Writing While Disabled

I moved to self-employment back in 2000 and it eventually became the only way I could work, in my own chair, in my own office, in my own home. I was grateful that I had managed to provide some income even though as the primary wage earner, it was never enough.

I haven’t felt like writing so much in the last years as my brain fog increased, mostly due to the Mast Cell Activation Syndrome. Once the brain fog started clearing up after I got medications, I was cheered but during the pandemic, it’s been really hard. I always have something to say but my writing has always depended on writing in my head first. I never lost that ability but lost the ability to remember what I wrote in my head!

That has continued to improve but has never reached the level I was able to manifest years ago. And now, with less brain fog but continuing issues with the Myasthenia Gravis, I found out today another ability of mine has truly been damaged. Proofreading.

One of the tools in a writer’s toolbox is to remove oneself enough to proof and fix errors. As a former reporter, English teacher and editor, it’s just who am, what I’ve always been able to do.

Or maybe who I was.

I wrote an article today for an upcoming publication, read it over at least 3 times, read it out loud  to myself once and then read it out loud to my husband. Hubby’s listening means I pay more attention to the words I read and I do find my “last errors” that way. After the final reading I copied and pasted it from Word to email in my Chrome browser. That highlighted even more errors that I had missed. I sat back stunned.

I no longer can even effectively proofread my own writing without massive effort and time.

So this is a mea culpa, an apology and a lament. All the errors on this website are mine. I own them. I am a disabled writer, not a writer with a disability (or two) but a disabled writer.  I can only hope with more medicine, more effective medicine, I can regain that ability. Some bit of hope today. Maybe someday I’ll be just a writer with disabilities once again.

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