I’ve been thinking a lot lately about whether being a disabled writer distinguishes me from any other writer. Here are some fun facts that might provide an answer (with the emphasis on fun):
1. It takes us longer to get anything done, and writing is no exception.
I, admittedly, avoid using the bathroom when I am writing – or, should I say, I watch my liquid intake very carefully when I am writing. Going to the bathroom can easily take 10 minutes for me (especially when I have skinny jeans on) when it might take less than 5 minutes for everyone else. So I try to limit these excursions as much as I can.
2. But with that said, we go to the bathroom just like everyone else.
Self explanatory, but it needs to be said. For most of us, give us a bar on the correct side of the toilet and a door wide enough to close after a wheelchair, and we’re good to go. Too much to ask? I think not.
3. We can’t eat/snack/binge on anything.
See number 1. I have literally been in the middle of writing papers and have looked at my clock to find, to my surprise, that I haven’t eaten in 3 or 4 hours. Also, if food’s in front of me, I’ll eat it. So if there is no food in front of me, that can work in my favour.
4. We like to go for walks during a particularly mean writer’s block.
“Going for walks” isn’t just an able-bodied thing. We do it too, and yes we call it the same thing.
5. We often do our best thinking in the bathroom.
See number 2. When you’re in there for long enough, your mind wanders until you find yourself running back to your laptop with a brilliant idea that, annoyingly, just couldn’t wait until you were back in position again.
6. Sometimes the best answer/solution lies within words that someone else wrote.
When I’m really stuck, I’ll open a book (not a school book).
7. CBC Radio One is a good companion, even if it’s barely on in the background.
Who wouldn’t want an intelligible, witty, chatty, constantly available bff whispering in your ear at all hours of the day?
8. Windows are good.
Even when it’s snowing. Trust me on this.
9. Pictures are also good.
They can remind you of a time when you have been and will again be unchained to your word processor.
10. Cut-off times are even better.
Before you start crying from frustration, know that you’ve done enough for the day and go get a craft beer with your other, living, bff.
“I hate writing, I love having written.” – Dorothy Parker