1. Kimi-chan
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    Kimi-chan Member

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    Writers with disabilities?

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Kimi-chan, Nov 23, 2011.

    I was wondering if there were writers who had disabilities. It inspires me to know that I'm not the only one out there who writes that also has some sort of disability that tends to hold me down at certain times. ^^

    My disability is hidden behind the way I am writing. It's funny how I can use my writing as an ability to hide it when in real life it pretty much makes things harder for me. But with writing, I can forget those worries because I can start writing non-stop and not even know when to stop writing. XD It helps me relieve a lot of the stress that builds up from having autism and ADHD.

    So, any disabled writers?

    Edit, I meant writers on HERE. Not famous ones. I wasn't thinking when I typed this. But yeah... I meant you guys, as writers... are any of you disabled?
     
  2. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    On the forums? Almost certainly.

    In the world? Certainly.
     
  3. Slinkywizard
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    Slinkywizard Member

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    Blake Charlton comes to mind. Maybe not technically a disability, he wrote the excellent 'Spellwright' in spite of suffering life-long from the most extreme form of dyslexia. To my mind, where there's a will...
     
  4. Kimi-chan
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    Kimi-chan Member

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    I meant here on the forums... I didn't clarify that one enough. >_<
     
  5. RusticOnion
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    RusticOnion Contributing Member

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    I have a theory that all writers are in some way disabled. That's why none of us have normal hobbies or jobs :p
     
  6. Kimi-chan
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    Kimi-chan Member

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    Yeah... I agree with that. I don't have a job. I did once through a life skills program and nearly had a nervous breakdown. It's impossible for me to hold a job because of the emotional stress and whatever.
     
  7. RusticOnion
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    RusticOnion Contributing Member

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    That's not for me to comment on.
     
  8. FoxPaw
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    FoxPaw Senior Member

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    Um, I have ADHD, which helps me come up with ideas really easily and picture my scenes, but I have a problem staying on a single idea without getting bored and actually getting down to work.

    I wouldn't call it a "disability" though...
     
  9. Trish
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    Trish I've been deleted.. again Contributor

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    I have epilepsy.
     
  10. Ixloriana
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    Ixloriana Member

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    I don't think it's healthy to keep dwelling on your disabilities. Accept it, work with it, but unless you aspire to be the next Temple Grandin, don't make it your identity. -- This is the way I have to think to get through my own issues, anyway.

    I don't know about disabled, but something that "tends to hold me down," as you so eloquently put it, is depression. It started later in high school and college, and it's really snowballed since I've been trying to find a job in this economy, where there's just too little work and too many people who need jobs. Tough to write when you can barely make yourself get up in the morning.

    No matter what the problem is, you've got to keep writing, I guess. Can't let it win. If I start to use it as an excuse, it will destroy me.

    Writing is a normal hobby, hehehe.
     
  11. Fullmetal Xeno
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    Fullmetal Xeno Protector of Literature Contributor

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    Does the ability to not finish long-drawn out projects one of them? Cause that is one major problem for me... im up and down with these things..
     
  12. Ocean Seven
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    Ocean Seven New Member

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    I've got mild ADHD, and I have the same kind of fine motor control and endurance that my dad has- that is to say, I have the same kind of hands someone who has recovered from full-blown frostbite on both hands and lived with them for forty years would. Not sure if it counts, but I have a muscle knot in my rear which makes walking annoying when it acts up, and walking up or down stairs a very painful experience. (I *may* have something in the Autistic or Tourette 'spectrum', but unless I displayed more symptoms of those I would still be classified as having ADHD. (In Canada at least, it is legally impossible to have ADHD and any other major mental disability at the same time, because ADHD symptoms can be used to define these other disabilities, so the line is blurry. If you are clearly Autistic, you cannot file for extra disability funds for also having ADHD, because, by law, you do not have ADHD anymore. Legalese, languages of the weasels of humanity.)

    Again, not sure if it would count or not, depending on your viewpoint, but I suppose I could be said to display a number of symptoms of being a violent depressive case. (Even for me the line blurs because you wouldn't be able to tell it, seeing as I've learned to thrive on minimal contact and even minimal positive influences. Not to rant a life story or anything, but when you work for seven years to get one parent to piss off of pissing you off because they constantly argue with the other, you sorta adapt to the environment. Of course, even if I was openly hostile all I would do is make people pity me. 132lb 5'7'' skinny dudes aren't exactly fearsome, nor do they have any sort of physical strength. Match that with other factors that combine to create someone who would rather fly solo as much as possible, and you have one pathetic psychopath. A scheming and smart one, yes, but a pathetic one nonetheless. (Somehow we got talking about insurance fraud in class and I pretty much found a way to ensure that someone could get away with it by 'stealing' a fairly uncommon theft item of decent value. I don't endorse trying that, but who would really suspect fraud if someone stole a safe but dumped the contents? That screams 'bury me under five years of unsolved weird cases'. (Except to someone like me who would probably jump at such a random case if I were to be in the police sector. xD)

    And I have two more, one of which again depends on point of view, and the other which varies between being a disability and not depending on what forms you're filling out:

    I AM EXTREMELY PRONE TO BRUTAL NOSEBLEEDS. I don't joke when I say I usually have upwards of ten a month in winter, and on average they last an hour. The longest I've sat there changing out bloody tissues every five minutes was a little over two hours. Ripped through half a box of them. And best part? It started again when I breathed in the smell of garlic bread. Hello ANOTHER two hour long bleed. I was surprised I wasn't dead. (An exaggeration of course, but not an unjustified one. You try sitting around bleeding for an almost constant four hours. It's really creepy. (Then I woke up five hours later at 2AM and just knew it was gonna happen again- I don't sleep, I hibernate, and I only wake up when my body says its time to wake up, or it's warning me I'm gonna start bleeding out of my nose again. (Or, more recently, when I get to have fun for an hour sitting in the bathroom marveling at how evil my own body is, and how close it can get me to insanity through inflicting cramping pain. Nothing makes a more fun-filled day than waking up after an hour's sleep to do that, and being unable to go back to sleep; mind you, that hour's sleep was the first I'd had in almost two days. I can easily stay up for a long time, but that's not a pleasant way to do such a feat. >.< )

    And of course, my +650 prescription Mark I Eyeballs. Guaranteed 80% Defective. What that means is that I am far-sighted. Really far-sighted. As in, my eyeballs see properly at a range of a few miles. Which effectively makes me no-sighted. And I've had these buggers since I was two. Little close shave with a possible lazy eye. Fun stuff for optometrists. Not so fun stuff for the kid whose world is suddenly a huge fuzzy mess. (Granted up until I was eight I didn't *have* to wear glasses to see anything smaller than the keys on a keyboard, but it was still annoying. Moreso when, three years later some idiot decides to yank the wagon you're standing on (that was stupid of me, but it was fun because I had crazy balancing moves) and those cool hexagonal glasses get shoved into your right eyebrow. I only remember this because I've been told it happened and I have pictures and whatnot (if you told me what I had to eat two days ago I'd just stare at you like you were some sort of god-like being. I can maybe remember major events I was personally at up to a year ago. Beyond that, everything's a blur for the next decade or so, and I only fuzzily remember them if something reminds me of them. My active memory is virtually nothing.) and what images I can recall are all in the third person, meaning I do not have any recollection of the event, and am 'recalling' it based on what I've been told. Heck, only the scar tells me it actually happened. (lol paranoid for the win)

    Depending on where eyesight goes, I can be disabled at one place and not in another. To me though, I am, and with age comes experience- I can blur my eyesight even with glasses on, and if I happen to get really tired I actually have to work to focus them, defeating the purpose of the glasses. (Which are supposed to focus for you!)

    ACK. I ranted again. ;-; [/rant]
     
  13. Ocean Seven
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    Ocean Seven New Member

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    EDIT: Hmm, it double posted for some reason... *Erases second post for lack of 'Delete Post' button being found.
     
  14. WriterDude
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    WriterDude Contributing Member Contributor

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    Disability? Yeah, count me in. I normally don't say things like this to anyone, and much less on a public forum. But I have three disabilities. First, there's a kidney failure. Or to be precise, I have had a transplant twice already and lost both, and I'm 34. That means I go to the hospital three times a week to get my blood cleaned with dialysis to stay alive (in fact, I just got back home from the hospital.) The nurses say I'll die if I go more than three or four days without the treatment. i can still go on vacation, even to foreign countries, but only as long as I can get the dialysis there.

    The second is that I'm 34 years old and male, yet I'm only 5" 3 or 163cm. That's by far the worst disability. When I said I'm short, what was the first thougth that popped in your head? You'd be surprised how many people refuse to take me seriously in anything. Women won't even give me a first look, much less a second. The problem is I was struggling to get a job (how can I get a job when no one takes me seriously?), so I had my IQ tested by a shrink. It turns out it was 'above average'. I don't know the numbers, but it doesn't matter. The few people who knows me say I'm funny and easy to like. The problem is I'm easy to like because no one ever sees me as more than just a friend. I dare say more or less all the women on the entire forum would think the same: I'm a great guy and could be their best friend if given the chance, but sleeping with me? Never even occured to them. (and don't worry, just because I'm a bit short, it doesn't mean 'everything' is short. Some things are very normal, and I give more than I take.) I once signed up for an online dating service for a whole month and sent pokes, messages and so on to at least five or six women -every- day. Two of them replied. Both were uninterested, and I didn't even mention my health issues. With so many people turning me down and not one showing any kind of interest, it's not just bad luck. I have no idea what it is, though. Surely it can't be that I mentioned my height? Then again it wouldn't be the first time that's been a turnoff...

    The third is my mental state. There could be a lot of reasons for it, but I don't trust anyone. Well, CC of course, but that's it. I strongly prefer solitude to big crowds of people I know (I don't mind crowds of strangers, though), and I literally have not a single friend offline. I have three friends on the internet, but that's it. And not one of them live in my own country. I might be a bit insane too, on top of it. Depending on what you call 'insane', of course. In my case, it's more about not giving a crap about stuff everyone else (aka my family) cares about, thinking about stuff no one cares about and doing pretty much whatever the heck I want. Like not caring about starting a family and rather being on my own.
     
  15. Kimi-chan
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    Kimi-chan Member

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    There are times when it does get in the way though. It's usually because my mind functions differently so there are times when I'm either being a total perfectionist or times when I'll be working on one project and then think of another. I often can't get my mind to do whatever I should be doing. It's something I lack called Executive functioning... where... if you told me to go clean my room, I would just sit there while my brain pops up with some kind of block keeping me from actually doing it. It's not that I can't do it but the lack of processing ability I have that makes it harder to get out of routine or something like that.

    I don't try to let the disability get in the way but I feel like if I keep pushing at it and prodding it to not bother me, that it's almost like well... having a balloon pop after poking it with a needle. Not only does it stress me out but at times it often makes it harder for me even when I try not to let it get in my way. Things that seem minor and unstressful to other people can stress me out so bad that I'm pretty much going into a nervous breakdown, sitting there with my mind going off like a minefield reaction. It can be nearly disabling because its hard to really work through.

    I feel you on that one. I'm 5'4 AND twenty-three years old. People always ask me why I'm not in school... because I look about fifteen or sixteen. I tell them I graduated and they are literally shocked because I don't look my age. It hasn't happened lately but sometimes it does. Other times, I find it an advantage because of special needs wise, there a lot of things that I do to prevent from causing anxiety and panic and hurting people around me in those states... like I don't eat much and I also have a huge issue with stuff on adult menus... so I eat off the kids menu because its in smaller portions and its also food that I recognize and food I enjoy. It's usually due to taste and texture issues with sensory problems... BUT most people don't understand that and always say that the kids menu is for twelve and under... which sucks because... I'd rather have something that I enjoy and know instead of going through some massive sensory overload because of taste and texture-wise over something I've never had.
     
  16. JPGriffin
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    JPGriffin Senior Member

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    I'm surprised I didn't say this myself. This may not be too rare of a way of thinking after all. Basically I'm told to do something, and I can only focus on the surrounding detail. To put this in perspective, I'm told (or push myself) to work on a project. I never get to it until it becomes such a pressing matter that it can't be ignored. Up until that point, I always either avoid the work or complete it minimally. What works for me is rambling to myself in writing (Trust me, if I were truly insane I'd be beyond talking to myself). In all seriousness, I just finished rambling, "reflective writing" as I see it, about making a bad costly purchase, mostly out of impulse, and it somehow got me to figuring out the working system of magic for my latest fantasy novel project (Three chapters in the making so far). Crazy? Yes, but then again, aren't we all?
     
  17. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    I'm half-blind and have near complete deafness. I don't dwell on my problems, but they do show up in my stories. Some of my protagonists, especially if its fantasy or sci-fi, are either blind or deaf. So far, none of them have issues with their disabilities. Mostly because they were born that way and it's all they've ever known. They can't miss what they've never had.

    EDIT: I do have anxiety issues mixed in with a bit of OCDness, but it's nothing, to be honest. Same with my hearing and vision and hearing problems. Sure, I have to deal with them, but for the most part? I'm cool. =D
     
  18. WriterDude
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    WriterDude Contributing Member Contributor

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    My mother is even shorter than me, and I can't imagine how she must feel sometimes. But she's pretty badass at times, that's for sure. As for me, I try my best to live a normal life. As I suffer from the kidney failure, there are some types of food I'm not supposed to have, and I'm not supposed to drink much of anything as the fluids won't get out the normal way. But that's just what the books will tell you. I live with this, and I live a pretty normal life most of the time. I eat what I want and drink what I want, though I do try to cut back on the drinks. (any drinks, not just alcohol.) For me, it's the only way to get through the day. I don't know how I could have managed if I had to be careful with everything. Some people don't like it, but I don't really care. I can't base my life on other people's feelings. I have to put my own feelings first. That doesn't mean I don't care about anyone, of course. It just means that if some people have a problem with who I am, they are the ones with a problem, not me. ;)

    I have problems hearing on my right ear for several reasons, and loud music is one of them. But music is my life, so what can I do? ;) But anyway, I have done whatever I can to get help, and even tried using hearing aids. The funny thing is after wearing hearing aids an hour or two, I went completely deaf on both ears for several hours. I was sitting in a car in the passenger seat, and yet I couldn't hear the driver talking to me. I could only see him move his lips, but I couldn't hear anything he was saying. I tried talking to the hearing doctor about it, but she said it wasn't possible to loose the hearing like that. I tried using the hearing aid for a while longer, but it was always the same. I heard great the first hour or two, then nothing at all the next few hours. In the end I gave up and decided I have to live with a crappy hearing. It's not so bad if there are only a few people around, and especially if the person talking to me sits on my left side. It's a pain in crowded places, though.
     
  19. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    I know the feeling, WriterDude. It's like you feel completely left out as everyone else sounds like Charlie's teacher from Charlie Brown going "Wa-wah wawawawa waaaaa..."

    But I like my hearing problems. They're fun to mess around with and I use them to my advantage. ;)
     
  20. WriterDude
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    WriterDude Contributing Member Contributor

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    Sure they can be fun, unless everyone treats you like an idiot because you "don't understand" even the simplest things people are saying. ;)
     
  21. Cerika13
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    Cerika13 New Member

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    I have this disorder: Asperger Syndrome. I found this when I head Owl City's Adam Young has this disorder so I checked it and realized that I have this disorder. It's pretty an autistic disorder according to the source:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asperger_Syndrome

    One of my problems is that I have a diffuculty in social interaction so I don't talk that much. Plus my abnormalities when it comes to my speech. And I presume that you have difficulty reading this. Well it is a part of this disorder. More over is that I have a book of vocabulary words inside my brain. Sometimes it's hard for me to joke or tease. I usually enjoy some people's humor but when it comes to me, I could not create a joke. I just remained silent. I often show restricted and repetitive interests and behavior. Other people said I am timid. Sometimes (or maybe always!) I am pretty clumsy. I usually have a wild imagination that is why I chose to write. To get my ideas out of my head by writing.

    It was difficult for me that is why I have no friends. I just have to deal with it. Whether I want it or not.
     
  22. Ettina
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    Ettina Active Member

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    Make it my identity? My autism affects me so pervasively, I'd have to be in denial to not consider it part of my identity. If I want to have any understanding whatsoever of how neurotypicals think, I need to constantly remember that they're not like me and won't do what I would do in their situation.

    If by 'dwelling on disabilities' you mean constantly going 'woe is me, I'm disabled' then I agree that's not healthy. But neither is trying to pretend you're not disabled when you actually are. The healthy reaction to a disability is to accept that it makes you different without thinking it makes you any better or worse than ordinary people. Which is hard because society pervasively sends the message that disabled people are worse than most people and should be pitied until we can cure them all or prevent them from being born. (Autism is genetic, they're starting to identify the specific genes involved, which scares me because soon there'll be prenatal screening for autism and people will abort autistic fetuses, just like they abort Down Syndrome fetuses. Which I consider a form of eugenics.)

    How my disability affects my writing is hard to say, mainly because I don't have a non-autistic version of me to compare myself against. I'd say the biggest thing is that I write a lot about growing up different - whereas many other authors like the plotline of a normal kid who becomes different in puberty, I prefer writing about kids whose differences emerge earlier. I have a good intuitive idea about how various differences will interact with the surrounding society. For example I have one series where there are kids with addictive magic talents, in a society where mages are executed. The kids are attracted to the thing they have magic with from birth (eg a weather mage toddler get away from his parents and goes dancing naked in a thunderstorm), and usually do their first magic in grade 1. By then they've figured out that being a mage is a bad thing, so they hide their magic from other people. But since it's addictive, they use more and more until it starts to get pretty obvious (an earthquake once a week is a pretty good sign that someone in your town is a mage).

    I also have a pretty clear idea of how the exact same trait can be framed differently and viewed in a very different way. Gifted kids often have autistic traits, but when you hear those traits described as gifted traits, they're described as strengths instead of deficits (eg 'passion for X' instead of 'fixation on X'). Certain disabilities show up differently in different societies, such as a schizophrenic in a modern society saying the radio is broadcasting thoughts while a schizophrenic in rural Africa says the spirits are talking to him. I often play with that framing - I wrote a short story once where a degenerative neurological disorder that causes death in childhood was framed as 'these children are so holy that God calls them back early'. I also wrote a short story where autistic people were the majority and non-autistic people were considered disabled, and the protagonist was a mother of such a child and described her in exactly the same tone that parents of disabled kids often describe their kids. But all the things she was getting upset about where things our society considers normal child behavior.
     
  23. Devrokon
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    Devrokon Senior Member

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    I have Bipolar II. I don't like to think of it as a disability but I suppose at times it does affect what I do.
     
  24. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    Pretty much what Devrokon's saying.

    I don't see my problems as disabilities as they do not hinder me from living a relatively normal life.

    Does it suck that my hearing aid battery tends to wanna die RIGHT in the middle of a class? Yeah. Does it suck that crap and other smudges get on my glasses on a daily basis and I have to clean it off? That I have a tendency to run into anything on my left side because I see absolutely nothing there? Yeah.

    But them's the breaks and they're what I have to deal with. 8)
     
  25. TerraIncognita
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    TerraIncognita Aggressively Nice Person Contributor

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    Chronic pain. Nerve damage from a big spinal tumor.
     

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