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for Attention Deficit Disorder Adults

Bonnie Mincu

Senior Certified ADHD Coach

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Anti-Advice for ADHD: Funny, Sad and All-Too-True

ADHD: How NOT to Follow Through
Serious advice from Eddie the Cat

I think all of us with ADD / ADHD can relate to not following through on projects.  We sometimes struggle to follow through even in areas where we have a real passion.  For me, that is in creating art.  Oil painter Dreama Tolle Perry wrote a blog post that really made me laugh, and that I had to share with you.

I was fortunate to have spent 10 days in France on a painting trip with Dreama, a wonderful and prolific artist who knows how to get her point across with a smile.  She gives some great advice on how NOT to follow through on creating art, as if written by Eddie, her cat.  (This is one of many portraits of Eddie; click on it to see Dreama's artwork.)

Read this and weep.  By artist Dreama Tolle Perry— it's NOT for artists only!

How NOT to Make a Painting

  1. Tell yourself it takes a special something to paint and even though you have no idea what that something is, it’s a known fact that you don’t have it.
  2. Tell folks you’re not creative—-that talent does NOT run in your family.
  3. Don’t make any room in your home for an easel or paints.
  4. Avoid art classes/workshops like the plague.
  5. Remind yourself how expensive art supplies are and that it would be a dirty shame to waste $$$ on them ESPECIALLY since it’s a know fact you have no talent (see No. 1)
  6. If you have a studio or place to work procrastinate on going in there.
  7. Promise yourself that tomorrow you will begin…then don’t. Make other plans.
  8. Really important to be extremely critical of your choices when you paint—-subject matter, color choices, and brushwork are all up for grabs.
  9. Second guessing is an excellent tool for getting yourself into the uncertain/ I don’t know/ I should quit now because I don’t know what I’m doing mode.
  10. Don’t paint the same or similar subject matter twice in a row. Keep tackling new things each and every time insures  you have a giant learning curve ahead of you on each painting.
  11. Don’t complete a painting. Ever.
  12. Keep unfinished “disasters” right on hand within easy eye shot to remind you of how bad you REALLY are—-never destroy those puppies!
  13. Enter art competitions regularly and believe how unworthy your work is when you get the rejection slip.
  14. Be VERY miserly with the amount of paint you put out. It’s especially helpful to do this and let it set a few days before using it.. This way it will be virtually impossible to make a that million dollar stroke with the nickel’s worth of paint.
  15. Start projects so big and complex that you probably can’t complete it in your lifetime—-it helps to work on something so long that you are actually sick of looking at it.
  16. When working, play music that gets on your nerves.
  17. Make your painting area as uncomfortable as possible. Dead plants, lots of clutter so you can’t move, and a poorly lit room are great starters! (I’m sure you can think of more—-just let your imagination run wild here!)
  18. Spend LOTS OF TIME ruminating about what all you are lacking to make great art. Education, time, family support, talent, steady hands, 20/20 vision, money, etc.
  19. Fervently believe no one will EVER want or buy your art.
  20. Work with inferior supplies as often as you are able. Old stiff brushes and bad surfaces are guaranteed painting killers.
  21. Paint subjects that you don’t really care for.
  22. Don’t paint things you love, see what everyone else is painting and paint that instead.
  23. This is one of my personal favorites. Affirmations! Place some around your work area.
    Here are a few to get you started:
    –  I Can’t Do This!
    –  I Dare to Imagine the Worst
    –  When Life Gives You Lemons, Remember—-They Are Probably Full of Chemicals.
    –  I make the wrong choice every time
    –  I embrace the habit of criticizing myself
    –  It’s NEVER too early to give up on my dreams
  24. FEAR EVERYTHING. Risk is your enemy.

You don’t have to do all of these. Just pick a few and rinse, wash, repeat.  
In no time at all you too will NOT be making a painting!!!

Remember the world needs LESS art and it surely doesn’t need yours.

(Can’t you just feel how empowering that statement is?? Affirmations really do work!)

Guest Contributor
Eddie Bill the Cat  

(from Dreama Tolle Perry, Nov. 3, 2014)

Want to SUCCEED in following through?   It's simple.  Just read every point of the above, and do the opposite!  (Well, I know that's often easier said than done, especially for those who are hooked on negative affirmations!)

Which of the above points of “advice” do you follow most often?

Please SHARE and COMMENT below:

Author: Bonnie Mincu
Senior Certified ADHD Coach, Founder of "Thrive with ADD," Bonnie has been coaching adults with ADD / ADHD traits since 2001. She has developed numerous training programs to help with the challenges of Adult Attention Deficit Disorder.


    bonnie – wow! you nailed the negativity and self defeatism.. enjoy your painting.
    best wishes


    I lost my job in July and have not had insurance – so can not afford my vyvance. Do you or anyone have any suggestions on where one can get it the least expensive as well as anything else to use in place of it.
    Thank you!!

    Kathy, I’m afraid I don’t know. Some of the drug companies seem to have ways to get the medication cheaper if you qualify, but you would have to look into it with the manufacturer. Try contacting Vyvanse directly, or Google the question: “How to get low cost ADD ADHD medication.” As for what to use in its place, your doctor should be the one to advise you on that. There are other medications, but they may not work as well for you. Wishing you best of luck!

    Oh, my this just so hits home for my stories of not following through. Thank you.

    Yes, I totally related to a number of those points for not painting. My biggest one would be “Hyper-focusing so much on looking at OTHER people’s art on Pinterest that the whole day goes by and I haven’t done any art of my own.”

    Judy W.

    Hi Bonnie-great story. I would have to say #23 and 24-the negative affirmations. I have become so familiar with this way of thinking it is hard to imagine I can turn it around. However, I have to say that since I found your program I have faith that things will be turning around for me real soon.

    Thanks so much!!!

    Judy, I’m so glad you’re in the program. You can turn around negative affirmations, with faith — and even more — PRACTICE!


    I haven’t even gotten to reacting to this piece if hilarity – written by a cat, no less (my favorite species ever!), but I had an idea for the commenter who is looking for low-cost meds. If he or she lives near a major medical center which does research on ADD/ADHD and/or meds to treat it, it may be possible to get low or no cost meds (and possibly services) at least for a while. Worth exploring in my opinion.

    Otherwise, Bonnie, thanks for the laughs and the truisms behind them.

    Thanks Carolyn! There are some options out there, though it may take some digging to find them.

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Bonnie, there are no words to express how deeply I’ve been affected by your blog! I’ve only read a few things, but they have created such a complete mind shift that the tears shed have washed away my struggles forever!

For the first time in my life I feel understood and hopeful that I can put some tools and systems in place to help me overcome!”

—Michelle near Seattle

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