351: My Next Step

I have been spending the past few days going through my first 70 posts. You can find the links under Helpful Pages to the left, in the sidebar menu. I will be doing the same for all of the posts. About 300 left to sort through.

I am organizing my writings for several reasons:

1) To view where I was in comparison to where I am now.
2) To sort the posts in a fashion that will be user-friendly for readers.
3) To reflect upon what my next step will be.

This process of sorting is similar to stacking toy blocks or sorting toy cars. The process allows me to forget my own mind for a bit and to momentarily escape.

I find myself at a fork in the road. I have been in contact with the editor of the journal I write for; she is a wonderful person currently assisting me as I process through my next step regarding creating a book. I would like to collect these works into hardcopy book form. Something people can hold in their hands. And something I can hold in mine.

I made the committment to self to write 365 posts, because that number symbolizes a year and a full-circle journey. That end-date is swiftly approaching. In seeing this endpoint, I recognize an ending represents a beginning as well. Not a new start, as new starts are available every moment, but a new beginning: a leaping point that will take me in a new direction.

I have some anxiety associated with newness and the unknown. A part of me would like to be fearless and entirely optimistic about the future, but a part of me recognizes this fear is part of my journey at the moment.

I don’t know what to do, or where to go, in regards to my writing and my vocation. I do know I want to serve and I serve well through words and creating safe places. I do know I need to consider my physical challenges and my own Aspergers, as I am quickly depleted if I am out of the house too much or around large crowds.

I have worries. I worry that if I attempt to put my works into a book I shall become ego-attached. I worry about who will want to read what I have written and wonder if this endeavor to make a book all be for naught. I don’t know if I should seek out an agent, publisher, or self-publish. I wonder what will happen when I open this new door. I wonder about rejection and allowing myself to feel wounded and “not enough.”

This blog has become a very safe place for me. A haven. I risk, but I don’t usually feel fear associated with risking. I feel at home. Like a sibling free to be herself amongst her brothers and sisters. I feel sheltered. I thank you for this.

Outside of this blog, I felt unsafe.

I am trying to visualize my next place. I am wanting answers. I am wanting to see the future. So much is a blur. I see myself utilizing my masters degree in education and speaking to others. But I don’t know about what. My heart is at home when I am connecting to my poetry and spiritual writings. I feel the healing there. But at the same time I know my work with Aspergers is vital, at least at this moment.

I have a lot of works here, a couple hundred pages of auto-biographical stories alone. There are also many poems, automatic writing and precognitive spiritual experiences, silly life experiences, examples of the inner-workings of my mind, and more.

I am not sure where to begin. I am not sure how to sort and organize this. I am uncertain what is important and what is not. And the anxiousness that comes with wanting to piece together a puzzle, and the need to dissect and sort, is here.

I want to magically awaken and have someone come and say: Here, here is the answer. Or better yet: I will do it for you!

I want to be surrounded in compassionate support, deep understanding, and unconditional love.

I want my angels to show me the exact steps and the exact outcome.

Here are some questions I need answers to:

1) What do you think would be beneficial for me to do with these works?

2) What works on this blog are you most drawn to?

3) What works on this blog have helped you the most and in what way?

4) Do you have a viewpoint about self-publishing verses searching for a literary agent?

5) Where do you see these works having an effect? (e.g., college university, females with aspergers)

6) What are your own thoughts or hunches about this blog?

Thank you very much for listening. I welcome all ideas and thoughts with love.

In Love and Light,

Sam

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14 thoughts on “351: My Next Step

  1. 1) What do you think would be beneficial for me to do with these works? As a new reader (I’ve been a reader for only a few months now, and I have yet to read all of your posts fully), I don’t have a lot of insight regarding the overall picture of what your blog represents. But with that said, I like your posts in their unedited fullness. I would hate for an editor to take snippits from your posts and leave the rest alone in the dust and torn to pieces. So in my mind, it would be beneficial to keep the posts as they are (minus a few details such as fixing the spelling / format and such), but don’t change how you felt at the time of writing by trying to “fix up” the posts and make them seem more publish worthy. They are worthy of being published just as they are.

    2) What works on this blog are you most drawn to? I particularly enjoy the relationship focused posts. How you interact with your husband and the people around you. You give me practical examples, and there are so many moments that I can relate to. I was talking to my husband just the other day, and he remarked to me how your blog has been an important tool for showing him what Aspergers looks like, outside of me. It gives him an example, something to hold on to in a very real and practical way. I am drawn to your insight, and to your journey. You make me want to be a better writer.

    3) What works on this blog have helped you the most and in what way? I think I answered this in the previous question. But to reiterate, I am drawn to how personable you are. Into how much insight you possess. I find myself wondering if your marriage has some of the same aspects that my marriage has. I want to be normal, and your posts remind me that I am normal, I just look at the world differently. Together, we are normal.

    4) Do you have a viewpoint about self-publishing verses searching for a literary agent? I was once interested in publishing a book, but from what I’ve read and researched, self-publishing costs a lot of money, and is probably only worth it if you plan on only selling a few copies of the book. If you want to reach a bigger audience, I would suggest searching for an agent (and really focusing on that search to be sure you’ve made the best decision).

    5) Where do you see these works having an effect? (e.g., college university, females with aspergers) I am female, and I am (fingers crossed) going to University in September, so in that sense, your works have made a great impact in my life. I have tried to read as many books on females with aspergers as possible, but most of the time the books are a type of self-diagnosing tool, and not really about the journey. I really enjoyed Attwood’s book because it was very much example based and it took the scientific approach. But I also think it’s important to employ the arts (poetry, literature) as well in discussing all the potentialities that aspergers creates. I believe your works will have an effect in marriages, in females trying to find themselves, in families, perhaps even in academia. I know, at least for myself, I seem to have a thirst for knowledge (particularly Autism and Asperger’s knowledge) that just isn’t capable of being quenched.

    6) What are your own thoughts or hunches about this blog? Because I’ve only been a short time reader, it’s difficult to talk about hunches or my own thoughts. All I know is that I read your blog as often as I can, and the diversity of your posts (and sometimes randomness) fills me with a sense of relief and joy. I am amused by our similarities, and I am happy that I am not alone. I believe you will be successful because you are true to yourself, you write beautifully, and you are passionate.

    1. Unedited fullness… I like that, yes, I agree. Yes, the relationship posts..I would like to write more of those, but I need to feel “called” to write now, I don’t have a choice, I write what is pushing out of me. Thanks for sharing that aspect. You write very well and you are so sweet. Thank you for your kind words. Oh, I am glad I come across as personable; I really do try to be as authentic as possible. You come across that way, too. Thank you for that. I am considering contacting the publishers directly. Skipping the agent. I shall see. I go back and forth. Self-publishing means self-promoting…and man the thought of selling just makes me want to gag….hehe… I need a crew of elves and fairies to help me. 🙂 I agree with all of your #5 I think all the works ought be combined to give the full representation. I love Attwood’s book, but I like how my words paint a whole picture of actual life. I love your answer to number 6…… I love how ironically my randomness can bring you peace… life is funny that way. Don’t you think. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you; I really will take these words to heart. ❤ And they gave me great comfort after I posted this post and was feeling odd about asking for help. hugs.

  2. TO me…the medical community need more insight into our female aspie brains. You explain things so well. I feel that we need more advocacy and understanding for more support and better diagnosis- I think you can help with that . Already I have sent many of your work links to my therapist and he has read and grown in his aid to me…
    2 and 3) The works I am most drawn to are the ones I have asked to pass onward:) I know there have been many but some that come to mind are:
    The Stuff that Ain’t Working
    Reasons to leave…
    I don’t lack any type of empathy
    and all the posts on female aspie info ect.
    I like your art and poetry but they do not help me like your other self help- I read every one about your explanations of processing to my hubby and each time he thinks I wrote it. It’s uncanny and needed.
    4) My dad has self published and it is really tough and needs tons of self marketing- that may be tough for an ASpie- the other way is tough too but If Rudy Simone can do it! I would say to research Jessica Kingsley Publishers who specialize in female aspies…If I wrote a book on Aspergers Like I hope to someday I would go there first. You will have to do some book socializing but I think there is a bit more understanding from a publishing company who works with autistics regularly:)
    5) I see your works like Rudy SImone or Jennifer O Toole- more personal and frankly more helpful than TOny Attwood. WHile I love him I feel he can’t quite get it like those of us who ARE and a journey from someone who KNOWS by life has helped me WAY more. Validating. But I also feel that these gals and those who write need to get there stuff into the medical/ university level so that there is more understanding and acceptance…
    6) I would like to see this blog continue the way it is. If you have to write less – write less- but it would be nice to keep it since you are the only other aspie writer I know who thinks like me and keeps it less professional. I can’t get a response from other people but you sometime respond to me. I appreciate that and it makes me feel less alone. I like that you are real and fresh and that you just write when you want to write. I find that I can relate to that honesty:) I send your links to family all the time and wish they would read them more. I also sometimes wish I was on facebook to connect more and feel less alone, but at least I have some validation in the blogger world. I appreciate that.
    Just be you…and still respond when you can, and give when you can and simply BE. You will accomplish what is meant to be accomplished:)

    1. Thank you for your insights. I would like for more people to be aware, and I am honored and happy you passed along works that helped you to others. I like those articles you listed to. I think the poems and prose are important for the mainstream to see because they illustrate the depth of our empathy and intelligence, which is often over-looked. But I can see how other aspies will already “get it” as they are already knowing themselves. I don’t think I will self-publish. It just doesn’t feel right. If I can’t get an agent or publisher to take interest, I know I will be okay, and have done what I was meant to do, already. I don’t like to self-promote or to spend money on a project that I am tied down to selling to get the money back. I think I will continue to blog after day 365, as I will want to keep the connections I have with many. Although, I imagine it will be a few times a month check in.. but who knows. I know the space is filling up on this blog, so maybe I will even start a new one. 🙂 Thanks so much. I did write down your email, but this week I am over-processed from PMS; if you don’t hear from me, please remind me that I have your email. Thanks again. 🙂 Sam

  3. Erin hit on some excellent points. Your Blog has been so well received because it is real. I too would hate to see a publisher go into Sedge-o-matic mode and turn the fruit of your soul into an unrecognizable mess (yes, I am too visual, but this is what I saw in my mind http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eQdprOzBxwE )
    We never know what our next steps will be. I would not worry too much about it. Keep your enegy focused on the way YOU want it it be. It may take a while to process into the Universe, but I feel in my bones there is a publisher out there who will WANT to publish your work as it is meant to be read. Until that Angel is sent to you I wouldn’t spend too much time on wondering all the ‘what, if, whens and hows’… It will go as it is supposed to and you will be shown the way. 🙂 xx

  4. Your writings are good Sam, very very good, and as such should not require the use of self publishing. All of your posts work in conjunction with the others, to create a lively and interesting real insight into the mind of an Aspie Woman. The thing that stands out to me is the raw honesty and necessary vulnurability, which puts into reality the life lived by you, the real you, and as such paves the way for many others to face the mirror of their own reality……Once you decide what direction you want the work to lean (education etc.) that may be the point when you can reserch publishers who would work for you. You may not want to hear this Sam, but you have already helped so many people its not funny. It is what it is, and you do what you do, and it happens to be Awesome and very widespread helpful. I don’t think anyone who has read your writings, would say you have a problem with ego. It’s ok and good to be happy about all that you have accomplished, whether you meant to or not….In summery, I think each post is a mandatory stitch in the complete quilt of your story..they are all equally important as spices are to soup. Sorry I can’t be of more help….Oh yes, also I think the blog format has already reached into more homes then a self published book would have by now… 🙂

    1. What you wrote is perfect and exactly what resonates with my heart and what I “needed” to hear. I am so blessed to have you here with me. Yours is a wise and nurturing energy, filled with a bravery that lacks pride. “Mandatory stitch in the complete quilt of your story!” yes… I think so too. That feels right to me. You helped tons. And you are right, the blog has reached tons, and maybe that is where this will end… here, right here, and I can find peace with that. Hug and much love.

  5. 1) What do you think would be beneficial for me to do with these works?
    I seen absolutely nothing wrong with doing a book (in print and in Kindle).
    2) What works on this blog are you most drawn to?
    For myself, I am most drawn to all the stories you told about when you were growing up.

    3) What works on this blog have helped you the most and in what way?
    The stories about when you were growing up helped me focus on some things that I did similarly or almost did. That helped me to not feel so singular.

    4) Do you have a viewpoint about self-publishing verses searching for a literary agent?
    I have been told two things: 1) if an agent charges – run away. They should get their decent amount when you get paid.
    2) Self-publishing can reach more people and give them better opportunities to read your work and you make a bigger percentage.

    5) Where do you see these works having an effect? (e.g., college university, females with aspergers)
    I feel certain that females aspergers will read it. I don’t have aspergers, but, as I said your stories pulled me in.

    6) What are your own thoughts or hunches about this blog?
    Don’t give it up entirely. Make it a once a week blog while you go through the book process. Tell us about that. Let us know your ups and downs.

    Love,
    Teddy

  6. I love your once a week idea, and I am so glad you told me the childhood stories touched you and helped you. While I enjoy those stories as a form of art, my hope is that they bring connection and healing as well. Thanks so much for being part of this journey. Your insights and dependable support will always be remembered. Thanks too for taking the time to answer. I am keeping my fingers crossed for that special one. I don’t think you’ve looked in the right places yet…. when you are ready, new doors will open. 🙂 Thanks Mr. Ted

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