Elaine Marie Carnegie
A SPECIAL NEEDS MOM WHO WRITES
by Brittany Benko
Please welcome Brittany Benko to the Writers Journey Blog this week with her feature about a A Special Needs Mom Who Writes.
Like many others, writing is a passion of mine. Especially poetry. I do not consider myself to be Emily Dickinson or Edgar Allen Poe. I'm a special needs mother of an autistic boy and an ADHD girl. My life is busy, and sometimes writing is not a part of my daily routine.
I try to write on websites such as Hubpages, Medium, and Wattpad as often as I can. There is so much competition on these websites, and sometimes I feel like I can't compete. I mostly share poetry. The one thing that sets me apart from most poets is I do not write in free verse. I prefer to write in some sort of rhyming scheme. I tend to write better if I have some sort of rules to follow.
The first time I wrote a poem was at the age of fourteen. The poem was for an English assignment. I loved how easy it was to express a message and the creative process you need to use write a good poem. While I didn't see a future in writing at that time, I did keep a journal of poems, songs, and stories at home. I looked forward to writing in my spare time as a hobby.
When people ask me what I do for work, I'm torn between stating I'm a special needs mom or a writer. There's so much that my son does not do, and he attends many therapies throughout the week. I basically write when I have the chance.
What got me into writing poetry was simply a poetry blog I used to maintain for fun. I eventually got connected with self-published poets, and I learned how simple the process was to format and publish a book. It's strange to call myself an author, but I am now a part of the local author community and attend events specifically for local authors. I've developed relationships with local writers and owners of a beloved independent bookstore of mine. Writing has given me the opportunity to be known as somebody other than someone's wife or mother.
I'm currently working on a children's picture book about autism spectrum disorder. The story was inspired by my son who is autistic. I'm hoping this book will show people why kids on the spectrum are perfect the way they are and do not need to change to appease others.
I have some poetry featured in the Autism Parenting Magazine, the Open Door Poetry Magazine, and Poetic Reveries. One of my poems, The Ocean, is in the South Carolina Bards Poetry Anthology 2022.
My goals for 2023 are to complete my children's picture book, write more articles on Medium and Hubpages, and increase items in my Etsy shop. While this is a simple goal, I believe it is a realistic goal to accommodate for my lifestyle as a special needs parent. If I can make it a habit to write at least once a day, I think I can grow an audience. That is the goal every writer is trying to master.
I am proud of my writing journey, even if I am not well known. One of my favorite pieces of advice for writers I heard was in a movie called Finding Forrester. William Forrester, who is a writer, states, "The first step to writing is to write, not to think." This line has always stuck out to me. If we don't write something terrible, there may be nothing to edit. Having a story that needs editing is better than having no story at all.
Bio: Brittany is a special needs mother, self-published poet, writes book reviews for LitPick, offers gigs on Fiverr, writes on Wattpad, blogs for Hubpages, sells items on Etsy, and is a member of the South Carolina Poetry Society. She has poetry features with the Autism Parenting Magazine, the Open Door Poetry Magazine, and Poetic Reveries. Brittany is currently working on a children's picture book about autism spectrum disorder. When Brittany is not writing, she enjoys reading, spending time with her family, going on coffee dates, singing in church, and walks on the beach.
Visit my website at: https://www.booksandblogsbybrittany.com/