My Contribution to a Collection of Stories of People With Disabilities

I have always had an interest in using my life experiences to support other people who may be facing similar issues. For a long time, I have also had a love for writing, but never any real focus or direction for this. I have recently been given an exciting opportunity to share my story for a book, which will be a collection of stories about people with disabilities.

 

Initially, I was just going to contribute my story and have it written by a more experienced writer. After some thought, I sent a message to one of the project managers, giving him the link to this blog, so that he could see my writing style on a few different topics. His reply was that he thought I’d be able to write my own story.

 

Writing about my life was a much bigger challenge than I had first anticipated. If I tried to start by choosing which topics I wanted to write about, I found myself unable to start writing. My thoughts wouldn’t flow, and any attempts were just a clunky mess. Eventually I decided to start at the beginning and just write. So I wrote, and kept on writing. While other people were celebrating Christmas and New Year’s, I wrote. In every available bit of time I had, I sat at my computer and just kept on writing. At the end of about 6 weeks, I had over 20000 words. The problem was that I was supposed to be writing a chapter, not a whole book, and I was told this chapter was supposed to be between 2000 and 4000 words.

 

It was a challenge to decide what messages I wanted to get across in my story, which parts of my life I was willing to share with the world, and which parts of what I’d written seemed like they would fit together in a way that made sense. I had to do a lot of editing and rewriting before I was willing to let the editor and project managers anywhere near it.

 

Another thing that I found challenging was settling on a writing style that I was comfortable with. I’ve always felt more at home with creative writing, so sitting down to write a large piece of non-fiction didn’t come easily. Once I allowed myself to bring some creativity into it, everything came together a lot more smoothly. For quite some time, my story had no beginning. I just couldn’t work out how to start it, how to set the scene. Then one day the whole first paragraph landed in my head, almost fully formed, and I had to rush off and write it down before it disappeared again. The descriptive style felt just right.

 

Last week I got my first draft back from the editor. So far, this part of the process is running much smoother than I expected. I have a few small changes to make, and only one significant structural change. I have found our editor to be very respectful of my story and of the messages I want to get across. I have not had to fight to keep the important bits, and there have been no changes that have altered the meaning of anything I’ve been trying to say.

 

I’m not at liberty to talk about the contents of the book. Sorry, you’ll just have to wait for the book. We plan to have a manuscript ready for publishing at the end of June, and to have books on shelves before Christmas.

 

I’d like to introduce you to the team involved in the project. Please click here to meet the team

 

If you’d like to know more about the project as we get closer to publishing and then sales, click here to follow us on Facebook

 

Advertisements

A Short Poem About Apathy

I wrote this poem a few years ago, and thought I’d share it here. I haven’t done much creative writing for quite a while now. I don’t remember exactly what thoughts or events led to me writing this, but I think it’s just as relevant now as when I wrote it.

 

 

 

A PATHETIC APATHY

 

 

Some people have almost no regard

At all for their surroundings,

They’re self-absorbed, disinterested

And don’t much care for those around them.

Turning a blind eye to corruption

When comes time for the next election,

Their leaders they willingly follow

And the usual empty promises swallow.

They’ll vote for the government in fashion.

 

On what do they base their decisions? Is it anything more than tradition?

So many promises never kept

Under the carpet promptly swept.

So many questions to be asked

But that’s always somebody else’s task.

How can they observe and not react?

While lies are being presented as facts.

In blissful ignorance they bask.

 

The world with many problems is faced

But to a lot of people this doesn’t seem to matter.

As long as they have all they want and can afford to waste

It’s not their problem if the rivers are running out of water.

Whatever they need they can get

And whatever will happen hasn’t yet.

Generations to come may struggle to survive

But things won’t get too bad while they’re still alive.

So why should anybody fret?

 

They see no reason to be worried,

They go on saying “it’s all good”.

For their wastefulness they’re not sorry

When they’re not the ones running out of food.

In large comfortable houses they live

Without struggling to make ends meet.

In their flashy cars they drive

Without noticing the homeless on the street.

But they don’t offer the help they could.

 

People will follow where someone leads

For something to do they read the news.

They don’t seem bothered by what they read

And they will not let you challenge their views.

If someone somewhere committed a crime

It was in another place at another time.

“It didn’t happen anywhere we go,”

And “It didn’t happen to anyone we know,”

They are not effected by a stranger’s abuse.

 

People like sheep will flock

To hear religious preaching.

Leaders often use guilt or shock

To add force to their teachings.

Whether or not their words are true

Has little to no relevance.

So many of the world’s big issues

Are results of extremist influence.

Most people will not take a stand; they just sit on the fence.

 

Whether their leaders are the same that caused

So many countries to go to war,

To consider these things they do not pause,

Of the suffering of others they’re hardly aware.

To lend a hand they refuse,

“Some people win and some people lose,”

They proudly insist that they have rights

But for the rights of others they will not fight.

They should try walking in another’s shoes.

 

The world becomes overpopulated

By people so unmotivated,

To make changes they will not try.

Through life with ease in comfort they cruise.

“Into the lives of others we mustn’t pry,”

Really what a pathetic excuse!

Do they have no empathy?

Are they all plagued with such apathy?

When I read the news tears fill my eyes.