Let me share with you some personal back story of little ol’ me: I grew up in an impoverished family, okay? Poverty is all I’ve known. As such, I’ve never known wealth or opulence. But I know how to budget with very little money. And I can do that pretty damned well.
Growing up as a kid, I didn’t have that many opportunities afforded to me. People by and large didn’t think much of me. I mean, who would? Someone born premature, born with cerebral palsy, neurological problems, and what have you? Would you really give that much thought to someone like that–if you ever were to cross paths with them?
Think about it.
Most people that I knew back then didn’t understand how to deal with disabled children. We were something of an enigma as much as we were an anomaly. We weren’t treated very well, and most of the time, we were pretty much largely misunderstood.
Even in the 1980s, kids like me didn’t have much choice in the life we led. We were either wards of the state or we were institutionalized at an early age–against our will. Or our parents gave up their rights to their kids because they lacked money, resources, and the understanding on how to deal with a disabled child.
Back then, it was a logistical nightmare. There’s no way to spell out how difficult life was for people like me.
Somehow, I managed to muddle on through it–even though my life wasn’t grand or glorious, or offered that many opportunities upon which to improve myself. The most we could ever hope for is to shoot snake-eyes and hope that we hit a lucky number on the roulette wheel in return.
But nine times out of ten, fate was against us every step of the way. In my case, I had very little opportunity for advancement. To better myself. Not because I didn’t want to, but because people who were in control of my situation had decided well in advance that I wasn’t worthy of such an accolade–only because they didn’t see any self-worth in what I was, or what I was doing at the time.
So whenever I started on a pet project of mine, or something that gave me focus, many a times over did people tell me to “give it up” or to simply abandon what I was doing and shelve it because there would be nobody there to acknowledge my accomplishments.
Because I was told that nobody cared. And when you tell a developmentally-challenged child or teenager that “nobody cares” about what you’re doing, it has a huge impact on what they do later on as the individual. It greatly damages their sense of self-worth and also creates the distinct impression that anything you or they do in the near future will be met with the same fate.
So imagine my surprise when people tell me I should just “give up” my dreams of ever getting published because “nobody will read my books”.
It’s the same mechanism which had been lorded over me in years past–because like people before me–these same parties see absolutely no worth in what I am doing as a person. As a writer.
Like I’ve pointed out many times in the past, I do the things I do because I want to do these things. I am driven. I am obsessed.
Deeply obsessed in some cases. My love for books? My love for writing? It all got started at an early age because I was obsessed with the idea of becoming a writer and wanting to get published.
This has nothing to do with following the crowd and wanting my fifteen minutes of fame. I pretty much gave up on the silly dream years ago when I finally realized that nothing I wrote would really matter in the eyes of the mainstream.
What drives me to write my books is–as one person pointed out on my blog yesterday–is my creativity. My imagination. It can’t be contained. It can’t be suppressed. No matter if the whole world hates my guts, if everyone hates my writing with a passion, I just can’t stop writing.
I have to keep going. I have to keep dreaming about what’s over that horizon.
When it comes to writing for an audience, it’s something that I’ve never given much thought over. I mean, seriously! Why do I need to expend all that unnecessary energy worrying about what other people (complete and total strangers) want in a novel–when I should be rightfully focused on what I should be writing instead?
I should instead tie all of my energies into my writing, rather than people. If there is a target audience out there, I’m completely blind to it. I really am. I don’t know who they are. Nor do I care.
What matters to me in the here and now is my books. I need to focus 100% of my energies into them. Not people who I don’t know and don’t care about at this point in time. It just serves as a distraction to the overall project.
And no, I don’t think what I’ve been doing for 25 years as a writer is a waste of time. It’s helped me in more ways than any holistic therapy session could possibly give me. It’s helped provide me with focus and a goal.
It’s more than what most disabled kids in my situation would be given. I’ve met and seen a lot of kids in my situation without a goal in life, without something to give them focus on–because no one was there to help them along.
I was fortunate to have a few people who stuck by me through the troubled times. But to the rest of you who only sought to keep me pinned, or tear me down, you pretty much failed in that regard.
I’m still here.
In the end, I don’t know what future my books will have for me. I don’t know if they will be successful or not. But the point of me being a writer is not to please you.
It’s to please me.
Why? Because in years past, I was denied the opportunity of someone telling me that what I was doing was worthwhile in their eyes. By people who didn’t see me as worthy.
So I have to prove myself. And the only way–as I see it—that I can do this is by doing things for myself first and foremost.
As such, my books are for my own personal enjoyment. Nobody else’s. The only reason why I am writing, wanting to publish, is because I want to share my creative passions with people. To show them that, yes, I can do the very things that I was told many times over that I couldn’t.
This is why I can write 500,000 word novels and you can’t. This is why I can multitask on so many projects and you can’t. This is why I can go beyond the comfort zones of so many other commercially-published writers and you can’t.
Because I have no limits.
So long as my imagination (and my dreams) keep churning out new books, I’ll never stop writing. I’ll never give up on my dreams of becoming self-published.
No matter what people say or do. It’s something that will never, ever stop with me.
And yes…I have ADD among other things. ^_^