Writing while Autistic

I made it! April is finally over and I kept my blog generally positive throughout Autism Month. I can go back to my normal schedule where I complain and rant, something I’m looking forward to after biting my tongue for an entire month. Happiness!

What to write about then? Lately I’ve been busy with real life things. April ended without me being able to finish quite a few entries I’ve been working on. Even so, I noticed that many bloggers I follow kept making (quality) updates. This made me think about these writing processes as well as my own. If anyone wants to share their writing process, please do! I’m very curious. I also wonder how being autistic influences my writing, because I’m sure it does.

Okay. It starts like this. I get an idea. What is this person’s writing process? How about mine? Does my writing process differ from others? Wait, I use the same type of process for my blog as I did for my academic papers. Could this be a topic? Fine, now it is.

For example, this idea came to me yesterday. I then spent my time thinking about what to write and how. This is the most time consuming part for me. Much time is spent staring at the ceiling collecting thoughts and ideas. After this is done, I turn these into words and sentences because I mostly think in images. While translating colourful arrows flying around in a world of glitter into words is taxing, I also enjoy crafting sentences. I find this to be a bit like finishing the last touches to an art piece, or having finishing a dish and then adding the last decorations to the plate.  So very satisfying.

When I finally sit down by my computer, which might not start until several days later, I start by writing these sentences down.  My writing then turns into a game of connecting the dots where I try to string these ideas and sentences together to make a coherent post. I find this very frustrating and I’m very likely to quit, or at least take a break. When I finally return to my writing I tend to change it rather drastically. A lot of copy-pasta being thrown around and then it’s finally time to look over and edit specific sentences. When I’m happy (or to be fair, get frustrated once again and give up) I press the publish button.

My relationship with writing is complicated. I both love and hate it. Writing is very frustrating, but at the same time I also find it very rewarding. So far, writing for this blog has been more fun than I could ever have expected and I hope I’ll be able to keep it up for a long time.







14 reaktioner på ”Writing while Autistic

  1. To me, writing happens to be perhaps the one thing I can do a lot with relatively low cost. I have very limited spoons generally, but I can often write. It does vary though. I did manage to write an entry almost every day during april, which surprised me (I did keep many of them short though). Usually I write more like 10 posts a month.

    I will try to describe my writing process. I don’t know how typical it is but this is how I see it for me.

    My usual writing process when blogging is something like this: First I see something that makes me think ”here is a topic I should write about”. Like maybe I see something on Twitter or I read an article or another ableist parent writes another shitty thing. And as soon as I have decided what I should write about, I pretty much know what to write. Or I could say, I decide to write a thing because I already know what to write about it. It’s all there in the beck of my head. Like yesterday I wrote about why self-diagnosis is valid, and I already know more or less what I think about it so when I start writing my brain just picks out those things. Sometimes I get stuck at some detail like, I how to phrase this or how to make the paragraphs fit together. But generally, I write from finish to end, then just go back to edit a bit (also I often write the first paragraph last). When I am writing down the things I already know, it is also usual that during this process I make new connections and think of new arguments based on what I have now put in words. Or helps me clarify what I knew but I had not formulated into words before. And then I add this to what I already wrote. So last post I wrote ended up quite a bit longer than expected. I am also not always sure when to end (same when writing a comment like this, sorry if it ends up a bit long).

    I would say that most of the writing I don’t do while writing. Because writing is mostly just putting my thought down. I am relatively good at translating my thoughts to written words. But writing also helps me think of new ideas, or clarify my thoughts, so I do learn new things from it. But I rarely sit down to write only to feel like I don’t know what to write. It happens, but usually I don’t sit down to write until I already know what I should write (even if I end up writing a somewhat different text than originally intended).

    Liked by 3 people

    • It’s alright, I love long comments ❤ Thanks for explaining your writing process. You're a good writer, so I appreciate it a lot!

      I also pretty much already know exactly what to write when I've picked a topic, something which came really handy in uni.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Thank you, I think you are a good writer too. ❤ I could add a thing, when I want to write about something but I'm not sure exactly what to write, I often rant about it on Twitter until my thoughts are sorted out enough that I can write something more in-depth about it. I often base my blog post on some Twitter thread I tweeted recently

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I usually struggle a lot trying to decide on a topic. I will sit down wanting to write something, but then all my thoughts disappear. All my ideas for topics suddenly seem so bad. Or if not the topic then the sentances. It’s hard to get into it. I’ve found that resting a bit or even taking a nap before sitting down to write is helpful sometimes. It gets a bit easier if I write about myself, which is why I’ve suddenly been able to write a lot when I decided to write about my time in school. In contrast I once wrote a post about autism and Swedish dx ”Social phobia”. I though I would never finish it. I had to leave it and come back weeks and months later several times. I get really self concious when I try to explain stuff and make arguments for my opinions. I think: why would anyone want to read my thoughts on this? and that makes it very hard to write.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for sharing! I’m also self conscious when it comes to writing. I’ve always had really mixed reactions from teachers etc. Either I’m really good and get praised and one hour later someone will say that nothing I’ve written makes sense and that they can tell I’m not a native speaker (even when I am). & I have no idea of what makes NTs like & hate certain texts and when racism plays a part. No idea at all.

      I always thought your blog was great, but after (and I’m only halfway through) your series about autism & school it has levelled up over 9000. The actual writing you publish is brilliant. Just so you know.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Writing (unless it’s poetry) is something that has always been very difficult for me. It doesn’t matter if it’s a short comment, a message on facebook, a text or a blog post. The process of converting thoughts into written words is a lengthy and energy consuming process, which is why I don’t have that many blog posts, no twitter account nor comment on other people’s blogs I read as much as I would like.

    It takes me anywhere from 2-5 hours to type a blog post, I also have to write it all at once since I can’t come back to it and finish it later since it’s often disappeared from my brain by then. In many ways I write like I talk, in the sense that I don’t consciously know what I’m going to write before it’s been written, the moment I try to think about a topic and then type I can never type it. I get to a paragraph and three hours later I throw it away since I just can’t make the pieces fit together in a cohesive pattern.

    I’m (from what I’ve been able to tell, no idea if this is actually the case though, I’ve not met all autistic people in the world after all) a bit of an odd one in the autistic community due to the fact that I prefer verbal communication (as it’s easier for me than typing) and the internet has never really appealed to me that much, probably because written words are so difficult for me. Not that verbal communication is easy, though it’s easier than it used to be, thankfully.

    Also being bilingual has made things more cumbersome for me when it comes to typing, since the way Swedish and English build sentences are so very different and my brain often has a hard time separating the two.

    Interesting topic, I enjoyed reading the comments and learning more about their, and your, writing process.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Then I feel very honoured that you’ve written this long comment! I also have a very hard time separating languages, they all melt together into one really big, no-sense-at -all language and then I have to guess, basically.

      Blogging is very time and energy consuming indeed. I’m lucky enough to be able to leave and come back, but I have to put so much energy in just trying to start putting my thoughts down. I am thinking of trying to ”write” a blog post in the way I think, that is, with arrows and geometric shapes.

      The internet is much better with verbal communication these days, btw. All types of voice chat, really. That can be very draining too, though. ^^;


      • I do adore using shapes and arrows. Normally when I shorthand write notes it’s all arrows and boxes, and colours too, I do love using colours. In school I learnt by making my own notes and making everything fit into a circle, where the beginning and the end would fit together.

        It is much better in that regard these days, although I find it hard to just listen to people when they talk, I lose my focus too easily (audiobooks are non-functional for me as an example) and I zone out and stop listening eventually. I have to have some sort of visual input as well. I actually prefer meeting people face to face to talk to them, for me that’s always been the easiest way to communicate. Although I can usually only cope with one person at once, too many voices is hard to sort through.

        I’m actually woefully behind in all things new technology (no smart phones or tablets here). My brain gets too easily into overload so I’ve decide to just not hop on the new tech bandwagon. I do adore the technology in itself though, the power it holds to help and support people, it can be a wonderful thing.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Asymmetra, your blog is currently included on our Actually Autistic Blogs List (anautismobserver.wordpress.com). Please click on the ”How do you want your blog listed?” link at the top of that site to personalize your blog’s description.
    Thank you.
    Judy (An Autism Observer)



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