What I have learned about writing thus far.

Another day and another few pages of manuscript written.

It is also the first day of Autism Acceptance Month.

Not long ago, I had a phone conversation with Stereo Sue about many things: writing was one of them. In this vein, we talked about the writing habits of Oliver Sacks. Basically, he wrote a lot in journals to think. A video on YouTube also shows that he had the habit of carrying a notebook everywhere he went (one I have adopted myself). Check out the video below.

As I write my manuscript, I have been transported back in time to some very painful moments, such as the mental and emotional abuse I endured over my interests during my early adulthood from people I thought were my friends. Although vision therapy has made me much happier in general, it still hurts to think and talk about these moments. In fact, I will only mention a couple of painful moments of the nearly seven years of abuse I endured. I decline to talk about it in too great detail to this day, and very few people know the whole story. But I will tell it anyway, because I feel that writing and telling my story will play a role in autism acceptance.

Writing, I have found, is a messy process. It isn’t as linear as I thought because random memories resurface about my life on the spectrum. My notebook has random paragraphs and sentences detailing random moments I have remembered while away from my computer (high and low tech approach). The emotions follow later and give richness to the narrative.

At least modern technology allows those random thoughts to be sorted out. When I first started writing my book, I organized by logical categories such as “What is the Autism Spectrum?” and “The Particulars of Vision Therapy for Autistic People.” I made them their own separate files and typed as random thoughts came up. However, I had a lot of trouble remembering things this  way, so I decided to make a file called “Random Thoughts for Book” and typed them as they came. This produced far more than limiting myself with categories.

As I typed my random thoughts, it turned out that I could not tell the story of my journey in vision therapy without talking about my life on the autism spectrum, so I started new files by the periods of my life. My vision therapy journey might start later in the book, but many things led to that part of my life.

My book will portray the hopes and dreams I still have after being somewhat put partially on hold for 17+ years. It is a portrayal of my experiences of humanity; not only that, but it is a portrait of my own humanity itself.


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