Licking the Salt from the Biscuit of Life - Post a comment

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March 15th, 2009


[info]accio_arse02:22 pm - Help?
Does anyone know any disabled/ill authors?

I mean writers who are limited by their illness/disability and so can't do that whole round of publicity - the signings, book festivals, interviews that are grist to the mill to selling books.

I'm not interested in writers that make an issue of disability in their work, that's not what I'm about. Just common or garden writers who happen to be disabled.

It occured to me today that I don't know any writers who were physically disabled when they started writing. I have no role models. There's no one out there. So I just assume that disabled writers don't succeed.

Of course, there are plenty of writers who became infirm after they became famous, at the end of their careers. I could reel you off the names of half a dozen. That's not really the point.

Online, I can post my fanfic and get feedback, which is cool. The internet is disabled-friendly in a way that real life is not.

In the world of paid books, I just assume no one will ever want to publish me. After all, publishing is a tricky enough sector. Why would they choose to take on someone disabled, who would make their life even more difficult? I can't do that publicity thing. I couldn't even make it to their offices for regular meetings.

So although I have several 'books' half-written, I never get round to finishing them like I do my fanfic (well, most of my fanfic - admittedly there are a few of those in progress). Every time I think of finishing them, I never see the point. I try to imagine my story actually in print or sitting in a shop, and my heart goes dead and sad. Real world publishing? Not for the likes of me. Nowadays, I don't even print out my stories. It would be letting myself have false hope.

But fuck that. Fuck letting myself be a passive, helpless, second-class citizen just because I'm ill.

Does anyone know of any disabled writers? It would really cheer me up.

ETA: I got told one writer: Stephen Hawking. And I found one on Wikipedia: J D Beresford, an early writer of science fiction whose daughter invented the Wombles.

I also found this useful advice, on a guide for young writers.

"Make sure your work is as polished as can be. Get other people to critique it for you. Read it aloud (amazing how many errors become evident that way). Print it out, change the font, change the pages to have two columns -- any change makes errors pop out at you."

Good tip about changing fonts/formats when printing out.

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