When I started Words I Wheel By last August, I didn’t exactly know what I was getting myself into. I hoped my love of writing and my passion for disability rights advocacy would be enough to hold down a little space on the Internet and maybe get a few readers here and there. Just five months later, my blogging experiences so far have surpassed anything I could have expected. I’ve connected with disability advocates and bloggers of all niches from around the world and it’s led to so many amazing opportunities. Through blogging, I’ve found employment, freelance work, new friends, and most importantly – wisdom.
And by wisdom, I don’t mean that I think I know everything, or that I ever will. On the contrary, I keep learning that there are endless new ways to think and new things to discover. Writing on this blog has been an outlet to understand, develop, and strengthen my voice and my perspective. It has allowed me to gain insight into my own heart and mind, as well as the hearts and minds of others. And it’s not always sunshine and roses when I dig deep into things, but it’s always an adventure.
So, before I continue writing for 2014, here are the top 5 posts from Words I Wheel By in 2013 – posts that resonated with readers, stirred up controversy, made people think, and helped me grow.
1) I’m Not Here for Your Inspiration, and Neither Is Michael J. Fox – After the premiere of The Michael J. Fox Show, I felt compelled to write about how mass media so often portrays disabled people as inspirational simply because they’re disabled. The first episode of The Michael J. Fox Show did an exemplary job of showing why this kind of stereotyping just needs to stop.
2) Just One of the Guys – This post was incredibly controversial, and there was an immense division in positive and negative responses. In it, I critique the recent Guinness commercial portraying a game of wheelchair basketball.
3) Mother and Daughter: Same Disability, Different Experiences – My first guest post on my blog was by none other than my amazing mother, who has the same disability as me. I loved this post, because she shared some wise words from her years of experience.
4) My Wheelchair is Not My Halloween Costume – In a college class I took on disability and social justice, I wrote a comedic monologue on what it’s like to be disabled on Halloween. I decided to share it here because I had so much fun writing it!
5) The Complexities of “Curing” Disabilities – This was one of my earlier blog posts, in which I start to sort through my thoughts on “cures.” It’s certainly a hot topic among disabled people, and I received some interesting responses.