Last year at this time, an acquaintance of mine, a poet and artist, told me I better hurry up and finish that memoir I was writing because he wanted to read it. He happens to be the father of my landscaper and was helping her with the spring raking in my yard.

I dreaded seeing him this year because I have not written another word since last April.

Before that, I had not written a word since the spring before that.

I have thought about writing. I tried reading what was already written to stimulate me but it only depressed me. Did I really want to write this memoir? Maybe the first go around, dredging up my memories, putting them down on paper, having a good laugh and a few more tears, maybe that was what I wanted all along; a catharsis; bring up the emotions to let them go. Yes, let them go, far, far away, like balloons into the deep blue yonder.

I have often procrastinated over the years but I always had a great excuse that I was too busy just surviving my life to stop and write it all down. Women who write parenting blogs, especially about their special needs kids, must have participating husbands or way more energy that I was born with.

I liken it to buying twenty perfect pencils and sharpening them all perfectly, getting a stack of just the right paper, then next year you buy the same thing because you don’t remember that you started this all before.

Now, it is more expensive, this preparing to write. Maybe I need a writing program or a new computer? Done. Maybe if I write it on paper then read it aloud into a Dragon Dictate microphone, the emotions will flow better from brain to fingers to paper. Should I join a writing group? NaNoWriMo was great for stimulating my creative juices in the direction of a crime novel, but not my memoir. Be Prepared, (as a former Girl Scout I have the right to this phrase, I think); be prepared to write and never actually write, that is my motto.

I went to a conference specifically designed to educate people in my line of work in the tools they would need to get published and write a book. It was very stimulating and depressing at the same time because I found that there is “not a large enough” market for my planned book. They said that I would need at least 1 million potential buyers! 1,000,000!

For a few weeks after the conference I was almost talked into writing a self-help book.

But, I do not want to write a self-help book. I do not care if they sell better and make you (and the publisher and agent) more money.

I did want to write something that could be labeled “Narrative non-fiction”, or “Memoir” with some factual details and perhaps some prescriptions for what might be needed in the future. But, definitely not “10 Ways to make your Autistic Adult child’s life better” or “The 10 things your autistic adult child wishes you knew”.

So here we are in April again, Autism Awareness month, the anniversary of me starting my first blog, and I am back again trying to either write the memoir.

Or not.



The writer within us all


For the last two years I tried on and off to write a blog about my struggles finding a good life for my severely autistic daughter. Whenever I wrote about something else, I somehow always found an autistic connection. That is because my life is defined by autism in a way that it was never defined by my career.

Now that I am no longer working, I have even more time to devote to making my daughter’s life better; and it takes time, time and patience. Sometimes I run out of patience, but I no longer run out of time.

I thought about writing a book about my experiences, and I wrote fifty percent of a first draft of a memoir before the motivation left me. I wanted to write the story of how I did not cure my daughter of autism, of how my friends and family, church and community, did not come together to support me in my efforts, how the miracle never happened for us. And yet, we survived. One day I realized that, despite my best efforts, she would remain severely affected by her disease and that it was okay.  She was still my beautiful girl and I still loved her more than I could have ever imagined. I accepted her as she was, maybe for the first time.

This doesn’t mean that I stopped fighting for her and trying to improve her life so that she can be as happy as possible. I also still research all the latest information about the possible causes and treatments being discovered, ever hopeful. But I feel more free to explore my other life, the life I abandoned all those years ago. I can be a little less obsessive on the autism subject; no more “All Autism, All the Time” on my mental channels.

Everyone writes books now, with on-line publishing and blogging, anyone can write their thoughts down in their own way and there will be an audience for them somewhere in the web universe. This is so liberating! Now I can try out my life long secret desire to “be a writer”!

Possibly, on this site, I will be able to share some experiments in writing that are not directly related to autism. Maybe short stories, a novel? Or just whatever strikes my fancy on a given day. Maybe even the long abandoned memoir.

I hope to connect with other closeted writers and enjoy their efforts as well.

I also hope to make my pages inviting and interesting to look at and explore.

My other blog is at: accidental autism.com