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All Day Dreaming
🟡 ADHD Everywhere All At Once

🟡 ADHD Everywhere All At Once

Daniel Kwan turned an ADHD self-diagnosis into a Best Picture Oscar

Let’s take a quick journey with my new’ish favorite ADHD brain, Danial Kwan. You can LISTEN (above), WATCH (below), or READ (here) today’s newsletter. This is part of a new series where I talk about ADHD, creativity, and culture. Your constructive feedback is VERY much appreciated so comment below.

  • Chapter 1: Oscar Speech(es)

  • Chapter 2: Creative Journey

  • Chapter 3: Origins of EEAAO & Kwan’s ADHD

  • Chapter 4: Children’s Book

  • Chapter 5: What’s Next

At the 2023 Oscars, Everything Everywhere All At Once won big, grabbing seven awards including Best Picture. The film is emotional, visually stunning, and absurd, much like an ADHD brain. As if you needed another reason to love this movie, co-writer/director Daniel Kwan's ADHD was on full display throughout his multiple acceptance speeches.

(If you don’t know the story behind Kwan’s diagnosis and why the main character in the film has ADHD, scroll to the bottom. No spoilers.)


So get this, EEAAO was already the most-awarded film of ALL TIME going into the Academy Awards. Even as Kwan was holding an Oscar in front of all the entertainment heavyweights who voted for him, his imposter syndrome was front and center.

I love how he shared his insecurities in the most public way possible. The more comfortable you are talking about and expressing them to others, the easier it gets to manage. Doing it while winning an Oscar doesn't hurt either.

You can watch the speeches HERE and HERE

Chapter 2: Creative Journey

They checked all the boxes on their way up. It started with short experimental films and music videos. Their DJ Snake and Lil Jon music video for “Turn Down For What” was a viral smash with 1.2 Billion views.

Chasing likes left them feeling empty so they moved into the indie film world combining absurdity with sincerity winning big on the film festival circuit including Best Director at Sundance in 2016 for Swiss Army Man.

Now the Daniels are Oscar winners with a mainstream hit and even Steven Spielberg saying he’s learning from them.

Did you know All Day Dreaming 🟡 is a member-only community and virtual co-working studio for talented ADHD 🧠 creatives who want to boost focus and eliminate burnout? Join today and get instant access to daily co-working and monthly support group sessions at

Chapter 3: Origins of EEAAO & Kwan’s ADHD

In the opening of EEAAO, you immediately get the sense that the main character, Evelyn, has ADHD. Her daydreaming, messy yet organized hoarder's office, and ability to instantly jump from one subject to another were all intentional creative choices.

When Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert began writing the film, they had an idea for a character with undiagnosed ADHD who was so distractible that they could go to other universes with their brain.

Even more impressive is the fact that when Kwan started researching ADHD he discovered that he had it,

“I just stayed up until four in the morning, just crying and just realizing, holy shit—I have it.

He later called his diagnosis transformative,

“It really was this beautiful moment of opportunity for me to forgive myself for the first 25 years of my life… Because I didn’t know… You have these feelings of ‘I’m worthless.’ ‘None of my friends can rely on me.'

Kwan treats his ADHD with a mix of therapy and medication and works to break down the taboo by talking about it publicly,

“What the diagnosis really does is, it removes you from that judgment so that you can understand yourself and forgive yourself,” said Kwan. “It’s like, now that I know this, how can I move forward?”

Interview after interview he shares hilarious examples of how his ADHD presents itself and the ways it’s used in the film,

We were trying to tell a story about someone who basically dissociates all the time, is constantly in another world in their mind, which honestly just came from my own experience. Like, my wife is constantly being like, hey, hey, hello, hello. I asked you a question. And then I like, you know - finally, I snap out of it, like, oh...

Chapter 4: Children’s Book

As if making the most-awarded film in history wasn’t enough, Daniel also wrote five children’s books, two of which A24 released. He said in Vanity Fair

I think some of my best work comes out of an informed naivety. I think there’s something really great about boldly making decisions that an expert would not make, and I feel like these books definitely feel like that.

Check out “I’ll Get To The Bottom Of This” and 24min To Bed Time HERE.

Chapter 5: What’s Next

The Daniels scored a big five-year production deal with Universal. They will no longer be constrained by small budgets or free of little expectations. So what should they do next? Questlove said it best, don’t pivot. Artists tend to switch things up when they find success. Whatever they make next, stay in the exact mindset when you made EEAAO.


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Welcome to All Day Dreaming. A simple survival guide to navigating creativity, productivity, and ADHD with your host Hyla.
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