by Melody Morrison
Apparently, nearly everyone on the planet has some degree of ADHD or ADD. We have a society that requires it. The speed of life and volume of input is dizzying. Most of us never knew a name for it besides “scatter-brained” or disorganized or distractable. The good news discovered by educators rests in strategies. Categorizing, using planners, charts, timers; analyzing, prioritizing, decluttering spaces, meditation (to declutter the brain), metacognition (understanding how we learn), maybe medication.
A number of writers I know struggle with these aspects of life. At times, we can blame it on the enemy. (Easy answer, Jesus casts out demons.) Buy an organizer (book, app or person). Clear the desk. (You can go through those three boxes your filled later.) Study how successful authors write. (Take their advice.) I bet you’ve gone through all this before.
In this learning process about writing, a prime buzz word today is branding. I have seen animals branded and it’s not pretty. Neither is me coming up with a brand for myself. Maybe you have yours and came to it easily. If so, thank God. He’s been doubly good to you.
I write on everything. Literally everything. Napkins, stickies (small, medium, or large; multi-color; lined or not), church bulletins, used envelopes, bills I need to pay, old take-out menus, rejected lesson plans, the peeling bark of a crepe myrtle, anything which can accept ink or pencil. Once when I was six, I wrote my name on the painted windowsill with a straight pin. Worse was telling my mother my sister did it. The results motivated me to make better choices.
Writing poetry and songs throughout my school days, my first true award was the applause and Best Story designation from my classmates for a horror story written in eighth grade English. Even before this, writing or singing original poems, songs or stories had been my response to most events in my life. Relationships, love, births, grief, music, art, faith, seasons, pain, joy, hope inspire me to write. I still do.
One can imagine my consternation when I became serious about writing and found no clue to a fitting brand. In publishing books, I should stick to a genre? Imagine trying to brand a kangaroo. How about organizing an octopus? Could I use “Occasional Writer” since I wrote for all occasions in my life? Or ADHD writer due to daughters’ and granddaughters’ diagnoses? Mom just called me busy and curious.
Looking at my myriad of work I sought a running theme. I considered the books and movies and songs I love the most. My husband reminded me that the novel I am working on (still) presented characters in a historical setting who developed deep courage in the face of severe conflicts of their times. The next day a pastor said, “To have courage, you must first know fear. Fear requires courage to overcome it.” Oh, My Goodness. There was my brand and the felt need at the same time. Courage. Fear breeds every worry and the inability to trust.
My personal history involves fears and poor efforts to remove fear. I swallowed grief, stuffed hurts, worked to prove I was good enough. Christianity was ingrained in my upbringing, but Christ was not infused into my being until I had the courage to face myself and the fears in and around me. I saw how fear, hope and courage bled into all my writing.
My current work includes seven projects, courage intertwined. Branding is important and possible, maybe painful. Have no fear. Brands point to identity.
Melody Morrison attempts to harness wild minds of children and adults with relatable stories. She stays busy developing liturgy and drama to accompany seasonal music presentations and devotions. Her life goals focus on encouraging learners of all ages through teaching ESL, writing and music by the grace of God.