And Stimming With Rainbows of Every Design

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Why I Write Where I Write

I seem to spend a lot of time offline explaining to family members exactly why I write in the places I write. Apparently me commenting on blogs, in the comments section of random newspaper articles, and on places like Yahoo!Answers is just a waste of my time, and I should be writing more at higher ups in autism organizations, political candidates, and assorted other "influential" people. The "nobodies" on the Internet are not worth my time or somesuch.

Well, the "nobodies" are the ones going on fundraising walks, promoting quack cures, sending their kids to potentially disastrous "therapies," perpetuating dangerous ideological memes, and supporting the higher-ups. They're everywhere, and they communicate, because that's what people do. Some of the things they communicate need to be refuted.

I just read Daniel Quinn's Ishmael this past weekend. (I might write more on that later, I know it articulated a lot of things that I've wanted to have a way to say for years.) Anyway, exploring his website after I read the book, I found this quote from an essay that perfectly articulates what I'm going on about.

Where there are two with changed minds, there can be four. And where there are four, there can be eight. And where there are eight, there can be sixteen. All because of that one that started the whole thing by saying, "I've got to change these two minds."

That's why I write where I write. And I have successfully changed people's minds. I don't know if they spread on what they learn, but I figure there's always the potential. It's definitely better than some piece of writing ending up in the "recycle" folder of some authority's e-mail inbox. Not that people shouldn't contact people in positions of power (and I think that contacting the media can be very important, as newspapers, radio, and television are all major parts of informing the general public), but those of us who mostly hang around below the radar shouldn't be devalued either.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Barriers to Blogging

I always say I'm going to write more here and then I never do. Bad me. :-P So, no promises on this entry. Maybe I'll even say that I'll write less and then I can prove myself wrong!

First off, I'm just getting back into advocacy after about six months of being mostly dormant. I'm hanging out reading things, commenting at Yahoo!Answers (yes, it's a disaster, but at least it's a disaster I'm familiar with), occasionally commenting on a news story if I think I need to. But I'm still feeling very out of the loop on things and I expect I will for a while yet.

I spend a lot of time intending to write. I think of a topic that piques my interest, and I plan that when I have time, I'll blog on that topic.

But when I actually go off to write on that pre-determined topic, I freeze up. The best way I can describe it is that when I first think of the topic, the word pathways open up and I can follow them down and make a coherent post. Of course, I'm either not at the computer then or I'm trying to get something else done, so that doesn't happen. Then five or more hours later when I'm finally attempting to write it up, I'm on a whole other island and maybe there are other paths and maybe there aren't, but regardless, I'd have to do a lot of leaping across impossible gaps to get to the island with the first path. After a few days, I *might* reach it again (certain islands are frequented more often than others), but there's no guarantee.

Add to that that I have some sort of anxiety disorder that makes dealing with comments stressful and exhausting. I think I'm among the few people that actually hope for spam, because at least I don't have to worry about the spammers flaming me! Whatever the issue is is completely unpredictable -- I can be just fine one night and have severe flares the next morning. All that is predictable is that it will come back. One or two days down the road, I *will* regret making whatever post I made. No exceptions thus far.

I have some sort of problem too with topics, where I have a very strong memory for what others have written, and am afraid of writing about topics that have already been covered. It's a bit irrational -- I don't mind reading about the same topics multiple times at all, and no one can come up with all new material or is expected to, but it's still a barrier that's there. I think that now that I'm aware of this barrier I can work through it.

I'm a full-time student too (taking almost all online classes, which doesn't cut down on the overload factor completely, but helps a lot), which could present barriers at some point, but hasn't yet. This may only be because the other barriers are taking up all the space at the front, but I'll mention it regardless.

So there goes my non-eloquent excuse list. There may or may not be real posts to come in the days ahead.