“What does it feel like to have Aspergers?”

“What does it feel like to have Aspergers?” 

It’s a question that I’ve been asked previously, and one that I’ve struggled to respond to. To have Aspergers is completely subjective, as it’s a condition that’s on a Spectrum; so what I may write in this post may differ from the experience of other people.

It feels isolating.

The amount of times just trying to talk to someone, but they have laughed at me, or made me feel uncomfortable, because of my lack of eye contact, flat voice, etc is something that I have lost count of. For years I did try to ‘fit in’ to whatever clique was dominating whatever school I was at; here’s a spoiler for you. It doesn’t work. I was the one who wanted to talk about politics, or to discuss Cold War history. That’s not what counts as ‘usual’ for a teenager, is it? 

It can feel lonely.

It seems like being in your own world at times, locked away, unable to communicate at the best of times. I don’t want to just sit, talking about boys, hair or make up. There has got to be more to life than this!

It feels as if I am winning, because of a special interest.

Special interests can be subjective to everyone; mine usually revolved around History and people. But it helped with what I would study, because there were so many links that I could make with what I already knew, meaning that I could get to grips with the subject more easily. And that is a good feeling, because I would otherwise struggle with a lot of subjects.

It feels like an unfair fight.

Because so many people do not understand. And I don’t understand so many things, because of the idea that I should inhabit a neurotypical world, rather than my own. It’s not helpful, and I’ve had to deal with this a lot. 

It feels like something gained, not something lost.

To be diagnosed with Aspergers was an end to a very long game; it was just so obvious to me that I was different from my classmates, therefore logically I thought of myself as being ‘on spectrum’. But knowledge gained is something good; I haven’t lost anything, and there’s nothing to loose. 

It feels as if I am NOT broken.

Because anyone with Aspergers or Autism does not need to be repaired. They are not broken, or at fault. Be supportive in this sense; to be autistic or on spectrum is NOT a travesty, or something to be mocked.

It can feel scary. 

Could we look at being on the spectrum as being something positive, just for once? Yes, it can be scary, because of places with a lot of people, unfiltered noise, etc. But there’s something powerful in it; we can specialise in a given topic, remember a lot of things, and create what we wish. This is something that is a strength, and maybe not something that somebody neurotypical has. Use it to your advantage. Hans Asperger described people on spectrum as being ‘Little professors’. And there should be no shame in that. 

Thank you for listening,

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I am pleased to announce that I am working with Basic Beauty Tools. If you go to their website via this link , and order the Spongedry, you can get an extra free foundation blender by adding under ‘Note To Seller’ your colour code: LYDIAPINK for pink, LYDIAPURPLE for purple, and LYDIABLACK for black.

 

“Why do you blog?”

* Let’s call these ‘questioning’ posts FAQ’S, just for the sake of argument-and if you have a question, you could always ask me in the comments. Anyway… *

I started blogging way back in 2012, having kept a magazine cutting from Shout! that had inspired me. Needless to say, I was a lonely pre-teen, and as a teenager. Blogging seemed really glamorous-an almost secret world that I badly wanted to be part of.

For the first two and a half years, it was something that I messed around with, seeing it merely as a hobby, a past time. (And my blog name was based on my Bluetooth name- Musiclover25. Urggghhh!) I added excessive amounts of pages, wrote little, posted not enough.

That changed as I grew older.

I had known that I had wanted to be a writer for a long time now-because words were and are all that I’m good at. I just wasn’t sure how-would I write books, poetry? I stopped messing round, deleted the pages, and started posting regularly. I began to write about fashion. (Ha ha ha ha ha!)

Gem Fatale was still in its prime then; the life of a fashion blogger looked ideal! I even had a new blog name to boot-Noted In Style. (I loved Company Magazine, and the editor had a very similar Twitter handle.) I wanted to join these really cool women! (I even got to go to Company HQ.)

But I’m not fashionable. And was mocked for it by some classmates-who really wants to read about what I had to type about clothes?!

But then I discovered Sylvia Plath, and how she had interned at Mademoiselle Magazine. Researching the magazine seemed to suggest a magazine I would have loved-a magazine for women, literary and about fashion. They got to interview the famous people of the day, go to fashion shows, and more! (I wanted to have badly been at Mademoiselle.) Finding an ELLE Columnist cemented that. I would brand this blog as ‘Mademoiselle’. (Women to get the URL.)

I blog daily now, largely because I wanted to challenge myself. I also love to write. But I also wish to be a Journalist, and I wanted to create a platform for me and other bloggers.

Do you have any other questions? Ask me in the comments, and I may answer them-

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I am pleased to announce that I am working with Basic Beauty Tools. If you go to their website via this link , and order the Spongedry, you can get an extra free foundation blender by adding under ‘Note To Seller’ your colour code: LYDIAPINK for pink, LYDIAPURPLE for purple, and LYDIABLACK for black.

Ask And Answered: Paul Du Noyer, Music Journalist, And Author.

A while ago-in the run up to Christmas-I reviewed the new(ish) book Conversations With McCartney, by Paul Du Noyer. (Click here to read) But, what does he think, past the book?

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Credit: Google.

Hello Paul, thank you for agreeing to this interview. When growing up, did you aspire to be a music journalist?

No. I always thought it would be wonderful to write for newspapers but I knew nobody in that world and more or less forgot the idea. Then, just after I left college, the NME advertised for new writers; it was around the time of punk rock. With a Biro I hand-wrote the sample review they asked for, got invited for an interview and soon became a freelance reviewer for them. That led, via proof-reading and sub-editing, to a staff job.

How did Conversations With McCartney come to fore?

In the course of my career as a music journalist I got to interview McCartney many times and finally decided I might have a whole book’s worth of material. He gave me the necessary go-ahead, so that’s where Conversations With McCartney comes from.

What would be your ultimate tip for interviewing somebody?

Do as much research into your subject as time allows. Everyone likes to think you’re really interested in their careers. And let them talk freely – you can always edit the interview later.

How has your relationship with McCartney developed over the years?

I think I just became a familiar face, and someone he trusted. We have a home town in common and a deep interest in all kinds of music. I think we just hit it off on a personal level, but I always say we’re friendly rather than friends. It’s just a professional working relationship – but I try to make the interviews enjoyable for him.

How do you think journalism is changing?

It’s changed beyond recognition since I started in the late 1970s: in those days we had music weeklies with big paid-for circulations and lots of advertising revenues. It was easier to make a freelance living and eventually get a staff job. Nowadays we’ve largely moved on-line or else to free distribution, so the economics are much more precarious. On the plus side there are far more outlets than ever before, including blogs.

 

Do you think that a degree is needed in the industry?

When I started out there were very few journalism courses and people tended to gain practical experience, on fanzines or local papers. I did a degree in economics, which proved irrelevant to my eventual job. So, I don’t think a degree is essential.

Would you ever consider writing a sequel?

I think I’ve written enough about Paul McCartney but I hope to try a new subject eventually.

What is your advice for aspiring Journalists?

Get a good grounding in the formal rules of English, the spelling and the grammar – we can all speak English but writers have to look professional. After that feel free to play with language: if you’re having fun with it then your readers might, with luck, share that pleasure. Research everything as much as time allows. Try any and every outlet that’s available. Consider some training in sub-editing, as well. And don’t restrict your subject matter: approach everything in a spirit of intelligent curiosity.

Random: Can you whistle any tunes?

Nothing that anyone would recognize as a tune!

Thank you very much, Paul, for answering my questions. Don’t forget to buy his book, which you can buy here.