So far, I've talked about being a survivor of traumatic body and brain injury. Did you know the reason I started this blog is because I'm a writer dying for an outlet and an audience? More than that, it gives me a consistent topic to write about and a sort of direction I find hard to find the self-discipline to maintain on my own. But, really I'm a writer. And I officially know that I don't want to be known as a disabled writer, but a writer who happens to be disabled. I don't want to be force-genre'd simply because my first recognized writing happens to be about or involves in some way someone with a disability.
Right now, I'm in Boston and an AWP conference. I'm with 12,000+ people who also call themselves writers, artists, creators. It's been a major struggle for me, physically. It sucks.
I got here Tuesday afternoon. My aunt, a published novelist and successful freelancer, Patti Frazee, met me here. Wednesday we went out sightseeing -- I've NEVER been to New England before, and I've been dying to see Boston for 20 years. Last year, the AWP conference was in Chicago, and that was the first time Patti got to introduce me to her world. Last year, we didn't have time to see the city. This year, I came Tuesday thinking the conference started Wednesday, so I was so stoked when I realized it started Thursday and we had all day Wednesday to sightsee. Patti lived in Massachusetts after college, as well as NYC, plus she's visited here in the past, so she had some ideas to build our experience together here on the east coast. I think she enjoyed the fact that it was my first time here and that she was the one that got to show me around, and to be honest, Patti is someone who I have a certain bond with, she understands me a way that others don't, she's allowed me to fuck up and make mistakes without giving up on me, she's one of few people that I know had the highest hopes, and she even maybe had faith, that I would get my shit together, clean up, and start writing or at least doing something to try to meet my potential. Last year, Patti introduced me to a friend of hers at the conference, and she mentioned that I was a poet, "a good poet, like really good." Last year, she gave me the confidence to start calling myself a writer.
Tonight, I went to a reading by Jeanette Winterson and was blown away, inspired, speachless, crying, laughing, connecting, you got it.... I may have my first writer crush! She said so many amazing things, one of them being that she didn't become a writer, or learn to write, she just was one. That's me. I'm not published, other than in social media and that doesn't count! At the same time, I'm also unsubmitted, I've never tried to get published. All of my poetry is still in journals all over the place. She made me believe that it's my everything to write, I've been writing since I was 4 years old. I'm a writer, whether you've read or heard my work or not. I'm a writer, and no one can take that away from me.