AUTISTIC NICK AND OPINION PIECES AND WHY I WRITE THEM
When I first started blogging way back in December 2017, I didn’t initially have a clear vision of what the website Autistic Nick and the contents of which I was going to provide was going to look like.
I started out with a response post to Don Burke appearing on TV https://autisticnick.com/2017/12/12/in-donbelief/ this was the first time I had ever written what is known as an opinion piece.
I’m lucky that by having this blog I can write whatever I like, and I am not beholden to guidelines by anyone.
Obviously, I don’t just write what I want but I do carefully consider my words and make sure that what I write has a clear message, gets my point of view across and reflects how it affects me personally as an Autistic person.
This is why I started my website and blog in the first place as I wanted to help educate people on what life is really like living with Autism and this is what I have done.
I tend to steer away from opinion pieces as sometimes I don’t have a response to what’s in the news or what a celebrity has done.
But sometimes if I read something in the news like for example the Sia backlash then I feel compelled to write about it and express my disappointment amongst other emotions that I am feeling.
It doesn’t always extend to Sia, it can be TV and how we are represented in dramas as Autistic people.
For a comprehensive list of all my opinion pieces you can check them out here https://autisticnick.com/category/opinion-piece/
The last opinion piece that I wrote for my blog was this one https://autisticnick.com/2021/09/06/disability-and-diversity-at-the-bbc-and-netflix/ which questioned the price attached and what obstacles and hoops the disabled people in the creative sector had to jump through in order to see their voices and themselves represented via the BBC and Netflix.
I don’t take it lightly that I can just write an 800-word response piece.
I can only ever write and give an honest fresh perspective from an Autistic point of view whenever I sit down at my computer and start tapping away on my keyboard.
I don’t want the opinion piece to come from an angry viewpoint or be self-critical of the person/organisation involved.
Those angry type pieces only serve to fuel an angry pile on Twitter and only offering constructive criticism rather than a balanced viewpoint indicates to me that the person writing it really didn’t have anything to potentially say in the first place but rather just wanted to yell and scream and shout.
I research and dig deep into what’s been said, why they said it and then I form my opinion and begin to write.
I offer my reasons behind my argument and lay out why this was hurtful/offensive etc.
I also, if possible, include video footage or screenshots of what people have said to further back up what I’m saying.
But it’s important for me to raise my voice when needed in order to have it heard and acknowledged because I don’t want to feel that by being silent is going to change people’s perspectives about me and my Autism.
I realise that like the Sia backlash began to start heating up and the backlash was prompt that I am not the only Autistic person writing an opinion piece about her and her actions.
I’m competing with a lot of other Autistic bloggers, who have a greater reach that I have.
Let me state that when I write these opinion pieces, I am not representing the entire Autism community – these are my views – my thoughts alone.
Here’s how I start when I set out to write an opinion piece.
1 Basic do’s when writing an opinion essay
Introduce each paragraph with a topic sentence, outlining the main ideas.
Do not write about advantages or disadvantages or points for or against.
Write in formal style.
2. Basic dont’s when writing an opinion essay
Don’t use colloquial expressions.
Don’t use short forms.
Don’t use emotive vocabulary.
3. Decide on a title for your opinion piece.
Try to think of at least two or three good reasons to support your opinion, including examples of why you think the alternative point of view is wrong.
4. Organise your essay into clear paragraphs.
Introduction: Introduce the topic and give your opinion. Say whether you agree or disagree with the statement.
For each paragraph give a reason to support your opinion.
Conclusion: Summarise your ideas and repeat your opinion using different words.
I hope that people enjoy reading my opinion pieces and the voice that I am giving them.
Who knows when my next one will be written?
CARRY ON THE CONVERSATION
Thank you for reading and I will see you next time for more thoughts from across the spectrum.