On being a writer with disabilities – a personal view

On being a writer with disabilities - a personal view

I thought I couldn’t be a writer because I have learning exceptionality.

Please welcome Canadian author and blogger Mary S Sentoza, who is a devoted and successful writer in spite of her learning difficulties. In this article Mary shares her experiences and her love of writing which has helped her overcome many of life’s challenges…true inspiration for anyone who is striving to be a writer no matter what. 

Writing has been my passion ever since I was a young child. I’d spend hours in my room writing. Due to having a learning exceptionality, though, I felt I wasn’t good at many things. I have a Mild Intellectual Disability, which means I don’t just have difficulties in specific areas, such as someone who has dyslexia. I am affected in all areas, including learning, communication, and even understanding.

I also have another disability called Pervasive Developmental Disorder. It is a milder form of Asperger’s. I have difficulty making friends, being touched, making decisions, being around lots of people, and I lack conventional social skills. This causes me to feel misunderstood, feel overwhelmed in certain situations, and at times, it means I can’t handle stress.

However, writing is the one thing I felt I was really good at

I am able to use my imagination to create another world or state views that are important to me. I am able to express my feelings and hopes.

When I was growing up, people were amazed by the things I wrote, and I was encouraged to become a writer. As I grew older, I soon realized everything that I did pushed me towards writing in one form or another.

In addition, I soon realized more than anything this is what I love to do, and I want to pursue it.

At the time, I didn’t know where to start or go for help

The other part that held me back: I thought I couldn’t be a writer because I have learning exceptionality. My friend encouraged me to pursue my dream, telling me that having a disability shouldn’t stop me. There are many authors that have disabilities, and it didn’t stop them.

Now that I am older, I have learned a lot about writing through searching online, forums, groups, and talking to writers. I looked for editors, some good, others bad. I kept looking until I found the right one. With writing, reading, and practice (especially advice from my editor), I have greatly improved.

I have a weekly blog where I talk about a variety of topics that are of interest to me. It makes me happy that people ask for my advice and that I’m able to help them. I enjoy comments on blogs that I post.

I also have a website that deals with writing and disabilities

I’m able to share my experience and research I’ve found helpful. I now have courage, I believe in myself, and none of this would have happened if I didn’t write.

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If I didn’t have this disability, I would never have this knowledge or be able to share this with my readers.

It’s been difficult having a disability because it interferes with my writing, in terms of grammar and just my writing making sense. It still does take me time to write, and at times, I feel discouraged to pursue my dream. I can do it, but I just have to work hard at it.

I also feel discouraged when I hear the only way to have my book published is through either an agent or a traditional publisher. I felt there was too much pressure to finish a book in a short amount of time for it to be edited and submitted. It was a relief to find self-publishing, and a better chance to get my book out.

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I have an editor who helps with my writing. Without her help, I wouldn’t have my blog articles published. I am now in the process of having a short story booklet edited, and in a few months, I will have my first self-published eBook. I am so excited! It makes me happy that I am a step closer to fulfilling my dream to be an author. I never thought this was going to be possible.

Throughout life, for any disabled person, there may be obstacles that lay ahead. Anyone with challenges should keep trying, even if it’s hard. Many times, a person with challenges gives up, and they think they aren’t smart enough.

You should pursue your dream and be a writer or whatever interests you. You need to realize that if this is what you want, if you want to be a writer or whatever it is, you should go for it.

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If you don’t try, how do you know your dreams won’t come true? Despite our obstacles, through our experience, we are made stronger. My dream will come true soon, and yours can as well.

On being a writer with disabilities - a personal view

Mary S Sentoza

Mary S. Sentoza is Canadian, currently still living at home with her parents. She enjoys reading, playing with her pet dog, and enjoys exercising. She is a writer, blogger, and currently is working on her first book. She can be found at http://marysentoza.com/

Please share this article with anyone else you know who will be inspired by it. Sz.

Comments

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Thoughts

  1. Congratulations. You have become a writer because you wanted to beat your problem, not despite it.
    All too often, people grasp at any reason, NOT to do anything. You have used your disability as a tool, which should have given you great satisfaction, and now have a great springboard to be able to fly.

  2. Gautam chaudhury says:

    A touching and truly inspiring story of a determined young woman who has become a writer in the face of significant challenges…
    Please involve me for India.
    Gautam
    gautam.chaudhury72@gmail.com

  3. Gautam chaudhury says:

    I am also a PWD

  4. Thanks Mary for your post. I have a love hate relationship with writing but am a blogger. I have severe learning disabilities and now am on disability. I will you well.

    • Welcome to HTWB. I will pass your lovely comment on to Mary. Very best wishes, Suze.

    • Mary. S. Sentoza says:

      Hi Mary, sorry for the late reply. Thank you for your comment. I think it is great you are a blogger, and not let your challenges get in the way of your writing. Good luck to you.

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