My Writing Style Archives - Tianna Holley | Tianna Holley

Being a Writer with ADD

Posted by on Jul 21, 2015 in My Writing Style | 2 comments

Believe it or not, I’m over forty years old and just recently realized I have ADD/attention deficit disorder. Although my first child was diagnosed with it, I did not see that it came from me, as his personality and type of ADD is much different than mine.

It was only after one of my other children (the one that is a complete mini me) took a complete and highly comprehensive test that I realized I have it. And WOW! I had no clue. It’s not something we talked about when I was a child.

After reading through the doctor’s report, I turned to my husband and told him I have ADD. His response was to laugh, and his eyes widened in disbelief as he asked, “You didn’t know?”

What do I love about my ADD or myself and could never see changing? It’s just who I am, and I could never see myself another way. Most days when I’m awake, I’m always ON–unless sick. The moment I crawl out of bed in the morning, I go to the kitchen and start my daily chores. I’m very task oriented and always feel the need to be doing something. Unfortunately, I get distracted easily, and that means I have many things going at once, and many of them go unfinished at the end of the day.

I’ll compare myself to my husband on some of these things, so you can get an idea. When we painted the porch and railings, he had an orderly way of completing one rail at a time–completely the opposite of me. I randomly threw on the paint wherever I wanted. When I left him to finish my railings so that I could cook, I came back to find that he had missed many of the spots, because he was unaware that I had not finished the back of some of them. Apparently, it’s not efficient to slosh paint in random places and then go back through to find the missing spots. However, the idea of doing it my husband’s way totally creeps me out and is too stuffy. I could never do it.

The same goes for cleaning my house. I go from room to room doing various things. Unfortunately, I leave the dreadful jobs for procrastination. If my husband is helping (which is rare), he gets frustrated because I keep leaving the room. “Finish one room at a time.” (I still shiver just thinking about those words. They make me think of stuffy, rule oriented military school. Did I mention I’ve always had a problem with directions and rules?)

Remember how I’ve stated I’m a panster writer? The thought of sitting down and doing an outline makes me cringe, and I don’t think I’d ever get a single page written if I had to do an outline first. I’ve never liked those things. Too much order. I like the chaos in my head, and I’m fine with it. To actually sit down and try to put my thoughts into a list is just too much. That’s what writing is for!

As a child, I always took an interest in reading and writing and breezed through the related subjects all through my school years. When I later became a paralegal, I took extra classes on proof reading to help me with the large contracts and documents I was continuously typing. I don’t really struggle when it comes to learning the grammatical rules. (Wish it were the same with the math subjects.) My early love for language arts helps me with my writing today, and I consider it a great blessing that I’ve always been fond of words and how to use them.

The biggest blessing of ADD for me is that my brain is continuously going. Before I started writing, it was too much for me, and it was a curse–a big one. How does writing help with that? I now have something to keep my thoughts preoccupied. I don’t have to have a radio on every time I’m in the car. When I try to sleep at night, my brain isn’t flipping channels. All I have to do is lock onto one of my stories, and it’s as if a television screen is inside my head. The plots fall into place. I love to compare what I do to a spider weaving a web. My brain goes into overdrive, and each plot gets thicker and thicker–all while I’m in the shower or cleaning the kitchen!

Being an author is like valium for my brain 🙂

The thing I hate most about my ADD is that I must have complete silence when I’m trying to concentrate on something. Many authors have a radio playing in the background or go to a coffee shop to write, but those are not  options for me. I can’t even read–much less write–with distractions around me. I need silence.

Obviously, that can be a problem when I have a house full of children during the summer. I can’t work at my desk, which is located in the upstairs loft (next to my children’s bedrooms and game room). I have to go outside or shut the door to my bedroom and turn on my background noise maker–love that thing!

If I’m trying to write or edit while traveling with the kids in the same car, I sometimes wear my shooting range earmuffs, but that doesn’t always work. Honestly, it’s just a curse trying to read, write, or edit with distractions around. I can’t do it.

I’ve read a few other posts by authors with ADD, and although we share a lot of things, each person is different. What works for some, doesn’t always work for others. If this is something you struggle with, I’d love to hear your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below.

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Why I’m Not a Writer/Reader of Love at First Sight

Posted by on Feb 12, 2015 in My Writing Style | 0 comments

Since it’s almost Valentine’s Day, I thought I’d do a post about love. Instead of a cute, personal love story, I decided to take this opportunity to give my readers more insight into my writing. (I’m just not feeling all that romantic today.)

If you knew me as a child, you know I was never a girl to fantasize about Prince Charming sweeping me off my feet. In fact, I usually fought with most of the boys in my neighborhood. Fast forward many years later, and you pretty much get a tamer version. No fists, but I was highly skeptical of love in itself. My poor husband had to climb a wall to get to my heart 🙂

I’ve shaken my head in disgust at many Disney movies and could never relate to the helpless woman waiting to be saved by the handsome prince. I was highly disappointed with Ariel falling in love with a man she had never met, and the entire movie was about her trying to win a stranger’s heart. (Shaking my head in amazement just thinking about it.)

So how can I be a romance writer if I don’t believe in love at first sight? Where’s the ooey gooey feelings in my writing? Well, maybe that’s why I love to read and write fantasy romance, where things are complicated with an epic adventure alongside the romance. There are creatures, daggers, swords, and magic. My female characters are highly flawed and filled with attitude. They’re all different. (I have many future characters in my head.)

As for each of the love stories I intend to write, they are all unique within themselves. However, I promise none of the main characters will fall madly in love with a guy she just met. Even my teenage characters will keep a clear head–at first 🙂

If you love reading about a helpless woman waiting for her soul mate, my writing isn’t for you. I’m more of a guarded heart type of woman. Hope you all have a great Valentine’s Day. If you’re single, grab a good book (I do know of one), order takeout, light some candles, sip a fresh cup of hot tea or glass of wine, and take a hot bubble bath. Who says you can’t be happy alone? Oh, and don’t forget the chocolate!

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Being a PG-13 Author in an Erotica World

Posted by on Sep 17, 2013 in My Writing Style | 6 comments

If you go to a romance novel convention, you will quickly discover that the romance genre covers a broad spectrum of writing.  You’ll most likely see everything from Christian romance to erotica.  With my experience, it’s mostly erotica, and I do have some erotica author friends.  I’ve been told that is where the money is.  The steamier, the better.

I guess this is a good time to let my readers know what they can expect from my writing.  I consider myself a PG-13 author and won’t cross certain lines.  What do I mean by that?  Well, I have two young daughters that want to read my novels one day.  That is one thing that keeps me accountable to what I write, as does my somewhat conservative lifestyle and beliefs.  People that know me can tell you I don’t curse; therefore, I’m not going to be typing out curse words.  That doesn’t mean some of my characters don’t curse.  If you read Unexpected Metamorphosis, you may have noticed I subtly addressed that in one situation.

As for sex, my characters haven’t gotten to that point, but when and if they do (it’s all a secret), I promise it will be behind closed doors.  I will not be describing every little detail.

Do my beliefs mean that my writing is squeaky clean, and everything is all unicorns and daisies?  No, of course not!  Where’s the story in that?  Within the first chapter of Unexpected Metamorphosis, you learn that Alissia is well aware of physical abuse, alcoholism, and rape.  There’s also a gory death scene in the novel.

I try to keep it real, even when it comes to the sexual tension.  I don’t ignore it when I write.  I just try to find creative ways to write about it.  I put my characters in certain situations, and I even gave each of them their personality for a reason, especially Alissia.  She’s not an easy person to get close to, emotionally or physically.

Although I won’t be writing out sex scenes, I do try to put a lot of passion and description into the kissing scenes.  That’s where the PG-13 rating (along with the violence) comes in.

So, now you know what to expect from me.  I won’t type out sex scenes or curse words; however, my writing includes violence and passionate kissing.  If you were hoping for erotica, sorry.  If you like it steamy, yet somewhat clean, then that’s me.

I’d also like to take this time to say thank you to all of my readers that have reached out to me to let me know they enjoyed the story.  I know I will eventually get bad ratings and words (all authors get them) so I will try to focus on your positive words when that time comes.  If you have a chance, I ask that you leave a rating either at Goodreads or Amazon.  That’s the best way to support a new author.


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