Monday 19 February 2024

Spoonie Writer: It's Okay Not To Inspire People


One thing that has always kinda followed me around the author spaces is my disability and the fact that I am a visibly disabled author. That's not me throwing shade on the people I've worked with or talked to, the vast majority of them have been amazing people and I'm glad to know them and call them my friends, but I have had that dreaded: you're so inspiring not letting your illness/condition/disability stop you. And it just makes me internally sigh, take a deep breath and move on.

For those reading who may not understand the above, it's simple. My disabilities and conditions, they do have a massive impact on my life. They do stop me a lot of the time. The fact that I exist in a space and happen to be disabled and okay with that, that's not inspiring really. It's just the way it is. I always worry when I write these kinds of pieces because I don't want to offend of alienate people, but at the same time it feels like a conversation that needs to be had, especially when there are so many disabled and/or chronically ill writers out there who maybe think they need to be inspiring people with what they do, that if they don't, they're somehow doing things wrong.

The truth about inspiration is something I've talked about before (piece found here) and I'm not going to repeat myself and go into it all again. The fact of the matter is, that if someone inspires you because they exist as a disabled/chronically ill person, it's not the compliment that you might think it is. I work hard to be an author. I have all kinds of tricks that help me keep up with the deadlines and other facets of author life. I have built in safety nets in that I do my YouTube videos a month in advance where possible, I write my scripts for said videos a month in advance, I do my blog posts for the month, a month in advance. All of this is so that if I get sick, and have to take a whole chunk of time off, I'm, mostly, covered for the month. It means that then I have breathing room to make sure that I can, somewhat, relax in knowing that things are done, lined up and ready to go.

But that's not the case for every spoonie writer. It's not always possible, and it's not always something they can do because of time constraints or different disabilities and conditions. It's not always possible to plan that far in advance because their health fluctuates so much, and that's okay, it's perfectly valid. You have to do what works for you, and anyone telling you otherwise is just plain old wrong.

There is so much focus, I feel, placed on being inspiring, that sometimes it can be more than detrimental to other people. I know that I'm organised, and I know that I get a lot done, but I also know that my health is, mostly, somewhat stable, and I've honed my schedule down to being able to do a lot in the three or so hours a day my body will let me work. That takes time, it takes energy and it means that I am able to pull up and do the thing with little to no fuss. That's not the case for every spoonie out there trying to make it work.

So if you're someone who's reading this, and feels like you don't inspire people in any way, that's okay. You don't have to be an inspiration to be valid. You're doing amazing things, and while they may not seem like much to some people, I know how much it takes out of you to do the things, to show up, to write, to promote and all of that. You're doing things your way and while it may take you time, maybe even more time than an abled writer, you are doing amazing. You just gotta keep going, no matter how uninspiring you may feel. You got this, and I believe in you.

Any questions? Lemme know in the comments below!

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