When I tell people who know me, or who are just meeting me in person for the first time, that I am a published author, they respond with shock. I imagine that there is always some surprise upon learning that a friend or acquaintance has written a full-length novel and gone through the publishing process. However, when I am the one proclaiming myself an author, the amazed look is quickly followed by an expression of confusion.
I was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at birth. The medical condition has caused me a lot of trouble throughout my life. It impacts the way I move, the way I speak, and perhaps even the way that I think. It has touched nearly every aspect of my life in one way or another. Most apparent to those around me, though, are the physical impacts of the CP. One of those notable differences between myself and any able-bodied 30-year-old can be discovered in my hands.
I do not have the dexterity or fine motor skills of most people my age. Therefore, to hold a pen and write a manuscript, or even to type the words, would be nearly impossible. Even if I was able to write in the traditional ways, it would take much, much too long to complete something of typical novel length. Nevertheless, I am not lying when I say that I am a published author.
The ideas in my books are my own. The majority of the words on the page, even, come directly from my own brain. I must rely, though, on the help of software, in order to get those concepts on paper. My methods are not a secret, and the technology is nothing unfamiliar to members of the general public. It's simply that I put the services to use for different reasons.
When Apple released phones and tablets equipped with Siri, it was a fantastic day for me (and for others who struggle with partial paralysis and physical disabilities). The voice-to-text feature was a major blessing in my life and one that I have not taken for granted. I am thankful for it every day, as I realize that without it, the path to becoming a best-selling author would have been significantly more challenging. In fact, it may never have happened had this Siri-equipped iPhone never entered my life.