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Digital Subscriptions > Writing Magazine > COMPETITION SPECIAL - October 2016 > The power of understanding

The power of understanding

Robert Laing couldn’t find articles that spoke to him directly on living with Asperger’s, so he decided to write them and help others in the process

As writers, we are always being told to write about what you know. Use experiences both good and bad. Use things you’ve seen on TV, in the street, in your mind’s eye. Use things you’ve felt. Use things you’ve heard people say, both in context and out. Every writing group I have been to, every writing magazine I have read, every writer I have spoken with, they have all, at some point, said essentially the same thing to me – write from the heart, about your own personal experience. It may be about something really deep, intense and personal, you don’t know if there is a market for it, but you have got to get this thing right out from inside you.

I wanted to write. I wanted to get my voice heard. I was looking for a brand new paying market. I felt I had paid my dues long enough in the doing-freereviews market.

I decided to use my having Asperger Syndrome as a hook. I had seen lots of articles for those working to support people with Asperger’s. I had seen lots of articles written by people younger than me, on how they have learned to cope with the syndrome. I found lots of those interesting and enjoyable to read. But, none of them seemed to really speak to me and people of my age (38, since you ask).

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