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Ann on writing... / 23 May 2011

Writing can be a very solitary process which is probably what attracted me to it in the first place. Living in a residential school with 50 other kids meant that privacy was rarely possible whilst escapism into thought and imagination became a mechanism that allowed me to survive and even flourish. My own speech impairment drew me to the written word and even now, in my 40s I prefer text to the spoken word, as a way of communicating with the world outside my front door.

Although I have been writing for many years, I have been reluctant to share my work or call myself a writer; that accolade always felt too high for my own clumsy journeys into fiction and poetry which, even now, feel unrefined and bare-boned compared to those who are successful and published. So, what has changed and why have I signed up to write this blog for DAO when I am so afraid that after a few months I will have nothing to say?

Well. I guess I have had a Eureka moment similar perhaps to the one I had over twenty years ago when I discovered Disability Arts and Politics. There are thousands of writers out there and even some very successful ones who can’t write at all but tell great stories so why should I hide away?

Disabled people’s lives are amazing and my everyday experiences as a disabled woman, wife, mother, daughter and friend should be shared because we need to remember. If I remain silent and afraid then my life and our history will be written by others and that, my friend is a strong motivation for writing. Well, what else can it be… there’s no money in it!

See you next month.

Keywords: disability history,disabled women,everyday experience,creative writing