Licking the Salt from the Biscuit of Life

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April 22nd, 2009

07:59 pm - Disabled writers between the pages of the internet
In my last post I talked about how there are a lot less disabled writers around than you would think, seeing as it's such a disabled-friendly medium. And 1 in 5 people in the UK are disabled, folks! Where are they all?

A local writers' magazine has put out the word that it's looking for articles. So I'm going to offer to write them something on this subject and try to put an upbeat, humorous spin on it.

Thanks to everyone who left comments last time (also to those who left comments, thought better of it and then deleted what they wrote. I valued that too!)

So anyone got anything more to say?

For instance, about how the internet has changed the playing field for all writers, not just disabled ones, eg

- on the joy of using the internet for quick research (and the pitfalls of this - oh, Wikipedia!)
- about how the internet makes finding and talking to other writers so easy
- about the helpful beta system which grew out of fanfiction (because feedback in non-internet land seems to be a much more fraught process)
- on blogging, now a profession in itself
- on hosting your own website
- about submitting stories electronically to publishers/competitions
- the scary world of self publishing
- on self marketing via the internet
- on selling via Amazon rather than conventional bookstores - the pros and cons (very pricey, I've heard)
- the thrill of instant feedback from readers on the net (on forums, story archives, journalling sites, webchats, webcams, the 'long pen')

Any more topics spring to mind? Any experiences from anyone? I think I'm going to need some quotes in my article and I'll to phone/email a few people to get them. If you're disabled, it may as well be you!

I also discovered more disabled writers:
Rosemary Sutcliff - a historical writer for children
Firdaus Kanga - an Indian screen writer
Victoria Lucas - a freelance journalist

That's still not exactly hordes, is it?

(8 deep thoughts received | Indulge your wild theories here)

March 15th, 2009

02:22 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. Read more... )

(14 deep thoughts received | Indulge your wild theories here)

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