about the blog

Breaking writer’s block by being willing to write posts that don’t feel good enough

I have had writer’s block from hell lately, largely because I’ve been too attached to getting everything right. 

This blog was easier to write when I posted every day, because it meant that I didn’t get trapped in perfectionism-driven writer’s block. I just wrote things that were as good as I could make them in the time I had available, then posted them, then posted more things.

Now that I don’t post every day anymore, my posts tend to get indefinitely delayed. Nothing I write lately feels good enough to post, and I want to just keep working on things until they feel done — but the thing is, there is *always* room to improve posts. Wanting to wait for things to be better isn’t resulting in better posts, it’s resulting in *no* posts.

So, I’m trying to keep in mind what I know: If I want to write good posts, I have to *actually finish posts*. Waiting for posts to be better will not get them written; being willing to write them will get them written. And if I write some bad posts along the way, that’s a step towards writing the posts I want to be writing long-term. Silence will not help. 

With that in mind, I’m planning to post every day between now and Friday. I will most likely hate most if not all of this week’s posts, but they will be written and they are a step towards getting my blog voice back. 

What to expect content-wise

Anonymous said to realsocialskills: hi, I really appreciate all the social justice type posts you’ve been making but I was wondering if you are going to be continuing to make posts with tips about dealing with different social situations that can come up in day to day life? thanks

realsocialskills said:

Hi there!

The short answer: Yes, that’s my intention.

A somewhat longer answer: I’ve always defined social skills really broadly, and that’s going to continue to be the case. Some of my posts have political overtones, some don’t. From my perspective, it’s all about interacting with people. 

It’s hard for me to predict what topics I’ll address when — I tend to write about whatever happens to be on my mind. That’s influenced by what I’m spending my non-blog time doing.

As you might imagine, I’ve been spending more time doing political things than I used to — so some of my posts reflect that.

Anyone know how to make a tag cloud work?

Just so you know, the tag cloud has not been working for the past couple of weeks at least. I don’t know if you have control over that or not, but I thought you should know. It’s helpful in looking up old posts with useful information. Thanks, and thank you for your hard work on this blog! I really appreciate it!

Thanks for letting me know — I think the platform I’d been using for that doesn’t work anymore for anyone.

Do any of y’all know of a way to make a Tumblr tag cloud that still works?

My feminism will be bullshit and it will be valuable

I’ve been afraid to write about feminism and women’s issues on this blog. When I’ve tried, I’ve been shouted down in ways I haven’t experienced on any other topic. (Including topics on which I’ve made serious mistakes that I’m now embarrassed by.)

And in a number of contexts, I’ve seen very vehement comments along the lines of “my feminism will be intersectional or it will be bullshit.”

And… I’ve noticed that other movements aren’t held to that standard. Especially, other movements aren’t held to that standard in terms of how they treat women. If they were, there wouldn’t be any movements left.

Everything people do contains bullshit. That doesn’t make it worthless. It means that there’s something that needs to get better.

I’m realizing now that I’ve been cowardly in not writing about feminism and women’s issues. So, from now on, I’m going to try to say more.  

As with every other issue I write about, sometimes people will disagree with me, and sometimes they will be angry. Sometimes people who disagree with me will be right, and sometimes they will be wrong. As with everything I write about, I will do my best to know what I’m talking about, and I will take the issues seriously. And I will make mistakes and my views will change over time as I learn new things.

Making mistakes is better than being silent about things that matter. Doing things imperfectly is better than neglecting them.

My feminism will (sometimes) be bullshit, and it will be valuable.

A message to readers who are Trump supporters

I think you have made a terrible mistake with your vote — and you are still very much welcome here. There are no prerequisites for reading my blog, and I welcome people who disagree with me even about matters of life and death importance. 

Just so you know what to expect:

Most of my posts will remain fairly nonpartisan. (Although many will be controversial in other ways, as usual).

Some of my posts will contain the assumption that it’s a bad thing that Trump won. For instance, this one: Struggling More With Disability In the Aftermath of the Election 

If you want to have a conversation with me about why you support Trump, or why I don’t, the place to do that is Twitter. @rsocialskills. I’m probably not going to be replying to any asks or reblogs on that topic on Tumblr.

I don’t block people for disagreeing with me, but I do sometimes block people for being mean to me. If you want to have a conversation on Twitter and are willing to engage in good faith, I’ll probably talk to you. (Assuming I have time — I am very busy these days). If you show up to shout me down or start insulting me personally, I probably won’t engage and I might block you. (Especially on Twitter).

Listening to me is not appropriation

People sometimes worry that reading my blog is somehow appropriative or inappropriate. I’ve been seeing people say this a bit recently, so I thought I’d say again that I don’t want people to worry about that. 

I don’t expect everyone who reads my blog to be like me. I’m assuming that y’all are different from each other and coming from a lot of different perspectives. And that’s how I want it to be.

I hope that people will find what I say useful. I want people who learn something useful from me to use what they learn, regardless of the reason they find it useful. One of the things that I’ve found most rewarding about writing this blog is that many of the things I’ve written with autism or something in mind have been useful to a lot of other people for a lot of other reasons.

I want people to listen to me. Not just autistic people or disabled people. Anyone who is willing to listen.

Listening means thinking seriously about what I say, which means that you may or may not agree.

I don’t want people to assume that I’m right because I’m disabled or whatever else. I want people to listen to me, and think for themselves. There is no real listening without the possibility of disagreement. And sometimes I’m wrong, and when I’m wrong, I want to learn and understand things better.

tl;dr: You don’t have to be a particular kind of person to read my blog, reblog from me, or have opinions about what I say. Please don’t worry about appropriation. 

Anonymous said to realsocialskills:
I can’t afford the shirt you are selling. Is it okay if I write the words on a shirt I have? Is it only okay to do so if I send you a little money? If so, how much?

realsocialskills said:

Sure, that’s fine, so long as you’re not selling it. I know the shirts are expensive.

It would be great if you could also donate a few dollars, since I do need to fundraise in order to be able to afford to spend time on this blog. 

(I’ve had to take on a lot of paid work recently, which is a reason I haven’t been posting as much. If I could afford to spend more time writing this I would, and I hope to be able to resume daily posting at some point in the future.) 

The best way to donate is to paypal realsocialskills@gmail.com.

Announcing the Real Social Skills t-shirt!  The shirt is slate gray, with text “Noncompliance is a social skill. realsocialskills.org”.  Orders will be open until April 14th, and will be printed and shipped shortly after. (And should arrive around the end of the month.)   https://www.bonfirefunds.com/real-social-skills-t-shirt

Announcing the Real Social Skills t-shirt!

The shirt is slate gray, with text “Noncompliance is a social skill. realsocialskills.org”.

Orders will be open until April 14th, and will be printed and shipped shortly after. (And should arrive around the end of the month.)


Posts in progress

There are a lot of people who experience both dismissiveness and dehumanization. The two aren’t mutually exclusive. I’m working on a post about that.

I’m also working on a post between overlap between physical illness stigma, disability stigma, and mental illness stigma. There is a lot more overlap than people sometimes realize. (Eg, people say inaccurate things like “no one ever blames people for having cancer”)

And a bunch of other things.

Pledge drive

Hi All,

I’m writing this blog by myself as the sole moderator, and I need your support to be able to keep doing this.

This blog takes a lot of time to create. My current level of posting usually takes me around 8-12 hours a week. (Writing takes a lot of time; so does background research).

When I’m able to write daily, it takes a lot more time than that.

My Patreon currently gets me $150/month to support the blog. That’s not enough to make it sustainable long term. If I’m going to keep doing this, I need more support.

There are currently over 13,000 of you subscribed. If even 1% of you pledged $2/month, that would put me in a much firmer position.

If this blog is important to you, please consider supporting it. The best way is with a recurring Patreon subscription, even if it’s for a small amount. There are a lot of you, and any amount at all helps to make this sustainable.

(If you prefer to make a one-time contribution, you can do that via PayPal to realsocialskills@gmail.com, or an Amazon gift certificate if you don’t like PayPal.)

Thank you to everyone who has contributed or boosted this.

undefined replied to your post: deoxysphobia said to realsocialskills:…

personally, I’d appreciate if you stayed on tumblr… it’s a pain to check other sites and before the formatting got garbage, tumblr was pretty much the perfect site for a blog like this?

realsocialskills said:

My Tumblr definitely isn’t going anywhere. Even if I migrate elsewhere, I’ll keep crossposting. 

I think I might want the domain name to point to a platform I have a bit more control over, though. 

deoxysphobia said to realsocialskills:
What do you think of the new reblog comment format?

realsocialskills said:

I don’t have a strong opinion on it overall, but it’s been causing problems on this blog. Ever since Tumblr made it impossible to edit the reblog chains, it’s been hard for me to reply to people’s replies. 

I used to insert URLs in reblog chains so that the conversation is comprehensible to people who use screen readers. With the new format, it’s impossible to make reblogs screenreader accessible, which is a reason I haven’t been reblogging as much lately. 

I also used to do things like snip the reblog chain so that it wasn’t overwhelmingly long and it was clear what I was replying to. 

I think what I might start doing is quoting replies and posting links, rather than reblogging.

I’m also considering migrating to a platform I have more control over, and making Tumblr secondary. This update doesn’t completely break things, but it does make me nervous that a future update might. 

Anyone have thoughts on that?