In Junior High, I realized I had a talent for writing. It was a very easy source of communicating efficaciously so I latched on to it with both hands and didn’t let it go. For a short time, in my late teens, I put writing to the side to go off into the world to fulfill a dream that I had of being a computer scientist. After fate stepped in, I returned home and reflected on what I was going to do with my life. After a short period of time, I found writing once again and that is what I have been doing ever since.
I feel my true disability is not my CP but my speech impediment. Sure, having CP, does have its disadvantages, but growing up I thought I was normal. I couldn’t walk – so what. I still was able to get around to places I needed to go. What slowed me down was that unless a person knew me well; communicating was a pain in the ass. I found the world of online chat rooms and communication and it opened a whole new world for me. Currently, I am working on getting a communication device that all I have to do is type it in and hit one button and it says verbally what I have typed.
Why is this so important to me? Well, the fact that it is portable and can go anywhere and everywhere I go is one reason. I won’t have to worry about someone understanding my speech; nor will I have to rely on the person I am with to translate for me. This will give me more freedom and independence; which is something I have always longed for.
For too long, I have allowed my speech problems to create a hermit and loner with in me. I have to get use to the idea I have tools on hand that can help me evolve into a productive person. In order to get my novel published, I have to write. In order for the novel to sell, I have to get out amongst the fans. Therefore, it is long overdue that I find ways to do that instead of hiding in the shadows.
As I said earlier, I had allowed my disability to create a person within me that I don’t want to be. In 2008, I went to my first convention and I learned that writers do more then write. They have readings, book signings, blogs, and network to name a few. They get out there among the people and socialize. This was my wake up call to get my ass in gear and do something about my inability to communicate properly. While my speech impediment is still my greatest disability, I am now taking steps to overcome it.
While I often wonder where I would be in life if I had become a computer scientist, I am happy and content how my life is now. I am a writer and a damn good one at that. I have a great source of support through Towanna, my family, and friends. I know my readers will want to see me and talk to me. I used to think I could avoid that, but now I see how unfair it would be not only to my readers but to me as well.
I know, without a doubt, I was destined to become a writer. Sure I avoided it for a few years but I knew there was no escaping it. I am glad fate stepped in. I had a character in my head that would not let me alone. Surely, this character would have driven me insane (more insane than I already am) if I avoided him. As most writers say once you have one character stuck in your head, more will show up eventually even if you don’t want them to. I am one of the lucky few that wants characters to crowd my head until my last dying breath.
My advice to writers who have a speech impediment or any other disability is to find what will work for you. It will be hard work; at times, it will seem like you are fighting a losing battle, and you will become frustrated with the journey that you will want to give up but don’t. It is well worth it in the end. Those with disabilities can still write and have best sellers just like any other writer; we just have to work harder at it, and that is ok. Just believe in yourself and your work, and great things will come your way. Our fans will love us for it.