Monday, November 28, 2011

Call for Subs: PFAM Blog Carnival! Writing & Disability

I'm hosting the upcoming edition of the Patients for a Moment (PFAM) blog carnival! I hope you will participate!

(And I'm late in getting this call for subs up. Eek! Life got chaotic, and I lost track of the date.)

This is my second time hosting. My first time hosting PFAM was a couple of months ago, at my other blog, After Gadget.

Since this blog is my writing-related blog, my topic is writing related. When I became disabled by chronic illness in 1995, I decided to try to look at the losses of my job and career and other activities as a way to give me more time to write. That turned out to be less doable than I'd thought, but writing has been a central part of my life, nonetheless. It didn't take me long to discover that many people who've recently acquired an illness or disability also have the "now I can focus more on my writing/painting/photography" response. It got to be sort of a joke in my chronic illness support group that every new member said something along those lines.

Since I've entered the blogosphere I've noticed that there are an awful lot of bloggers and writers with disabilities and chronic illness, and I sometimes wonder why. Am I just more aware of those with disabilities because that's who I'm drawn to? Is this how many of us have found a way to incorporate writing into our lives? Does blogging lend itself particularly to writing about lives with chronic conditions? Is there something about becoming ill that compels many of us to write? Or is it something else?

This is your chance to tell me and the world why you do what you do. The topic is, "This is why I write." I'm eager to read other chronically ill or disabled bloggers' thoughts on being a writer with a disability or chronic condition! Elaboration below (and above) are a jumping-off point. You don't have to answer all these questions, although you can if you like. Mostly, they are prompts to get you going.

So, bloggers, why do you write? Does it add something to your life that nothing else does? What does it mean that you spend your precious spoons on writing? If your disability affects your writing -- your ability to type or find words or meet deadlines, for example -- why do you persist? (And if you like, how do you persist?) If you write other forms in addition to blogs, such as fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, freelance journalism, etc., what's the driving force? Do you think you'd write/blog more or less if you didn't have a chronic condition or disability?

I'm extending the deadline for submissions is Monday, December 5, by midnight of whatever time zone you're in (-ish) because I'm late in getting this announcement up. I also know it can be hard to meet deadlines when you're ill. (Take me as an example!) Therefore, if you are writing something for the carnival and need a little extra time, please contact me, and we'll try to work something out so I can squeeze you in.

The blog will go up Wednesday, December 7.

Of course, it's lovely if you write something new just for this edition of PFAM, but if you find yourself running out of time, and you have a post already up that answers this question, please send it along. To submit, please comment on this post with the following information:
  • Your name (as you'd like it to appear in the post).
  • Your blog's name.
  • Your post's title.
  • Your post's URL.
I really look forward to reading your posts!

I encourage you to try to make your posts for this edition of PFAM as accessible as possible to people with a wide range of disabilities, including putting descriptive alt tags on any photos, transcriptions for any videos, and disabling word verification for comments. This will not only enable more people to enjoy your work and to experience greater ease in navigating the web, but it may bring you new readers and possibly followers and subscribers! Find out details about steps you can take to make your blog more accessible (many of which are very easy) on the Assistance Dog Blog Carnival page. Thank you for your consideration!

Please also spread the word on Twitter, Facebook, on your blog, and everywhere else! Thanks so much!