Being A Deaf Writer

Sometimes, being a deaf writer presents a unique set of challenges that hearing writers might not be as concerned about. Some of these challenges might seem obvious, some of them less so. For example, dialogue can be something I struggle with – developing someone’s voice, the way they speak, without coming across as stilted or character voices being too similar. A less obvious issue would be whether or not to write stories with deaf characters. Is it necessary to always write characters that are deaf, or just happen to be? Does it immediately follow that I will need to learn how to convey a world-view that shows what someone can and can’t hear or understand?

Penguin Aids

Some of my fiction has been an attempt to write stories with deaf characters. Some of my experiments have been more successful than others – some have become too complicated, whilst I’ve recently finished a short story with a deaf teenager that turned out well. Maybe now is the time to say that one of the protagonists in my novel happens to be deaf, but it isn’t a story that overtly deals with deaf issues, though these will be revealed in the way she moves through the narrative anyway. I don’t set out to write stories that have deaf characters in them, though sometimes a story will occur to me arising from something I’ve experienced or a ‘what if’ moment sparked by an experience or character.

So much of my world is connected to the hearing world. It’s impossible for it not to be – I’m a lifelong reader, and most of, if not all, of the characters in books I love are hearing. I love music, and all my family (apart from my sister) are hearing. My husband is hearing. I don’t make distinctions like this when I love somebody, when someone is a friend, or a family member, though communication is important, and sometimes I do feel ‘deaf’ when I can’t follow something. I have to make it known that I can’t – by asking for repetitions, by asking for subtitles or captions, by reminding people that a deaf person is trying to follow.

I am deaf – but I don’t go around constantly saying this – simply because it is something that is a deep, intrinsic part of my everyday experience. I accept it, and often revel in it because it opens up a different human experience. I don’t always wear my hearing aids at home, though I do love the sound that I can hear with my hearing aids. I have bad days and amazing days – days when I wish I could hear something more clearly, that there was more access, then days when I connect with people, when I’m happy simply to be who I am and not somebody else.

Like any person – hearing or deaf – I’m a complicated mess of contradictions. So it comes as no surprise that the fiction and non-fiction I write – like the things I read – is also a mass of different situations, issues, characters, ideas and world-views. Fiction is the act of placing ourselves into the shoes of another person, in another place, doing something that might be very different to what we do. Some days, I might want to write about a vampire who joins the circus, another day I may want to write about a deaf teenager who has auditory hallucinations.

I know that deaf characters are few and far between and maybe I do feel a particular responsibility to make sure the world knows what it’s like to live as a deaf person. But I also don’t feel that I have to limit myself to just writing about deaf characters and issues. It’s the same as being a woman – I’m a feminist and I know that writing well-rounded, complex female characters is important. It’s the same as writing male characters, though – for them to be compelling, you have to flesh them out. This doesn’t mean I need to write fiction that is specifically about feminist issues – by just writing a well-rounded, complicated female character, I am already moving beyond stereotypes.

Journal Aids

I do have a strong attraction towards writing about characters that are rebellious, who are different in some way, outcasts or outsiders. Maybe because at different periods of my life, I have felt like an outsider – at school, in relation to society, even within the deaf community. I know what it’s like to not feel as though you ‘fit’ or that there is something marking you as different in some way. Sometimes people can’t get over the idea of deafness or disability, considering people as ‘other’. Or they are even someone who decides to mark themselves as ‘other’. I deeply understand these issues and it is likely to have an effect on what kind of stories I write, or how I write them. Many authors do the same – in fact so many fantastic books deal with the theme of outsiders, outcasts, people who live on the fringes.

The more superficial and technical aspects of being a deaf writer come about from writing itself. I do struggle sometimes with dialogue – with writing a character’s voice, with portraying the way they speak, or how their attitude comes across in speech. I’m not one of those writers who can go to a café and eavesdrop on interesting snippets of conversation or listen to the way people speak. I can pick up different accents when lipreading, but this doesn’t mean I can then portray the cadences, slang and ‘sound’ of someone’s accent.

However, because dialogue in fiction isn’t the same as actual speech, I can get around this. I can say something along the lines of ‘he/she had an Irish burr’ or drop a couple of regional slang words into dialogue without going overboard. I also play around with grammar, figure out how someone likes to express themselves (do they use expletives a lot, or are they blunt or long-winded?), and look to other books for inspiration. It takes a little more thought and once I get a handle on a character, it becomes easier to express who they are and how they talk through dialogue.

Even though it’s early days, I also worry about how I can access writer’s conferences, conventions and even book signings/question and answer sessions/author events. I’m always on the lookout for author talks that provide speech to text or captioning. I’m not fluent enough in BSL (British Sign Language) to rely solely on this for events. I will get around these issues in some way – but sometimes this also restricts what events I can and can’t go to, conventions and conferences being a particular worry. With events solely for myself, I would probably use a STTR (speech to text reporter), notetaker, or lipspeaker, but larger things where you request access from organisers can be a bit hit or miss.

I was inspired when I attended Louise Stern’s interview and Q&A at the Cambridge Literary Festival earlier this year (she has a new book out, called Ismael and His Sisters). She uses ASL (American Sign Language) so she had her interpreter, who translated and did voice over for the hearing audience and interviewer, whilst the BSL interpreter translated the voice-over for the deaf audience members. Though there wasn’t STTR, it was something to ask the organisers about in the future, and it was promising to actually have a deaf author giving an interview at a literary festival. With event organisers, it is sometimes up to the deaf and hard of hearing audience to make their access requests known – to educate rather than criticise, and open a dialogue about access for deaf and hard of hearing people.

Similar issues arise with going to writing groups, especially established groups where you won’t want to disrupt their way of doing things. It would be expensive and impractical to ask them to provide access, and expensive for you to fund the access yourself. This is why online writing groups are so good, and why blogs and Facebook support groups are important. I have a huge collection of writing books, and constantly look for ways to improve my own writing, to learn from writers who have come before me, and to connect with other writers online. There might not be many of us, but I also know some other deaf writers and bloggers, so I know I’m not alone when experiencing some of these issues.

As with anything, the point is ultimately to make good art. Access at events, to vlogs (often un-subtitled), to writer’s groups, take a little more effort to sort out, but it’s do-able, and I’m constantly learning how to be a better writer when it comes to dialogue and characterisation. No doubt in a few years I’ll revisit the issues in this post with more insight and solutions.

106 Comments Add yours

  1. relojera says:

    I have never thought about deaf writers… and I didn’t know you were one of them, either. You have made me think and realized about a lot of issues I have never been aware of.
    Thanks so much for showing me that reality that I wasn’t able to see.

    Liked by 16 people

    1. Shea McLinden says:

      I totally agree. Lovely article!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. cardamone5 says:

    This made me think, Liz. I have never considered the hurdle deaf writers face (creating dialogue, accents, attending conferences, etc.) I am already an admirer, but this post increased my admiration of you, because of the matter of fact way you articulate your challenges. Even hearing readers can relate, because as you say so well, everyone has challenges, but appreciation of what one has also grows hearing your challenges. Thank you.

    Fondly,
    Elizabeth

    Liked by 12 people

  3. I took a class on Deaf culture and living back in college, and it still amazes me how much there is to learn on the subject. I never considered that deaf writers might have trouble with dialogue because of the spoken component, but now that I read about and think about it, it does make sense to me.Thanks for the illuminating post.

    Liked by 7 people

  4. smittyrooks says:

    Never considered this honestly, thank you for enlightening me ❤(ӦvӦ。)

    Liked by 4 people

  5. Yvette says:

    This is lovely: “Like any person – hearing or deaf – I’m a complicated mess of contradictions.”

    Liked by 6 people

  6. This definitely helped me understand more about how its like living life deaf. I’m just getting into writing and blogging and this is inspiring for me. Thank you!

    Liked by 4 people

  7. Mimi says:

    This is actually a great concern in public relationships as well. Visually impared people are distanced from ‘objects’ but the deaf are distanced from ‘people’ . This even delves deeper. Wonderful piece must say. 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

  8. Laila says:

    And sometimes a hearing person is more deaf than those who truly are… I hope you find ways to be part of diffrent communitys and I hope that more hearing people stop being afraid to talk to deaf people. If theres a will, there will always be a way if we only try our best. Best of luck to you in whatever way you write.

    Liked by 4 people

  9. I love that line. Aren’t we all a complicated mess of contradictions?

    Liked by 5 people

  10. Thank you for the perspective. Have you thought of developing a deaf antagonist character?

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Liz Ward says:

      Thanks for commenting! Yes, but a lot of the time, antagonists seem to have some kind of disability – it can veer into cliche territory if the writer isn’t careful. It could also be done well, depending on the kind of person an antagonist is. It would have to be well thought out! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  11. pixelindiepentente says:

    Some use to say that all mind that is reflexive, reflex itself. So of course some of your characters will be deaf, because when you write (saying that because I do), you usually want to pass something that is already yours, like a feeling or a thought. No one is better to express that than yourself, so you put a part of yourself in the book.
    Anyway, thanks for the great post.

    Liked by 4 people

  12. lauraaflavia says:

    Beautiful article.You’re doing a great job!:)

    Liked by 2 people

  13. marymtf says:

    I wonder how you would go with a deaf detective? there are people who were not born deaf so they have speech. Some can lip read (or they can in movies and novels) if people face them when speaking. Your character could be a positive role model and at the same time show the ups and downs of a deaf person working in a hearing world. As for how people speak to each other – read. Read a lot. That’s what writers do. And – how do you and your friends relate to each other?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Mary, when you mention ‘being a positive role model’ it reminds me of my deaf uncle who spent a lot of time with myself and my 4 brothers when we were children. He taught us sign language and he was such an excellent lip reader that we use to practice lip reading with each other to become as good as him. He used to tell us off if we were naughty. He babysat us occasionally. And all the kids on our terrace loved him because he used to buy a big bag of sweets every Thursday and share them out between them all. So he was a lovely role model. And he could be very funny sometimes. Ah…. We loved him!!

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Liz Ward says:

      Yep – I’m one of those deaf people who lip-read and speak, BSL isn’t my first language. I have progressive hearing loss so I had more hearing than I do now when I was born (and a child) and acquired speech and language before I became profoundly deaf (also, I loved to read, I was a bookworm from a young age!).

      Though my hearing aids help and I have a lot of auditory memories so that does help with writing too. I have enough of an understanding of what it is like from both perspectives, though I couldn’t speak for someone who is pre-lingually deaf. It’s much more complicated than it seems at first look, I guess, being a deaf person! 🙂

      I have a mixture of deaf and hearing friends – I use different ways of communicating with them, from BSL to sign-supported English, to just speech (and lipreading). My sister is also has progressive sensorineural hearing loss, although our parents are hearing. Not really any history of deafness in the family! It helped to have a sister who is deaf, someone to relate to when growing up. Relating to people is just like any other leap of empathy and good communication.

      Writing a deaf detective would be a really good challenge. I suppose depending on what era they’re in, they could use a mixture of equipment, interpreters and communication aids. Thanks for the food for thought, and for commenting.

      Like

  14. oddinarygirl says:

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts. It was really interesting and quite an insight into the deaf world. I would love to read some of your works! Looking forward! 🙂

    Liked by 5 people

  15. I would say, just let the story flow out of you. If it turns out your character is deaf, then that’s how it is. You can tell a good story about a deaf person, because you understand that perspective, but you are also not solely limited to your own lived experience. All the work you’re doing to improve your writing will help you to improve.

    Thank you for your post. Sometimes it’s hard for us in the hearing community to really understand deaf people’s realities, and I appreciate and enjoy reading about the world in a way that I do not and cannot experience.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Q. says:

    Very enlighting read. It made me think from another perspective

    Liked by 3 people

  17. tychius says:

    Thank you for the insight! I’m really new to creative writing, so it was refreshing to read your post and think about it.

    Liked by 5 people

  18. Vianna says:

    Thank you for this post. With this, I learned again. It’s like a new set of point of view. And I agree with everyone, this is really lovely: “Like any person – hearing or deaf – I’m a complicated mess of contradictions.”

    Liked by 1 person

  19. sajadbangash says:

    Liz, I’m a hearing writer and blogger. What makes me so inspired and motivated to write is because I have inspirational personalities like you who infuses more spirit in me and raise my confidence that ‘although, life is not the bed of roses but the hard woke, dedication, commitment and honesty are always our companion. ‘
    I am so impressed and inspired of your exceptional, precious and elegant work that you render. You’re a beacon of light and hope for millions of people who desperately need rays of lights and hopes in your life.

    Liked by 4 people

  20. ashleyemma says:

    Lovely, eye-opening and honest!

    Liked by 3 people

  21. Ajguapa says:

    They say that to be able to write well, you have to write about what you know.. and feel… This is beautifully written.
    My fave line is: Like any person – hearing or deaf – (in my case, half blind as one eye is a prosthesis), I’m a complicated mess of contradictions.”

    Liked by 7 people

  22. This is an amazing post, it has truly opened my eyes to a topic I never really thought about before. I think it is an amazing that there is a writer out ther who can spread an awearness of this! And i have really enjoyed reading your writing!

    Liked by 1 person

  23. I agree – eye opening and I hadn’t thought of some of those points! Loved it.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Wonderful post, thoughtful and thought-provoking. Freshly pressed at it’s best. Thanks

    Liked by 1 person

  25. nyonglema says:

    Liz, I had never thought of all the aspects and challenges one would face creating art which has sound as key a key element. I must say out of tough situations are born tough people. I’d never have considered what hurdles you’d face increating art the way you want it; exploring that world and getting it is pure genius!

    Liked by 1 person

  26. A lovely post. I am deaf in one ear, and have been for many years but I tried to ignore it. I finally got my hearing aid earlier this year and the very first thing I thought was “Wow, music sounds awesome when heard in stereo”.

    This is the first time I have admitted, as a writer, to being partially deaf, but even in my everyday life, I am amazed by how peoples’ behaviour changed when I started wearing my aid. Now they shout more, it’s like the aid is only there to tell them I’m deaf. Previously, even though I told people around me, at work, that I am deaf on one side, they never shouted, and the onus was always on me to make sure they were on my right side.

    Thank you for your inspiring post.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Liz Ward says:

      Thank you – and thanks for commenting! Also, it takes a lot of courage to tell people you’re deaf, I’ve been wearing aids my whole life and still have moments when my confidence is low and people’s behaviour can make it harder. But – they just need some good old-fashioned deaf awareness. Maybe just politely ask them not to shout, since the aid amplifies sound. It’s more easily said than done, though, I know! 🙂

      Music does sound good in stereo!

      Like

  27. Cáit says:

    Hey there, I’m a hearing aspiring writer… And love your article. I like mutations and I like writing about them, but since I myself does not have any except for being and introvert alien. I would love to listen to a BSL speaker point of view for auditory hallucinations especially from those who were born non-hearing.
    I salute you.

    Liked by 2 people

  28. You are a true inspiration for all.. Hats off to you..people are so unsatisfied with all the abilities in life but having read this they will definitely be ashamed of themselves.. Wonderful post..:)

    Liked by 2 people

  29. Rantasalot says:

    Very interesting post. I think I may understand you a little bit, Idid my my work career with deafblind adults. There is never enough infotmation of the different wolds we live.

    Liked by 2 people

  30. abenii says:

    Beautiful write up. Thank you soo much for educating and providing an in depth view on deaf writers. Bless you

    Liked by 3 people

  31. skyewaters says:

    I started reading your post and at some point got to thinking that it’s probably not that hard because when you write its a world of making stuff up…most times. But, then I got to thinking how I write and how the factors of my experiences from conversations or things I’ve heard has come in to play in my writing…and I get it. I get what you are trying to say, simply because I picture that ability gone and it’s not so easy after all. You seem to be going in the right direction though and I commend you for your perseverance and willingness to succeed. We all have a story to tell…no matter how loud or silent…the world needs to hear (or read) it. I’m positive that when you revisit this post, you will be oozing wisdom on the topic.

    Liked by 2 people

  32. You are an inspiration

    Like

  33. Q. says:

    Check out my blog if you like this pointsoftwo.wordpress.com!

    Like

  34. Lane says:

    I am gay and trans male, and I too struggle with the question of whether to write my own experience into my stories. You summed up the issues I face very well. On the one hand, I feel a responsibility to increase awareness and representation, on the other hand, I don’t feel like being queer is the most important part of my identity, and I don’t want to be pigeonholed. I want to write about queer issues when it feels natural, not just out of some sense of obligation.
    Also, I sometimes have a Mary Sue problem. If I set out to make a character gay, or trans male, suddenly the character becomes a stand-in for who I am, and that gets in the way of good writing. One trick I’ve learned is to write about these issues at an angle. I find it much easier to write about trans women, genderqueer people, asexuals etc. There is enough common ground there that I can apply my own experience, but I also feel separated enough from the character to write them as a person who has some things in common with me, not a way to insert myself into a cool story.
    I also think your approach to dialog sounds great. Many hearing writers also struggle with dialog, and the advice I’ve heard from experienced writers is to do exactly what you describe yourself doing.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Liz Ward says:

      Thanks for your comment – it has helped me think about the best approach. I do think that coming from an angle is a good way to do it. I think that’s part of the problem with any kind of aspect of our identities that we write about – the Mary Sue problem! 🙂

      Good luck with your writing – it sounds great.

      Liked by 1 person

  35. Had to share – absolutely. I felt you saw more things with your eyes. Wonderfully written

    Liked by 2 people

  36. helkenbetz says:

    Wow, that was amazing, you are really good at writing what you feel! Keep writing!

    Liked by 2 people

  37. you are a beautiful writer. i’m curious, were you born deaf? i would love to know more about you and your relationship to the written word. i can definitely hear your voice!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Liz Ward says:

      That’s a good question. When I was born in the early 80s, the newborn hearing screening tests in the UK weren’t very good, and it was only when I was about 4 that my aunt noticed I wasn’t responding to certain things. I’ve got progressive sensorineural hearing loss so it has dropped over time. I had much more hearing when I was born so wasn’t pre-lingually deaf – I acquired language and speech before my hearing dropped further. My sister is the same (we have hearing parents). Some of my friends are different – some are pre-lingually deaf and use BSL (British Sign Language) or SSE (sign supported English). I’ll probably write a few more posts about writing and being deaf so watch this space 🙂 Thanks for commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

  38. ednamop says:

    Very interesting article and topic! Thanks for the insight 🙂

    Mop x

    Liked by 2 people

  39. The Editor says:

    Great point of view.

    Liked by 2 people

  40. PurlBeadsJo says:

    Great insight thank you so much for sharing 😃

    Liked by 2 people

  41. biochemlife says:

    I am glad you approach your writing and your dealings with the writing world with a can do attitude which looks for solutions instead of excuses.

    Liked by 2 people

  42. Your writing is an inspiration and food for thought in a hearing world. Thank you for your perspective on writing.

    Liked by 2 people

  43. I am glad that’s a first thing I’ve read today. Thank you

    Liked by 2 people

  44. arod08 says:

    Having just received my hearing aids after 23 years and being an author myself, I admire the bravery of each of the points you brought up. It takes courage to plunge into the unknown. But that’s the great thing about writing, although to create a picture takes a lot of effort, one of the most important is to show what people wouldn’t normally notice. Kudos to you. 👏🏼

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Liz Ward says:

      Thank you – I really appreciate your comment. And I hope you and your hearing aids get on well! 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  45. Hemangini Patel says:

    However the idea is to “make good art”… Being deaf is a blessing in disguise I think… Your world is whole lot different even if it seems similar… I am glad you are sharing it in words here. Will read more of your site soon… 🙂 Keep it up dear 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  46. copd4real says:

    You know, people have been writing about outer space and exploration for years, having never left this earth. I think if you write in a compelling manner, it doesn’t matter that you’re deaf. You bring to the stories your viewpoint and experience, and each of us has a different song to sing when it comes to our compositions.

    The best thing I ever heard was from Billy Joel. “Just get it to the “good enough” point.” He talked about working on his first albums in the 70’s, and how much better things sounded after Phil Spectre and his ‘wall of sound’ production talents amped up the finishing touches.

    For you, it will be the same way. Once you have an editor for your professional work, you’ll just get better and better. But, until you produce something for them to work with, you’re stuck.

    Don’t worry about the perfectionism. Produce from your heart, and if it’s meant to be the rest of the pieces will fall into place. If it’s not meant to be, you will still feel fulfilled at having expressed yourself. Either way, it’s a win-win.

    Liked by 2 people

  47. Chris Ross says:

    My little brother just turned 35 on August 10th, & is not only hearing impaired, but autistic, & a mute. Your article is both inspiring, & touches a place that is very near and dear to me as he will never have the opportunities many of us take for granted. Furthermore, he is on about a 13-15 year old level of smarts, but is off the charts in unique ability. He has never kissed a girl, driven a car, or known what heart ache, let alone, heart break truly does to the soul. In the same breathe, he is the definition of true innocence, & therefore, I have vowed to be his protector no matter what my life presents to me as I have already accepted responsibility over him; which means legally becoming responsible for any action or event which might occur because of him. However, because of the love he has been given, & the happiness he exudes, I have found internal peace within myself. But, reading things such as your article gives me the much needed strength to continue on days I find that lack of solitude needed to push me through to the next day.

    Thank you, & God bless you!

    Feel free to visit my site listed under my profile, as I do not know etiquette in that regards here, & do not want to undermine someone else’s recognitions.

    Chris

    Liked by 4 people

  48. Nate Homier says:

    Hi. I am deaf/hoh. I would like to get new skins for my aids. How did you skin your aids. I want to show off my aids.
    Born this way. Got my first aids 18 months old.

    Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  49. espirt says:

    You truly are a beautiful writer. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  50. Thank you for writing this and being bodacious enough to write deaf characters. The challenges of writing as a hearing impaired person honestly hadn’t occurred to me. Thanks for expanding my horizons!

    Liked by 1 person

  51. nickym14 says:

    I love to hear when people who are deaf have such great professions because I have friends who are deaf and I encourage them to do their best in everything .😀

    Liked by 1 person

  52. Daphne says:

    thank you for sharing and also you’re a good writer . you inspired me 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  53. Thank you for sharing your story and showing another perspective most of us haven’t thought of. Keep it up. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  54. elsajoseph13 says:

    Keep flying the flag for people with disabilities my friend. You’re an inspiration!

    Liked by 1 person

  55. Wow what a heartfelt post. Thank you for sharing this. Whether intended or not, by sharing your thoughts of your search to understand the hearing has allowed those who can to better understand your experiences in return. I was pleased to hear that once you get into a character’s mind, writing their speech becomes more natural. I would say it’s the same for me and I can hear, but my characters’ speeches are dry and drab until I get a grasp of their true character. I guess speech is an externalisation of our inner monologue, so take heart in this that your dialogues will be rich and entertaining provided you feel the emotional connection to them. You have a really engaging voice in your writing, so keep doing it – it’s a gift!

    Liked by 1 person

  56. corinwriter says:

    Insightful, inspiring and not at all indulgent. I really enjoyed reading about something I’ve never really considered before as a writer. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  57. Simran Brijwani says:

    Beautifully written 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  58. This was very informative. As I write I try to block everything out. I thank you for this blog it make me look at writing in a different way.

    Liked by 1 person

  59. You have my admiration.

    Liked by 1 person

  60. Lauren says:

    you write beautiful and i am going to follow you. I have learned ASL because my husband learned for he is going deaf, he is has a disease called minears that eats away at his inner ears. I am going to follow you for your amazing articulation and writing, I look foward to reading more from you.

    Liked by 2 people

  61. It is wonderful to hear your perspective. I work with people who have hearing impairments. My cousin and my grandma are too. You are inspiration, keep your voice heard through your words.

    Liked by 1 person

  62. Sarah Murphy says:

    Yes yes, deafness one of the most misunderstood disabilities as doesn’t manifest itself that obviously!! xx

    Liked by 1 person

  63. Liz Ward says:

    I’d just like to thank everyone who has commented here – I’m glad you enjoyed reading this post and for your lovely words of encouragement.

    Like

  64. marymtf says:

    If you think about it, Liz, you’ll see that perhaps it’s not as much of a problem as you think, to write dialogue. You have relationships with family, with friends, with the barista at the local café, the butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker. . Depending on how well you know them, you will pick up on signs verbal or physical (body language). How’s your relationship with them and theirs with you?

    If you haven’t already done it, go back and reread a favourite book and analyse it only from the perspective of the dialogue. You’ll notice that unlike real life (that’s why snippets in cafes don’t work) not a word is spoken that doesn’t move the story or the relationship within the story forward. Everyone talks about snippets in cafes, but it’s loaded with erms and arrs and mostly it’s he said, she said type dialogue that you can’t relate to because you don’t know the people or their back story. Unless of course you hear someone say – ‘it’s happening at midnight, bring your samurai sword along.’ PS. I want to read about the vampire who runs away to the circus. Vampires are the in thing lately, haven’t you noticed? 🙂

    Like

  65. Tammy says:

    Informative and interesting post, thank you

    Like

  66. luludestruggle says:

    Inspiring. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  67. Kimmykimmycocopuff says:

    Wow, I could relate to this so much, I am legally deaf, I wear hearing aids in both ears but it only helps a little. I don’t know ASL or any sign language for that matter. I rely on lip reading, clear speech and my hearing aids and know that going to certain speaking events is out of the question for me. I’m a beginning writer, it’s something I’ve wanted to do since childhood though. I’ve thought about writing about my issues trying to fit in when you don’t fit in the hearing or non hearing world. Very frustrating and sometimes lonely place. Thank you for writing this article, if more people were aware, maybe there would be more understanding and accommodations in the world. …I love the silver butterflies on your hearing aids, mine are black too 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  68. dawnbrandt says:

    You are a beautiful writer! Never thought about writing from a hearing impaired perspective. Very interesting. You have a great story, and was i held captive through this whole blog. Thank you for sharing

    Liked by 1 person

  69. blueandred27 says:

    Intresting reading. Well done 🙂 made me think…

    Like

  70. Awesomely written 🙂

    Like

  71. fda4 says:

    Deaf or not, you put everything in perfect words. Great piece 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  72. An inspiring viewpoint. Thank you.

    Like

  73. growinguppp says:

    Wow. I had never thought about the struggle of being a deaf writer. A very interesting piece. Thank you 🙂

    Like

  74. Manisha says:

    Wow! What a great read👍 kudos 👏

    Redefining the four letter word : LOVE
    Check out!
    https://thepinkpages92.wordpress.com/2015/08/22/love-not-really-a-world-of-roses-and-laughs/

    Like

  75. animalmagnet says:

    You really inspired me with you’re out look on life! Good Luck

    Like

  76. Simone says:

    Reblogged this on Simone Samuels and commented:
    A lot of food for thought here…about the challenges of being a deaf writer.

    Like

  77. barbarian49 says:

    Fascinating – I would say that you shouldn’t bother about writing dialogue because that’s what most writers do… in the way that hearing people write. Consider redefining descriptions of communication! You have a unique perspective and that is what will attract readers – I’m always looking for different things to read. Challenge the way dialogue is written by describing it as YOU experience it! I don’t know what genre you’re writing in, but you could explore lots of possibilities with your alternate experience. The deaf detective who notices things that others don’t? The dog whisperer who has an intimate understanding of animals’ body language? The stresses of a ‘mixed’ marriage, where one partner has different abilities? Lots of things are possible – don’t regret your difference, use it! Thanks for an interesting hint at your world – I look forward to more!

    Liked by 2 people

  78. lksterne says:

    Whoa. I’m right there with you, in fact I think we have almost the same hearing aids. I so rarely think about the impact it has on my life, because as long as I can remember, I’ve been told to not let it “slow me down.” I’m going to start reading your stuff. I’m new to this blog writing thing, just about two weeks in. But I’m holding onto this one for future contemplation.

    Liked by 1 person

  79. You’re an inspiration ☺️🙏🏻❤️💪🏻✌🏻️😇

    Like

  80. Harshali Gaikwad says:

    This is really inspiring 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  81. Reblogged this on quirkywritingcorner and commented:
    The novel I started working on while my other book is being edited happens to have Rita, a deaf instructor, and her group of deaf students. The heroine is hearing, but has to pretend to be deaf. She knows ASL because of her friendship with Rita. If I can write fast enough, I’ve considered giving Rita her own book.

    Like

  82. Kayla Ramos says:

    Hi there, I really liked this post. You brought up some things that I, as a hearing person, would have never thought about. I do have a question though. I am reading a book called “Soundless” by Richelle Mead, and it’s about a town where the entire population is deaf and now loosing their sight. The rest of the plot is a little hard to explain without giving too much away. Anyway, this book got me wondering how most deaf people feel about hearing people writing about deaf people? And if a hearing person was hellbent on having a deaf character, what is the best way for them to approach it? I live in the US and I’m studying to become an interpreter so I am fairly familiar with American Deaf culture. However, from what I understand, you’re in Britain and your opinion may differ a little from Americans’, but I’m still very curious. Thanks!

    Like

    1. Kayla Ramos says:

      I don’t want to come off as rude, ignorant, or disrespectful. This question is based solely on curiosity.

      Like

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