Daily Cosmonaut #9: Learning Through Writing
The process of writing GOOD TROUBLE: Building a Successful Life & Business with Asperger’s was the hardest thing that I’ve ever done. I’ve heard this same thing from authors many times before. It speaks to the unique way that looking at a situation from a nuanced distance and some objectivity and research challenges our conceptions and memories of events. Like traveling, writing in this capacity forces us to look at our lives from a different outside perspective and actually hardens or changes our perspectives. I think this is a very powerful and healthy thing. Often in talking to our authors I feel like how someone feels about this is a good litmus test for assessing their future as a writer.
Part of writing a book is facing the critical reception that all books undergo and discovering that no reader looks at the events in the same way that the author does or finds the same details to be as relevant, interesting, or revealing. Indeed, Microcosm sent out about 500 advanced reader copies of Good Trouble to people that Taylor, our publicity person, thought would be interested in them. When it’s my own writing that we are promoting, I have to take more of a backseat in the decision making since my opinions are anything but objective; I’m just too close to the subject matter. Nonetheless, it’s been exciting and heartwarming to see how outsiders read the book and what they take away from it. And it doesn’t hurt that the first two reviews have both proven to be incredibly flattering and really “get” the core of the subject matter: that Asperger’s, throughout my life, was both my greatest weakness and my best strength. Once I learned to harness its powers, the former began to fall away and I was left with some of the best of both worlds.
Both reviews and the podcast interview are from people from the creative world, one from a fellow publisher and one from a woman with a similarly creative background. I’m really excited to see more critical reception, good and bad, especially from people who have training in psychology and those outside of my subcultural world. It makes me look at my previous work in a different light–not that I don’t like it anymore but that I could have pushed myself harder. Because that’s how this book helped me develop deeper understandings of events close to me, even those from five, ten, twenty, and thirty years ago.