Saturday 30 January 2016

Fess up time

It's time for me to fess up.

I'm autistic. And I create things. Yep. Me. I create things. I am a maker. I make things. And then I wear them. And then other people wear them.

I always thought I wasn't a 'creative type'. I looked at others with that label and I scorned them. I thought - wow you don't live in the real world. You can tell you don't come from a working class background. You can tell you've got money to indulge your creativity.

I was wrong.

Creativity isn't a thing. It isn't a label. It isn't something you make money from - though that's a happy by product. No. It's something you are. And it doesn't respect backgrounds. It doesn't respect class. It doesn't even respect mindsets. Because the truth will out eventually. And after 38 years I suddenly realise with horrified visceral horror that I am a creative. I create. Therefore I am.

Me and my creativity don't have an easy relationship. Truth be told, sometimes it feels about as comfortable as walking on coals. I hate it. I hate the 'creative process'. I hate that I end up sat waiting for Massive Attack to come on, frantically googling bloody fair isle alphabets while doing stitch counts in my head to work out if I can squeeze that word into that space. I hate that when I'm trying to sleep - an elusive state at the best of times - my mind drift can be interrupted by the perfect sequence and rythmn of words that absolutely had to be in that blog post that's been commissioned. I hate that I am the type of person who will fly, on a whim and a prayer, to literally the other side of the world for a day of meetings because that's what my brain needs right now.

I am engineer brain. I am rational. I am above this kind of crap. I am cold. I am zero and one. I am technology. I am circuits and networks and routers and switches. Except I am not.

I am not. I've been denying this part of me for 37 long cold years. I have been ignoring what my English teacher told me. I have been burying my head in the sand. I have been in denial. And I am silly.

Being creative isn't a bandwagon. It isn't an excuse. It isn't a badge to wear. It's who I am. With all my stupid empathetic loving too much drifting into words insanity. Being creative is what I am. As intrinsic to my core of being as breathing or eating or being warm. It's my life blood, the thing that keeps my heart reaching and beating. It's what makes me see. What makes me hear. It's what makes the word rush out of me, falling into the page in perfect order and perfect rythmn. It's what makes me cry at sunsets. It's what makes me stop at the top of a hill and wait until the twilight has fallen around me. It's what makes me love my other half until I wake every morning bereft again that he has left me. Again.

It is intensity.

My autism takes so much away from me. But in this? It gives. I am light. I am love. I am empathy. I am the cold dark moon and the sunrise that you will never forget for as long as you live. I wouldn't swap it for the world.


  1. I don't understand why you think you can't be creative because you're autistic, I'm autistic and I go to art school and there's many other autistic people in the disability unit studying a wide range of creative subjects. In fact most autistic people I've ever met, of all different ability ranges, have been creative in some form. Class doesn't have anything to do with it either, I was raised by a single parent in a council flat. I'm sorry I just don't understand what you're trying to say with this entry.

    1. Somewhat amusingly I'm trying to agree with you. I was wrong. I'm trying to say I was wrong. I'm still learning about autism and what it does and doesn't mean. I was diagnosed In 2014.