Lately, I’ve been thinking a bit about why I write, and why I keep blogging. My offline life is quite full at the moment, so I have been struggling to find sufficient time to develop new posts.
This is despite having a pretty long list of things that I want to write about. I’m not stuck for ideas, but I am stuck for time. So, I explored the reasons why I write. I want to share the reasons why it’s important to me to continue writing even when I’m time poor.
This is what I have:
I write because it’s easier to put my words into writing than it is to speak them.
I related to this
post (website no longer exists) from Leia Solo because I also struggle to remember relevant phrases at the appropriate time. Writing things down gives me better scripts to follow when speaking. By writing my thoughts, I develop a visual library of the words so that I can almost read them instead of thinking them.
So, I keep this blog to develop relevant scripts for advocacy work. Sometimes, this works well and I’m able to explain things verbally after I’ve written them here. Sometimes, it doesn’t because the words don’t quite travel from my brain to my mouth properly.
I write to counter some of the horribleness that exists online.
There are some horrible things written about autism. These come from multiple places and/or people: Researchers, therapists, parents, even sometimes other autistic people. Some of it is truly awful.
I feel for the parent of the newly identified autistic child, and the autistic child themselves, who googles autism. There is so much negativity surrounding autism, and I want to provide an alternate to the horribleness. I want people to know that being identified as autistic is not an ending. It is a beginning. Autism is not a tragedy. It is a difference and it can be wonderful.
I try as much as possible to link to other bloggers because I want to introduce readers to an entire online community of Autistic people who accept ourselves for who we are.
I write to let people know that we’re people.
This is very much linked to the above, but it is still a separate reason for me. This is because of the way in which autism has been pathologised, stigmatised, and demonised. So many people see autism as a separate entity lying in wait. Autism is often positioned as something ready to snatch up the children of unsuspecting parents.
We, as Autistic people, are dehumanised by those narratives. Too often, conversations related to autism seem to forget that autism is an innate part of people. I want people to be able to get to know us, and by sharing my thoughts, I hope that people can learn that autism really is integral to you I am. It is not the only thing that I am, but it definitely influences the way in which I approach everything.
That’s why my posts tend not to be thematic. I tend to switch and change between topics because, in that way, I can present my thoughts on a variety of topics that might be relevant to being autistic.
Sometimes, some of my topics aren’t really related to autism; they’re more about me. If people get to know more of us, if they get to understand that there is variation among us because we’re individuals, then maybe it might be easier to accept us for who we are, rather than focusing on what we are. What we are is human, but what people think we are is autism. Being autistic is an important part of who I am. It influences my thoughts, my daily life, and my entire experience of the world, but beyond that, I am still human.