I’ve loved writing ever since I could form letters. Ever since I knew how to formulate stories through play.
As a child, I loved telling stories with my Beanies, Crazy Bones in the sandbox, and German animals. (I’ve played with so many toys; these are the top three.)
I miss the days of creating a life-long friendship between a white dragon and a white unicorn in a cave. I miss the days of biking around my neighborhood for hours with my friends. I miss my days of reading my poetry to my friends in the library in college.
Despite this nostalgia, writing keep me going, pushes the envelope of what can be made possible in poetry and fiction. I can write metaphorical poems about a memory of an ex-boyfriend, or create a futuristic world in which aliens are trying to save Earth with the collective tribal knowledge.
Writing helps me speak my mind. In real life, I talk fast and don’t always open my mouth enough. I mumble and often have to repeat myself to strangers. It’s just the way I am at times. When I’m excited about a topic–like books–I’ll always talk faster and get really animated at times.
On the page, I can reach more people than I sometimes can verbally. This is another reason why I’ve loved writing. When I write, I don’t have to edit (especially if I’m writing for myself.) I can take the necessary time to form my thoughts, and re-write if needed. When speaking, you can’t do this without your sentences getting awkward. There might be starts and stops in-between your thoughts. Or this is something I’ve experienced at times in my life.
When I write, I can articulate what I love about my family, my boyfriend, and the people who have made a huge influence on me. Some of my heroes are poets, performers, and voice actors. They are very good at speaking, at choosing their words off the cuff, at making people laugh. I admire their ability to speak like this, because I know what it’s like the stumble over my words, or not be able get my words out clearly.
Yes, I’m on the autism spectrum. But its hidden. You wouldn’t know it just by looking at me. I’ve gotten better at fixing my little ticks, like monopolizing the conversation in the room. (Okay, I still do this from time to time. But I’m better at it.)
I actually love being on the spectrum. It’s helped me develop my loves and give me a unique way of looking at the world. I dunno if I’d still be a writer if I wasn’t autistic.
You know the song you’re listening to is good if you cry. You know the spoken-word poem is strong when it hits a nerve. I’ve felt these emotions often while listening to good music, or hearing a good poem. The spoken-word piece during the ceremony for Philip Glass was beautiful. It moved me to tears.
These are the moments that inspire me to write, instill in me that hard work can pay off, can be heard by many ears, and maybe one day will be echoed on the tongues of others.