#My Writing Process Blog Hop

#My Writing Process Blog Hop

A couple of weeks ago I received a message from my lovely friend Renee Salas inviting me to take part in this blog hop. I was very interested and not a little flattered to be invited to add my piece alongside such writers as Cynthia Kim, Michael Monje Jr., Sparrow Rose Jones and many others whom I hold in high regard. Renee reassured me that I was worthy of inclusion, so here is my description of my writing process.

What Am I Working On?

The main things that occupy my time are my day job as a software developer and caring for my wife, Anne. Unfortunately there are too few hours in the day for me to devote as much time as I would like to other pursuits.

I am likely unusual in that I do not have writing projects that stretch over much time: I believe a few days is the longest I have ever worked on a single piece. That said, I do have a couple of pieces scheduled over the coming months. One is for an anthology about the impact of the internet on being trans. The other is user documentation for an application I developed. Quite a contrast, I know.

I am also starting to work on expressing myself visually through drawing and painting as a way to complement the images I set down in words.

How Does My Work Differ From Others in the Genre?

I am far from the only person writing about personal experiences, but my combination of autism and gender dysphoria does give me an unusual perspective. I write both prose and poetry; my prose is often poetic in its imagery, which is a consequence of being visually-oriented in my thinking. I like to think I have my own style of expression, a fingerprint that identifies my written voice.

One thing that has struck me since I first began to read others’ writings about autism is how much we have in common in the way we experience the world. Surely this is the source of the strength in our community.

Why Do I Write What I Do?

I had been writing for many years before I ever started publishing my words on a blog. It began as a form of therapy, a way to express and release the thoughts that swirled around my mind, distracting me from everyday functions. I progressed from handwritten journals to typing, and from there to here was but a short step.

It wasn’t long after I began blogging before I started to receive comments from autistic readers who drew parallels between my accounts and their own experiences. I realized that simply by documenting events from my own life I was helping others feel that there was somebody else with whom they had things in common: the same response I felt myself on reading what other autistic authors had written.

I made a decision that I would try to promote understanding of autism through my writing. My goal is acceptance of neurodiversity, and recently I have added gender variance as well.

As for choosing my subjects, well that is difficult to explain. I have no tactical plan, no list of topics that I intend to cover. Which leads to…

How Does Your Writing Process Work?

I write, so I guess whatever my process is it works. For the most part I find I am inspired by a particular event in my life that highlights an aspect of autism or gender non-conformity. Or else I might draw inspiration from a conversation with a friend, or reading others’ writing.

Whatever the source I will find myself with a concept crystallizing from the solution of thoughts and feelings within my mind. Once that happens it is just a matter of shaping words into a facsimile of my mental construct. Sometimes this feels more natural in the form of poetry.

Ideas crystallize,
The shapeless given form,
Nebulae collapsing
As bright stars come to life.

End of Line

I’m afraid that this particular branch of this Blog Hop must end here. No excuses. I simply put off contacting potential contributors until events in my life conspired to distract me from the task, until the deadline loomed too close to avoid.

Instead I will simply point you in the direction of the writers I linked to in my opening paragraph. All of them are writers I hold in high regard and I hope that if you are not familiar with their works you will take this opportunity to introduce yourself.

Flash Blog: Autism is Not a Crime

Flash Blog: Autism is Not a Crime

Another terrible mass murder. Another excuse for the lazier elements of the media to trot out the tired old cliché of autism causing somebody to go out and kill. Even if the diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome is accurate, correlation is not the same as causation.

The causes in this case were probably complex and interwoven, but certain factors stand out. This young man felt tremendous pressure to conform to societal expectations of sexual activity. He had access to a firearm and ammunition that were not stored securely. He presumably had nobody to whom he felt able to talk about his problems.

I’m not trying to paint him as a victim here; I do not condone his actions at all. I do think that society as a whole needs to take a closer look at his situation to understand what motivated this terrible act. I see it as a symptom of sickness in society that crimes such as this are committed.

Gretchen Leary

Dear Autism Community,

Considering the recent sad tragedy and the false media stigma that seems to be rising up – I want to ask you to join me in doing a flash blog tomorrow using hashtag #Aspergers & #Autismisnotacrime so we can find each other’s posts.

Although I cannot host everyone’s blog posts on my page, if you email me your blog post I will tweet it out. (Authorleary @ gmail dot com)

I’ve never led one before but I feel compelled to help clarify this false stigma that the media has placed on our community.

Will you join me and write a blog post about the most positive way that ASD has affected you? Please post it tomorrow to show the world that this stigma is wrong and our community is nothing to be afraid of.

Best,
Gretchen Leary

View original post