I found this forum via Google. I'm hoping some of you can help me out. I'm an aspiring author. Or that's the path I'm trying to be on, rather. You see, I have a lot of obstacles in my way. And as a result, I've almost lost my dream of being a author. I'm disabled. I lost a significant amount of my hearing and eyesight at an early age and as a result social interaction has been very difficult for me. I'm very much a loner, since I cannot communicate with people around me on their level. A few years ago, when I was in high school, I met some people on-line and became friends with them. I made my first real attempt at writing shortly after. It was a horror story created for laughs with myself and my friends as the characters. I only made it through a few chapters before it faded out. I created another story, a fully contained short story, featuring myself and one of my on-line friends, based on the Twilight Zone series. It was just for kicks, but I decided to submit it as a creative writing assignment. It won second place in a contest. At this point things get dismal. I had been battling depression for years, and it suddenly built up to such a severe point where I could rarely even talk with my friends. Eventually they faded away. And since they were essentially my only group of friends (since my disabilities make it near-impossible to build friendships in real life), I spiraled even further into depression. I've already graduated from high school. And the key problem which keeps my depression going is that I just don't know what to do with myself. College is out of the question, since my inability to socialize in high school is what caused my depression. College would be an even greater hazard. Joining the workforce is also out, as I have other disabilities beside my hearing and vision. So, the only recourse that seems available to me is to try and scratch out a career as an author. Which leads me here. The trouble is, I am not only a novice at writing, I also lost most of my creative spark. Aren't authors supposed to be people who have at least a marginal idea of what they're doing, who write bits and pieces of poetry and songs and short stories, populated with characters who interact in a convincing manner? I don't know how to write convincing characters, since my disabilities barred me from the powers of observation I assume most good writers have. I don't know how to take my many ideas (or rather, a checklist of stuff I'd like to write about) and shape them into a rough plot. I'm at a total loss. Thank you to those who read through my life story. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.