Sunday, May 27, 2012

And so,..... I Write.

I really enjoy writing and I have for quite some time, but my reason is perhaps maybe a little different than you may think.

I wrote a story sometime ago about a young girl named Chloe Anderson, and her tale, Chronicles of a Girl,  turned into one novel, then two, and now I am working on the third. It is a creative fiction and the first two have been published. I've sold a few books and I have received some favorable feedback. I've been featured with my book in the local paper and on a local television show. I had a book launch and I've attended a few book fairs.
Like most published Authors out there, I'm sure, I think it would be totally awesome to see my book as a best seller and for it to be in demand. I'd love to be successful enough to become a professional full time writer and for that to be my job that pays the bills.
But, I write for so much more than that.

I love creating characters and developing them, creating plot twists and even interesting, or different, worlds. I like the idea of writing something that may make little sense but than later presents that Wow or Aha moment!
But, I write for so much more than that.

I started writing this blog a few years back after I wrote a dissertation piece on myself titled "Breaking Down Barriers & Walking the Path of Accessibility". A former colleague and friend whom I respect and admire convinced me that this writing style of mine was motivational and inspirational and she told me to keep it going. She got me hooked on creating a blog (not that it took much to get me hooked on writing) and I enjoy keeping up and sharing my work.
But, I write for so much more than that.

Short stories and articles have been published. I haven't made a whole lot of money off of any of it, but it is great to be recognized and see my name in print.
But, I write for so much more than that.

My last blog post I wrote about my monumental event in turning the big Four-Oh. I started out the post with a definition from wikipedia of my horoscope sign, Taurus. One of the lines said: Taureans are most happy when being creative. I highly conquer. (At least for me)
But, I write for so much more than that.

I even write for more than the knowledge that I'm accomplishing things that will be left behind for other generations to see.... perhaps a legacy. (snicker)

I write because it allows me to do something I find very difficult; communicate. I wouldn't say it is something "I can't do" without writing, that wouldn't be true; but I would be somewhat lost in life. One of the ways people get through life is by communicating. I think it is probably one of, if not the, main ingredients.

I have a few personal challenges that I have to deal with while trying to get through life, including a learning disability. But any challenge I face stems from my ABI; acquired brain injury. There are basically four categories of brain injury: mild, moderate, severe, very serve. Mild would be something like a concussion that one tends to recover from after a period of months, to very severe where an individual can no longer function properly in everyday life and would require 24 hour support. Me, I am somewhere in between moderate to severe; able to function from day to day, but faced with some challenges. My biggest challenge, communication.

According to the OBIA, (Ontario Brain Injury Association) 80 - 100% of individuals living will ABI are inflicted with some sort of communication disorder. 

Like brain injuries itself, the disorder ranges from mild to very severe. My mom, for example, struggles with the disorder known as Aphasia; this can be an extreme speech disorder. I'm not that bad, but I do have difficulties at times. Words can get lost in my head as I'm speaking. I struggle on occasion to make a point, if I get there at all. I lose track of conversations, most often if I'm in a group of two or more people. For this reason I usually remain quiet so I can focus on keeping up. I also tend to shy away from social settings where I have to deal with a crowd. I need time to think about what has been said, and then how I'm going to respond.
Because this disability of mine is none visible and I don't really let on to people that I'm struggling, I tend to get labelled as awkward. In fact, I've been told that my silence can make people feel awkward. I can see people becoming impatient when I can't make a point. I've been at the butt end of sarcasm or jokes, where someone will say, "Gee Mark, thanks for your contribution and all that you had to say", when I never said anything. And this has, on occasion, come from sources that know I have difficulties; which is the main problem, because people tend to forget about what they cannot see or completely understand.
On the rare occasion I can also speak and say too much. I become narrow focused on a subject and start rambling. And on these rare occasions, I've been told I'm saying too much or interrupting others (which I don't mean to do) and to stop. And I'm pretty certain my inadequate speech has been the cause to some lost relationships.

I'm not trying to come across angry or in search of people to feel sorry for me. I'm just trying to point out why it is I like writing for so much more than those reasons listed above. Writing allows me to be expressive, to offer my opinion, to feel like I'm part of something. Whether it is writing a fictional story to eventually share with others or typing out an email to my co-workers to deliver news, I feel like I get to be part of everyday life. I write letters to friends and family to express my emotions, to say things and come up with the words my tongue cannot find.
When writing stories I can create dialogue and conversation and actions that I can keep up with. Knowing that I was capable of writing a novel of over 100,000 words was a true accomplishment! Writing helps me find a piece of my soul that I often feel is missing.
I have even found the ability to volunteer myself (which I love doing) by writing "love letters" through an organization called "The World Needs More Love Letters". To be able to combine my craft of writing with the pleasure of giving back is an amazing feeling!
I know that writing is a form of communication, but verbal speech will always be the more bigger, more accepted brother because it is more instantaneous; as well as being heard and seen. But that's okay. In fact, writing has given me the confidence to speak a little more. I still struggle through and stumble on occasion, and I don't always manage to say what I probably would if given the time to think and write into a document. But, like I said, it's okay. Writing has given me pride and a sense of belonging. It helps me get through life; it is my tool of hope. I'm sure we all have something that helps us get through..

I'll leave you with a few quotes that really touch me.
“I thank God for my handicaps, for through them, I have found myself, my work, and my God” ~ Helen Keller
"Writing is the act of reaching across the abyss of isolation to share and reflect." ~ Natalie Goldberg
“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”  ~ Ernest Hemingway

1 comment:

  1. You could almost turn the first part of this blog post into a poem, Mark. I love your reasons and how you write for so much more than what you've listed. I feel the same way about my own writing, my own reasoning behind it! Like I once said, I write because there’s nothing else to better keep her on the right track of sanity – or prove the lack thereof all at once ;-)
    Sounds funny for non-writers, but I'm sure you know exactly what I mean.

    It is amazing how you have overcome so much, you are wonderful!

    I am also glad that I have found MoreLoveLetters (and that I could share it with you). Plus it makes me so happy to connect with like-minded people who also enjoy putting pen to paper, no matter how hard it can be for them sometimes because of emotional barriers, or ABI, or learning disabilities, and the alike. It's so rewarding, such an amazing feeling to be able to give back with something as simple as writing a letter to someone who can use a pick-me-up.
    I'm glad you mentioned MoreLoveLetters, and I'll keep you posted when the next love letter request arrives :)