One hundred and fifty. The number looks big when you type it out like that. Bigger than just the there digits 1, 5, 0. It’s 150 times now I have published a post to this blog. When I say this blog well I mean my blogging career as either a man seeking to understand or a man now knowing, that he is an autistic man. All the posts are here at Never Less than Everything, they didn’t all begin their life here, but they do all exist here.
This little blogging career began over at ntnoway.wordpress.com, made a move to ntnoway.com and has found a new and happy home here at neverlessthan.com. I started back in 2013 I think, looking at the idea of being autistic. It has morphed into something much more. Personal reflections still, for sure, but advocacy based posts too.
I have written about Autistic rights, human rights, abusive treatments, emotions, empathy, meltdowns, vaccination confusions and even Sesame Street. It is a good thing I think to stop and reflect sometimes. To think about what it is you do and what it is you want to do. Where to from here and all those sorts of questions. A bit like taking a groups of kids on a narrative writing excursion and getting them to ask all those who, where, why, when, what and how questions.
I think that blog post 150 is probably an appropriate point at which to do that. So, here goes, some thoughts and reflections on my fairly modest blogging career.
The very best thing that has happened for myself in this experience has been the self-discovery, self-belief that I can actually write okay. To begin to turn off the tapes of negativity, self-doubt and deprecation about what I am able to do and not able to do. I have experienced with immense joy, even if, much surprise that people enjoy my writing. That I am in fact not a crap writer at all, but, in fact a pretty darn good one actually.
Initially I would post my blog share it around a bit and pretty much hope it wasn’t too shit. Then, people began to follow, comment and like them. Soon people were making comments to me like, gifted writer, talented writer, powerful words and things like that. I recall one friend here in Australia saying, I just love your words. It was and remains a powerful memory. A memory that urges me to go forward in this writing caper.
Learning to accept these comments is still a work in progress, a bit of a challenge to not jut discount it, but it is a challenge I am gradually winning. Changing the words that run inside my head are a bit of a more difficult challenge, one that I have been taking on with some gusto. Moving from sharing a piece of writing with someone and saying, I hope this is not too shit, towards sharing that same piece and being able to say with some confidence, here have a read of this piece I think it’s a good piece of writing.
This really has not been an easy transition, it is certainly still not a complete transition either. My history as the undiagnosed autistic who was bullied in school, clubs and family has played quite a role in ensuring that the tapes that play about my abilities, my skills and my strengths is one of near total negativity, and so it really is a new and wonderful thing to experience something different to that.
For all readers who have been a part of that I express heartfelt thanks. THANK YOU!
As an autistic boy, I did not have such pronounced motor skill issues that intervention occurred for me, and perhaps that was a sign of the times it was after all forty years ago. Consequentially, I have always been a little clumsy, have a bit of difficulty with some dexterity tasks and things like that. I am also left-handed and the compounding of those motor-skill issues along with left-handedness left me with a lot of cognitive focus and energy going in doing things with my hands that other kids just seemed to be able to do with little or zero effort.
I still to this day can not hold a pencil or pen in the correct fashion. No matter how much I have attempted to correct this over the years of my life, it has not been a possibility. What I have realised is that because of these things that the actual functional, physical, motor tasks of writing words on a page were virtually all consuming when it came to composing written work.
What this meant for me as a school student was that my writing pieces were considered to be hopeless, rubbish and unworthy by my teachers, peers and others. This has contributed significantly to my self-belief that I was not a good writer at all, that I was in fact a pretty shit writer.
Enter the world of typing…
Typing changed everything. It really did. No longer am I focused on holding a pen or pencil and worrying about how to form the letters and words on the page. My mind is fully engaged in the creative process of composing the piece of writing rather than the physical marks on the page.
And, you know what. I am betting, I am not alone here. I am betting this resonates with some others. But most of all I am betting, there is a lot of parents out there, who may just have some kids in similar predicament, their handwriting is shocking, it seems to take them forever to get five words on the page and then it is illegible. They take to the task as if they have been asked to drink poison.
Handwriting is, in this modern world, largely redundant. If what we are interested in is the thoughts, feelings, creative juices, factual reports and the like, if that’s really the case, let’s give the kid an iPad, a laptop, a smartphone, or a whatever to allow that to happen. Let’s stop, right now, trying to force mastery of a 19th century skill which will be largely unused and allow them to express what is within them with the 21st century tools that they will use virtually everyday of their lives into the future.
Well there you have it, 150 posts, and 150 times, yes. I am a writer, I can now own that statement. Thank you all for your part in this journey and I hope you will stay with me as I continue onwards and upwards to discover the wonders of what can come from within me.
Thank you all and bless you always.