Well, here's the big announcement Brad was referring to this past Saturday.
You know I've been writing a good bit about how I really, really want to work with kids. Especially kids with ADHD or kids who have been -- or are being -- bullied.
Ever since I saw that Ken Burns film ("The Address"), I haven't been able to stop thinking about volunteering or doing something with kids who have ADHD.
And then I poured my heart out when I wrote that post about how the film affected me. The one where I finally collected my thoughts and feelings after being overwhelmed with so many emotions [Episode of overload]. If was after writing that post that I resolved I had to do something with this passion of mine.
So here's my announcement. I'm still checking into some opportunities to volunteer my time locally, but I can't stop thinking about writing a children's book for kids who have ADD or ADHD. So the essence of my announcement is I'm seriously thinking about writing something.
I want to be clear. I haven't even taken this to any steps beyond just thinking about it. I have no idea what the finished thing would even look like. It might end up being a very short picture book with text for very young children to read, or for parents to read to their child.
Or it might end up being a little longer "traditional" book for kids in the 8 to 12 year old range.
Or maybe something that's a little more serious and has more depth to it for high school kids. This age group is not really what I'm focusing on right now. I think a book for high school kids would need to be more of a traditional story with maybe a character written into the plot. I don't know, I'm really, really drawn to something for younger kids. But we'll see.
I know first hand what it's like to be a young kid with ADHD. I know what it's like to be a kid in middle school with ADHD. And I know what it's like to be a student in high school with ADHD. All the challenges trying to tame my brain. Trying so hard to make friends when my brain is making me jump all over the place. Trying so hard to keep friends. Trying to fit in and be a part of things when it took so much effort to get my brain to understand how to make sense of what was going on around me.
Trying not to see myself as broken and damaged goods because I had to take medicine to fix my brain. Trying not to stand out and draw attention to myself when I couldn't sit still for longer than 15 minutes. Trying not to come across as a goofball or even worse.
It's a hell of an experience. But you know what? I think I might be able to write something that would help kids see they're not the only one who has ADHD and thinks all the jumbled thoughts that go with it. And maybe I'd be able to show how a character starts to see the ADHD in a more positive light. I get a little excited thinking about some plot ideas that show how the character goes from seeing himself as broken and damaged, to whole and unique.
The other idea is to make this a universal story. At this point I'm not even thinking about how to work in an LGBT theme. Maybe I'll change my mind about that later, but I want the story to have a universal appeal with a character any kid would identify with.
So, there it is. Again, I'm just committing myself to think about doing this. Whatever I decide to do, whether it's volunteer my time locally, write a little something for a parent support group, or write a book of some kind, I feel driven inside to do something. And the idea of donating any proceeds from it to maybe a support organization for parents with kids who have ADHD really excites me.
I'll be keeping you posted and probably running ideas by you for your feedback. You can't imagine how excited I am to begin thinking about doing something like this. Writing about my own ADHD here on the blog, along with the Ken Burns film, was just the impetus I needed.