Thursday, May 5, 2022

The Reason I Wrote

A common question I get at presentations is, "Why did you start to write in the first place?" This post will be the written answer to that question.

When I answer this question, I start by stating that there was no noble cause in the genesis of my writing. I didn’t seek out a book and I’ll be the first person to admit that I’m an author by accident. In fact, writing was one of my least favorite things in the entire world to do. However, I got my Asperger’s diagnosis in December of 2003 and there wasn’t much information about it back then like there is now. My doctor didn’t know what to make of it and told me, “Good luck” so I had to look it up on the internet where I found the worst information possible and sadly, I believed it. At the same time my racing career was falling apart, and I lost the only girlfriend I had ever had up to that point. My life, despite the answers I finally had as to why I am the way I am, was in shambles and quickly getting worse.

There was a period of hideous stagnation as I stayed in a state of supreme depression for 15 months. The ill-feelings toward myself and the misunderstanding the world had about Asperger’s grew and grew and I had no outlet except to stay silent and feel miserable. This went on until one evening in February 2005, just past midnight, I decided I had to write about the relationship that fell apart but not just write about the relationship in a narrative but write about the mechanics in play. If anything, I was writing as a way to justify my actions and to explain to her should she ever read it which I doubt she would but I had to get the words out.

I ended the last paragraph with a major phrase of, “get the words out”. I always had emotions but lacked the ability to fully express them. If you asked me anything remotely close to requiring an emotional response you’d get a generic answer of, “I don’t know.” Did I know? Most of the time yes, sometimes I truly didn’t know, but when I knew I still was unable to put it into words and get over the fear of speaking about emotions. This is what writing allowed me to do; it bypassed the need to process and bypassed the instant reaction from the person I was speaking to.

The weeks went on and I started coming up with concepts. This was shocking to me as I never had come up with something new much less coming up with a way to describe the mechanics behind the reasons why I do what I do but these concepts, be it Kansas or Film Theory or Alias, would just all of a sudden appear in my head. There was no conscious thought to these concepts and there was nothing one second and the next BAM! There was a concept and then I’d rush to the computer to write a chapter.

Again, through the whole book writing process, I wasn’t intending on any accolades or anything to come of it as I was writing as a way to express myself. I said there was nothing noble in it but then, perhaps, that’s what in the end makes this noble because I wasn’t seeking out a job, a career, or a passion but a way for someone, anyone, to understand me. I felt alone, isolated, and misunderstood and I wanted above anything else for just an ounce more of understanding.

To this day I still write from that same voice; that voice of wanting understanding. Writing now is different than it was when I began in 2005 and I know things in my style have changed from my blog posts in 2010 to today. The voice though… the voice is still the same and maybe it isn’t all that unique because everyone probably has that voice that they had when they were younger seeing the big world outside and fearing it; fearing being misunderstood; fearing not fitting in and most of all fearing a life of solitude wanting nothing more than to be a part of the world. Maybe most lose that part, but I still feel it, I still have those fears and that’s why I continue to write because even with the million or so words I’ve written across all the things I’ve done the goal is still the same, the fears are the same, and this is still the best way to express who I am and why I am.

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