Compelling Writers with a Disability Written by: Iris6th October 2015 “A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies, said Jojen. The man who never reads lives only one.” - George R.R. Martin Reading takes us to places we have never been to. Not only does this reading generally widen our knowledge, but it is an activity that sharpens our minds and brings us closer to a higher level of expertise, alongside repetition and practice. The entire scope and broadness of the area of interesting topics to study can be fully enjoyed and appreciated by many people from different walks of life. Literacy is promoted at a very young age, and reading is a fundamental part of it. Knowing how to read is a core skill that is being developed to make children successful, enabling them to grow into educated and responsible adults. Although experience is the best teacher, the insights gained from various written works give us a chance to avoid the mistakes committed by the others, helping us to at least avoid the errors of the past. The valuable lessons could encourage us to duplicate the inspiring values virtues shown by the personas reflected on the stories that we read. Most writings also make us introspect. The themes and messages that they put across tickle our fancies, allowing us to internalize, and bringing us into life-changing realizations. Unsplash via Pixabay and can be reused under the "CC BY license". Browsing through a myriad of written works is unbelievably entertaining, oftentimes leaving us with a feeling of being adrenalized, and even overwhelmed, at times. We cannot thank the astounding writers enough who have put these works of art into writing. Writers who have produced fascinating dramas and comedies; novelists who have written captivating novels in the genres that they belong, essayists who have created helpful and interesting written materials, critics who were able to produce intriguing write-ups, journalists who were able to create highly-informative articles, and the poets who have inked incredible poetries that tug at our heartstrings. They affect us in so many ways that we could ever imagined. Transported into another lifetime, we metamorphose into someone, perhaps into the character from what we've read, or maybe into a new role - one that is a mix of who we are and what the story’s subjects expressed; then we allow ourselves to be in another world, as if having the capacity to be the soul of another person. We feel, we get affected, we are enlightened- and we are brought into a contemplative state by the words that we have absorbed and being moved up to the deepest core of our being. Many thanks to all of the extraordinary authors and accomplished writers with a disability who made this feeling a possibility, giving us the opportunity to experience this one-of-a-kind connection to ourselves. Writers with a Disability Helen Keller Image Source: Wellcome Images via Wikimedia Commons and can be reused under the CC BY license. A prominent figure in history, Helen Keller is a prolific author, educator, speaker and political activist. She became deaf, mute and blind when she was 2 years old. The story of how her teacher, Anne Sullivan, managed to teach her on how to communicate in a world of silence and darkness has become an incredible source of inspiration. Some of Keller's books include The Story of My Life, Light in My Darkness, The World I Live In and Teacher: Anne Sullivan Macy, among others. John Milton Image Source: https://www.abolitionist.com/john-milton.jpg (original at National Portrait Gallery: NPG 4222 via Wikimedia Commons and can be reused under CC BY license. Who wouldn't know the legendary poet, who wrote the world's greatest epic poem, "Paradise Lost"? John Milton has influenced the most significant writers of our time. Spending years on a comprehensive, private study that concentrated on literature, religion, politics, history and philosophy, he was able to produce brilliantly written masterpieces. He has written Paradise Lost several years after becoming blind in 1651. Paradise Regained, Samson Agonistes, and Areopagitica are just some of his prestigious and highly-celebrated works. Agatha Christie Image Source: Agatha Christie plaque -Torre Abbey.jpg: Violetriga derivative work: F l a n k e r - Agatha Christie plaque -Torre Abbey.jpg via Wikimedia Commons and can be reused under the "CC BY license" Agatha Christie is a popular novelist who has written best-selling detective novels that sold around 4 billion copies worldwide. And it is just unbelievably amazing that her Dysgraphia - a learning disability, didn't stop her from becoming one of the world's most talented writers. Three of her internationally-acclaimed books are And Then There Were None, Murder on the Orient Express, and The Mysterious Affair at Styles. F Scott Fitzgerald Image Source: F. Scott Fitzgerald, 1937, June 4 by Carl Van Vechten Photographs collection at the Library of Congress via Wikimedia Commons F Scott Fitzgerald is a noteworthy figure in literature who suffered a learning disability called dyslexia. He had a serious difficulty in spelling, yet his determination paved the way for him to succeed in writing. Fitzgerald has written the novels The Beautiful and Damned, This Side of Paradise, and his most popular novel, The Great Gatsby. Teresa de Cartagena Image Source: jclk8888 via Pixabay and can be reused under the "CC BY license". Teresa de Cartagena is an author and nun of Sephardic Jew and Spanish descent. Her deafness which happened in 1449 didn't hinder her resolution to write books that tackle religion and feminism. Critics recognize her work, Admiraçión operum Dey (Wonder at the Works of God), as the first ever book written by a Spanish nun that discussed feminist views - a subject that's quite uncommon in the Middle Ages. Nick Vujicic Image Source: Nick Vujicic via Photopin and can be reused under the "CC BY license" Nick Vujicic’s fighting spirit really keeps him going! Born with a rare condition called the Tetra-Amelia Syndrome, which is characterized by the absence of both arms and legs, Nick was able to finish university and became a New York Times best-selling author, motivational speaker and evangelist. His books "Unstoppable: The Incredible Power of Faith in Action” and "Your Life Without Limits: Living Above Your Circumstances" are just two of his marvelous works which became a source of encouragement for millions of people from around the world. (READ MORE: Successful People with Disabilities) Reading makes us not only academically successful, but it greatly helps us in making our lives fully accomplished. Aiming to become an exemplary name in the field of literature and journalism is definitely a noble dream, but the deeper objective lies on being able to communicate to people whom you have never met by telling a story- vividly describing narratives with engaging words and sketching imageries through the right terms and lexis - is an amazing way to pursue a writing career. If this is your life-long dream, get a pen and paper now and start expressing yourself through writing! If you are one of the gifted writers with a disability or whatever challenge that you currently have- do not ever let it stop you. Be enthused and inspired to tell a story in a way that only YOU can pull off. Make these five inspiring individuals motivate you and strengthen your faith to be the best that you can be, in your chosen field- be it through writing or another craft. PRIMARY IMAGE SOURCE: Jade0626 via Pixabay and can be reused under the "CC BY license"