That is a working title. Just… to be clear.
I have fibromyalgia and have for some time now. I didn’t know that teenagers could get it (I was fourteen or fifteen when symptoms began), and I didn’t even have a diagnosis until I was an adult. For years I was told that it was growing pains (I wish) and, unlike with mental health*, I never saw any sort of chronic-pain rep in the books I read.
There are far, far too many things without representation. Recently there has been an uptick in diverse books of all types- LGBT, mental illness, books centering BIPOC protagonists and experiences- and that is fantastic! But where are the books with disabled protagonists**?
And even beyond writing, I’m sick of being told that speaking hinders my chances at a ‘normal’ future. I’m sick of being told that I’m too young to have chronic pain. If I were too young, if I didn’t deal with this on a daily basis maybe I could force myself to ignore the issue. But here’s the thing: disability is something that impacts me every day, and I don’t have the luxury to shut up. And I’m not alone.
As a writer, my first instinct when it comes to an issue is to write about it. This collaborative compendium is something I’ve been mulling over for a year or two now, and at this point, I’m looking to find contributors.
If you are or know someone who is disabled and would be interested in writing for this, please do not hesitate to reach out and join! I’m sad and lonely over here and would love some friends to come work with me on this. 🙂
If you AREN’T disabled but want to help, editors and alpha/beta readers are always needed. And as always, media promotion is a massive help. Reach out to friends, disabled and otherwise! Let them know! Build an army! I can’t wait to get started on this project for real.
Take care, all!
Disclaimer: the literal last thing I want to do is unintentionally hurt someone, so if I worded anything incorrectly or offensively please reach out so I can rectify the error.
*not to minimize any sort of representation! Every kind of diverse OwnVoices representation is valuable and very needed.
**I’ll take a moment to mention that yes, mental illness counts as a disability and of late that has become far more common. But disability holds a massively broad scope of experience, and mental illness- while no less valid- is only one part of it.