Accepting Less than Perfect — Day 18 — 30 Days of Autism Acceptance

Today is May 2nd.

Autism Acceptance Month, is April.

We are no longer in Autism Acceptance Month.

I am writing Day 18 of my “30 Days of Autism Acceptance” today.

I expect that this will be the last one of the series for this year.

So, why is that?  Am I giving up?  Have I failed myself by failing to meet my goals, and giving up on doing them even if they aren’t done in the timeline?

Is This a Failure?

I don’t believe I have really failed.  And there are a number of reasons for that.  Some of those reasons have to do with the fact that I really didn’t expect to finish on time (I think I only had about 3 or 4 days ahead of April 1st when I started considering this, and this really just evolved over the month, and I didn’t really expect more than about 1-3 posts per week, which would have given me at most about 12 posts over the month).

And while I had considered writing more well after the month had finished, I really don’t feel that “up to it” right now, and I am ready to move to the next project (30 Days of Thinking about Science) and start actually working on some of that (I think I may be working on at least revising the introduction post after this one).

I am a writer much more so than a “talker” in terms of my expressive communication.

I’m not even that good at things like considering drawing, or other non-spoken expressions.  It’s “words on paper” or in this case on screen.

Most people, really don’t get that.  In fact so strongly “don’t get that” that they can’t even fathom that anyone would want to read “just words”.  People want visual presentation so strongly, and expect it so much, that the idea that something would not have pictures is just unheard of for them.

So, before I get too far along, I think I want to organize these thoughts a bit as bullets, and look at how I want to move forward:

  • I didn’t expect to get all 30 days done on time.
  • I wasn’t sure I was even going to do 30 days.
  • I expected at most about 12 posts by the end of the month.
  • Being a writer may have played a role.
  • Trying to add “meaningful visual content” did play a role.
  • Limited positive outside feedback played a role.
  • Health problems got in the way.

I didn’t expect to get all 30 days done on time.

Really this was something I was well aware of right from the very beginning.  I started March 29th.  I can’t remember how much I managed to get written ahead of the 1st of April, but I don’t think it was more than 4 days at the most.  I knew that even if I did well, that I wasn’t going to make it to 30 days by the end of the month.

At most, I really didn’t expect more than 2 posts to be written in a given day, and not more than 3 days with posts written in a given week.  Had I managed to do that, I may have managed to make it to the month with the 30 days worth of posts written, or at least close to it.

That “6 posts a week” really was my “most optimistic” estimate of how my time was likely to go.  And it was dependent on abandoning other work and social commitments almost completely.

did manage to abandon the work commitments largely, and went with not doing work on other projects except when it was justified.

I failed (and rightly so) to abandon the social commitments to much extent at all.  Yet, I got to post 18, with not giving myself enough lead time, and other issues keeping me from writing this up.

I wasn’t sure I was even going to do 30 days.

I had no idea if I was even going to come up with 30 days worth of content to even consider for the month.  That was a hugely ambitious idea, and at the beginning of starting this out, I had about 4 different things I was considering writing.

At the time I expected new ideas to come out of the series, but wasn’t really expecting to come up with 30 days of topics.

Right now, I have 26 topics I haven’t written on (and that doesn’t have this topic on the list yet), and 17 topics which I have written on, and this topic.

So, my sense that I probably wouldn’t come up with enough to write on was kind of mistaken.  I have enough to start off next year, that I will have almost (as of the writing here) enough for the month.

I may have more that I will add when I go to update that post after having written this, to fill it out.

Some of those topics may get written on, before the start of working on this for next year.  But I’m sure by next year I will have more topics to add to this list again right off the bat.

I expected at most about 12 posts by the end of the month.

Even with that most ambitious expectations of 6 posts per week, I really didn’t expect to manage much more than about 12 posts during the month of April, or to continue much beyond the end of April.

I think with that in mind, being only on May 2nd, and writing “post 18” I should realistically feel that this is a great success.

Being a writer may have played a role.

Writing is undervalued.  As someone who is a person who writes as our primary form of expression, this is often undervalued to an extent that people give negative feedback on the fact that it’s “just words”.

I have not had that feedback yet with this, at least not directly.

When I was working on posting things for Medium, I had written a few different pieces which were my “typical just words” and they basically didn’t get noticed.

Then I decided I had something which would justify having an image on it, at least as the header image.  So I did that.  And within a week, it had about 10 times the interest of the previous 3 posts combined over the previous 3 weeks.

So, with that in mind, I got the “message” that I needed to add visual content on my posts, if I expected anyone to actually see them.

Trying to add “meaningful visual content” did play a role.

One problem that I hoped would be a solution was that I started looking for meaningful images to start adding to my posts, so that I could “draw people in.”

The point of doing that was really so that I would get the “positive outside feedback” that I was craving with having those “views” and maybe even some “version of likes”.

But this meant that on a “writing day” I would barely manage to get enough “together” to actually write two pieces, which meant that I really was not really getting the content out that I really wanted to.

At the end of having produced those two pieces, I would feel drained and in need of at least a “day of rest”.

On days when I “spent the day writing” but didn’t try to find visual content (unless I was particularly inspired) I could write three pieces, and manage to feel energized enough to think I could go forward the next day and do more.

So henceforth, I expect visual content will not be added, unless I’m inspired to do so.  Or if I am feeling like I want to do a “visual essay” or something just as a way of changing things up.

Limited positive outside feedback played a role.

This probably was towards the end.  I was looking at doing some writing about a week ago (about 10 am, and it’s now 3 pm 1 week later) but only “slightly inspired” which had been the best I think I’d managed in almost a week.

So the last two weeks of April, seem to have mostly been pushing a hard push past my sense that “none of this is working.”  I think part of that could have been related to other things coming from different directions than actual response to what I was doing.

Just the endless sense that I knew that for every single negative, and demeaning depiction of autism I ran across, I knew that 10 new positive things needed to be found to counter it.  And it was getting to the point that I was feeling I was needing to create 10 new pieces every day.

In desperation, and feeling like there was nothing I really could do, I ended up pretty much giving up.

I didn’t feel the final “I am done” as a conscious thought until about 3 days ago but it was sitting there in the back of my head.

Health problems got in the way

Back to last week, when I was sitting down, I thought I would take a brief break to just check out some stuff, and saw that someone who I really love their stream online, so I dropped in, and started paying attention, and was just doing my “hey I’m here” and “boom” health problems.

I really won’t go into details, but I decided that I just couldn’t focus until I got my shit together, with those health problems, so I failed to get anything done that day or the next even vaguely like work.

Friday I think I was able to do some technical stuff (it’s a lot easier to do when feeling like it’s not worth doing anything, or just not feeling like I can really properly focus) and then some time in the following few days (oh starting on Sunday) I just decided to dive into an attempt to replace Flickr for myself.

So that combination meant that while I expected 6-10 new posts by the end of this week, I am managing just one.

So with this, I am wrapping up my first attempt at doing a 30 days project.  I have the introduction for the next one scheduled to show up in about 2 weeks (15 days if I remember correctly).  And, I expect a few different things here, over at the Datse Multimedia site, or elsewhere to be showing up as well.

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