One of the best parts of blogging is connecting with amazing bloggers around the globe. I learn so much from them, and they’re part of my motivation to keep writing. So, when Sarah, a lovely blogger-friend of mine, tagged me in the Writing Process Blog Hop, I thought it’d be a fun little challenge. A blog hop is simply a task or series of questions that one blogger completes, and then invites other bloggers to complete it as well. And since I’ve been blogging for over a year, and writing for as long as I can remember, I’m excited to share a bit about my writing process.
What am I working on?
Right now, I’m focused on two major things: starting graduate school and developing my career. (Read: I’m trying to accomplish a zillion things at once.) I’ll be pursuing my M.A. in Disability Studies at the City University of NY School of Professional Studies in Manhattan. On the one hand, I feel like I should have a degree in disability just for having been born with one and living with it every day, but I’m glad I’ll have the chance to dive deeper into disability law, policy, and history.
I’m sure juggling grad school while working on my career will be quite the adventure, but lots of people do it, right? My blog posts might just have to be excerpts from whatever paper I’m working on. Just kidding…sort of. Seriously though, I have no plans to stop writing because I love what I do. I’d like continue freelancing as a big part of my career, so I’m working on that, but I’m also going to be branching out into the world of professional public speaking. I already have experience with this, so I’ll be expanding on it. Eventually, my dream is to work for a disability related non-profit organization, and one day, I plan to be behind a non-profit of my own.
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
Though so many people write about aspects of disability, I don’t know too many people who have quite the same experience with disability as I do. My writing is shaped by two main factors, the first being that my disability is an extremely rare physical genetic disorder. The second is that both my mother and my uncle have the same disability. I think this influences my work in that I perceive disability as a defining part of my identity. Disability is, and always has been, in my blood. So, when I write, I have a life truly full of disability to drawn upon as I put words on the page.
Why do I write what I do?
Quite simply, I write about disability because it is so much a part of who I am. The culture and identity, the stigma and discrimination, the positives and negatives – I want to be open and honest about it all. I want to be part of larger conversations about what it’s like to be part of the world’s largest minority, and I want to share my own experiences. I want to speak for myself and to provide just a bit of insight to other people. And the one thing I can’t stress enough is that if you’ve met one disabled person, then you’ve met one disabled person. I don’t write to put words in anyone’s mouth; I write to be involved in advocacy and social justice and education, to contribute my voice to the much bigger world around me.
How does my writing process work?
All of my work stems from how I experience and interact with disability. Sometimes, an idea will come about from an impassioned conversation, and other times I’ll start by quietly reminiscing or reflecting on past experiences. While some ideas just pop into my head, a lot of what I write is inspired by current disability issues in the news or other media.
Once an idea forms, there are three possible ways I’ll go about writing. 1) I write notes or a draft by hand (which I did for this post). 2) I bang it out on my phone in the car or late at night before bed (which I did for this post on being part of the Americans with Disabilities Act Generation). 3) I type it a bit at a time in a Word document (which I did for this post on speaking up against ableism).
If something really gets me going, I can finish a piece in under an hour. Other times, it can take up to a week. When I’m done, I’ll sometimes publish right away, but usually I like to let a post sit for a day or two and then reread it from a fresh perspective to revise. Or, if it’s a piece on a particularly intense topic, I’ll edit and then read it to my editors-in-chief – my parents. I have always valued their perspectives immensely, because my mom has lived her whole life with a disability, and my dad has been around disability for 26 years. They’re both always ready to offer honest thoughts, arguments, or critiques, and I’m immensely grateful to them for that.
Ultimately, my writing process isn’t set in stone. The only sure thing behind everything I’ve written is my passion to connect with people and hopefully, in my own small way, bring about positive change for the disability community.