AUTITIC NICK’S GUIDE TO WRITING A BLOG POST
I’m often held up in conversations either at work or by strangers on a train asking how I write a blog post.
So, in that regard I’m going to share with you how I do it.
I’ve choosen this recent post and under certain sections/paragraphs I’ve written in bold how I structured this particular blog post.
AUTISTIC NICK AND THE EFFECTS OF NOT COMMUNICATING WITH HIM
I start with a title this must be simple and explain what the post is about. Here you can see that it’s about the effects of not communicating with me effectively.
AN OPINION PIECE
I then make it clear that it’s an opinion piece.
It’s a cold 12 degrees on a Tuesday morning.
A slow beat of a drum can be heard in the background.
A montage of someone (me) getting ready for the day plays out.
As the drums begin to beat a little louder.
We are now out on the road, driving towards work.
The drums still beating bring with them a few words.
“Do you want to feel how it feels?”
The drums still beat as the car driving me approaches the outside of my building.
I climb the stairs.
Here I’ve built up a picture of my feelings and thoughts before I enter the office, this gives the audience a clear insight into what’s about to occur for me.
I turn the corner and enter the news division section.
The drums are still beating.
Inside my head are the words.
“”If I only could, I’d be running up that hill.”
“If I only could, I’d be running up that hill.”
Using the lyrics from the Kate Bush song “Running up that Hill” drives the point home even further and also illustrates what’s happening internally for me.
I sit at my desk; I tell myself that I am prepared, and I live with that lie until the day ends.
Midmorning approaches, and I find myself asking myself “Do you want to feel how it feels?”
I stand up.
I look around.
My Catherine wheel of a mind is whirling, I’m seeking, and yet I am not finding.
The build up continues. By using the Catherine wheel analogy it’s letting the readers know how my Autistic mind is working at this point.
I am now inside my head running up that road, that hill, alone, without a map.
My morning, my routine, my sense of reliance has vanished.
I feel an eruption inside bubbling away.
I needed to make a decision; I spy someone I approach them, and we leave for a walk and a chat.
Here I’ve shown the reader that I’ve allowed myself to make a comprehensive decision about what to do.
I simply am unable to comprehend and work out what’s happening when nothing is being communicated to me.
I continually beat the please communicate with me drum, only to find myself running up that hill, running up that road, with no end in sight.
Communication is paramount to someone like myself who is Autistic.
It’s one of the key building blocks that frames the characteristics of being Autistic.
Without that comprehensive support in place, it feels like as Kate Bush sings about in the song Running up that Hill “see how deep the bullet lies.”
This line as dramatic as it sounds drives the point home on the importance of effectively communicating with me.
Not wishing to be dramatic by using the bullet line but if I am not being told things then how do you expect me to function?
For example, if you and I had a meeting scheduled for 10.30am but you were unable to make it then send me an email saying,
“Hey Nick, I know we have a meeting today at 10.30, I am unable to make that as I have some prior engagements, however in the interim of you needing anything please seek out (insert name of person here) and I’ll hopefully get a chance to sit down with you before you leave at 2.”
An example is given here.
Obviously, it doesn’t have to be that detailed but you get the jest of what I’m saying.
A shorten version maybe something like this.
“Hey Nick, I’m going to be in meetings all morning, so I’ve asked (insert name here) to come and chat with you and for them to be available if you need anything.”
And an example is given here. Both are effective. By giving two examples it shows the reader that by simplifying what you want to say to that Autistic person can make a difference in terms of them responding and understanding what’s happening.
I am not asking for much.
I simply need to know what’s happening and why and then I am able to be kept in the picture.
I don’t want to feel as if I am so overwhelmed and pushed to the brink of publicly have a meltdown within the office and risk finger pointing and whispers.
I don’t want to stand up and search through a sea of faces hoping to find a person within the office who I can approach and have walk with me for half an hour.
I don’t want to feel that I am running up that hill, that empty road, alone, confused, anxious, perilously attempting to scream out, to cry, to find a solution to the onset of a meltdown, to gain some control over my feelings, to not want to draw attention to myself, but not wanting to abandon something that is naturally part of my disability, a key element of who I am as an Autistic person.
Here I’m driving the point home further of the importance of effectively communicating with me, but also showing just how it affects me and my Autism.
I don’t need the added stress, I don’t need the added anxiety, I don’t need to be pushed to the brink of a meltdown and then have a shutdown.
I have enough happening inside my head.
I am simply asking for clear communication to be a priority when I am in the office.
I shouldn’t have to fight this, bang a drum repeatedly, sing the same song over and over.
I thought I’d make it clear, done enough, clearly, I hadn’t.
Clearly the messaging isn’t being heard, or it’s the person not wishing to hear it.
I shouldn’t have to continually go through this process, it’s unfair and it’s unnecessary.
Here I’ve ended on a blunt note. Usually I attempt to end on a positive note, but this particular blog post didn’t warrant it and so I took that decision not to.
CARRY ON THE CONVERSATION
I always end with carry on the conversation as well as letting people know where they can find me on social media.
Thank you for reading and I will see you next time for more thoughts from across the spectrum.
I always thank them too for reading my posts.