On the Clock: Writing With a Disability, Part Two

Many think that those of us with disabilities sit around all day watching television and getting absolutely nothing of value done. My girlfriend has heard some comments in reference to how those with disabilities have it made because no one expects anything from us. One told her directly that I should be producing one book after another because I have all the time in the world on my hands to do what I want to do. Well, all I have to say to that is – you know what assuming does.

Yes, I am on disability. Yes, I do not work outside my home. However, my day is structured from the time I get up to the time I go to bed. It takes my mother and father both to handle my cares. I have a team of maids that come in to clean. I have doctors’ appointments, therapy appointments and other things that must be done for my health. Then on top of that, I have my shower, eating, haircuts, shopping and other errands to be done. In order for me to get what I need/want, my parents to get what they need/want; everyone and thing in my life is strictly regimented. However, it doesn’t mean every moment of every day remains that way.

There has been more than one occasion I have gotten BICHOK when something would come up and my plans change. Part of the problem is that when life throws me a curve ball and changes my routine, it quashes my momentum. When this happens, it often takes me up to several weeks to get back on track. Some may assume that it is me just being stubborn but it is a side effect of my disability.

Right now, I can do that without facing any major consequences, but once Towanna and I sign our book contract, that will change. There will be deadlines, word counts, rewrites, book signings, book readings and other “non-writing” things to take care of. On top of that, I will have our next project or two in the works. On top of that I will have curve balls of life and my regular routine to contend with. This will be one hell of a challenge but yet I have to keep a close eye on things so both of my worlds – writing and real time – will have things rolling in one manner or another.

Just recently, my mom took a two week vacation. Within a week of her coming back my father took his fall vacation. For almost a month, nothing seemed to be within the boundaries of my regular routine. I was off centered, off my writing schedule while writing a difficult scene; my
girlfriend was not feeling well and other things were happening. At first, I left all this affect me. Then Towanna said enough was enough – time to get writing. When I made up my excuses, she just looked at me; not saying a word. Then she said, “Excuses are like assholes everyone has them no one wants to smell them.” Then she showed me all the times I could have wrote but didn’t. Once we got me a bit organized, I was back to writing and accomplishing what I should have had all along.

Another thing that has been on my mind is that when life throws me that curveball, I never know how I am going to react. Sometimes I find myself handling it with ease and other times, I lose focus. It worries me how this will play out once our publisher throws the rewrites at me, etc. Towanna said not to worry because it is not time to worry about such things but well, I am a worry wart and I come by it honestly.

I sometimes wonder about me and writing. Then a voice deep inside me, one that won’t leave me alone, tells me that while my verbal speech might be broken, my written speech is bursting to get out. The inner voice tends to be much like Towanna – no drama, no excuses, no bull shit allowed.

Another thing, I wished to discuss in this post is “obsessiveness.” A small part of my disability is that I am OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.) I tend to want everything perfect – well organized without any faults to it. I place unfair demands not only on myself but on Towanna and others around me. The more my OCD comes out the less I get accomplished. Towanna quietly accepted the perfectionist in me for quite a while. Then she put her foot down and helped me ease up on myself. It seems I get a lot more done now.  It took a while to get that “delicate balance” going in my life. It took a lot of trails and errors for me to get to where I was demanding of myself but yet didn’t set impossible goals.

Towanna has helped me get more organized with real life things so that I can do my writing.  She is one tough gal when it comes to excuses and procrastination. With her help, I keep on track with my writing. My real time is well taken care of as well. When life throws us off track, she is there keeping me going showing me the way.

My advice for this post is this: It doesn’t matter if you are new to writing or are a successful published writer, BICHOB as much as you can. It doesn’t have to be a set time frame every day. For those of you that are disabled don’t let your disability completely dictate your life. Do what needs to be done to cover your needs and wants, and then make time to write. It took a few swift kicks in my ass by my co-author to get me to see this, and if I can do it anyone can.


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