of motivation.

They were part of the ADHD experience that most writers (and most writing coaches) don’t understand.

What follows are strategies I’ve used to help both myself and other ADHD writers make more consistent progress on a regular basis. Here are some simple steps you can take to create a writing schedule that works with your ADHD—instead of against it.

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Top 10 Reasons People with ADHD Make Great Writers

Calling all ADHD writers! It’s time to unlock the writing practice that works with your brain. The ADHD Writers Workshop is a never-before-offered free live event starting Monday, September 28th, 2020. Join the free event here.


Before I realized I had ADHD, I thought this was how everyone functioned.

I thought everyone misplaced their wallet multiple times a day, only to find it in the fridge (!) hours later. I thought everyone forgot what they were saying while they were saying it—not just once in a while, but constantly. I thought that my struggle to get out of bed in the morning was just personal laziness, lack of motivation, and a complete moral failing on my part.

Since I began treatment earlier this year, I realized something that seems obvious now: No, not everyone struggles like us.

But you know what?

Not everyone has our superpowers, either.

While it is true that ADHD creates a lot of obstacles other writers may not have to face with the same severity, I know from personal experience (and ongoing research) that ADHD also offers certain advantages when it comes to writing and creativity.

As a professor and writing consultant, I’ve worked with many ADHD writers, and let me tell you: we’re a pretty awesome bunch.

Here are my top ten reasons people with ADHD make great writers!

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