Writing helps me make sense of the world

I’m not sure how I got to this point. I mean, it’s not the normal teenage trajectory! When I think of the journey I’ve made, though, every day feels extraordinary and surreal. Maybe it all started as soon as my brain could compute that I was looking at nature and that it set my mind on fire, or when I incessantly pointed at everything as I crawled, baby-babbling and lunging after anything that moved. 

As I grew, my fascination and curiosity for wildlife grew too, exponentially. Every passing day the desire to learn more directed my whole being. I stood out, and for years it wasn’t that great – and let’s just say that I still have the scars. But now, standing out has given me purpose, direction and a book!

I started writing when I was 12. I was campaigning and public speaking by 13, and at 14 I was writing my Diary for the amazing Little Toller. Writing helps me make sense of the world. Words pour out and give clarity to my chaos, because communication is hard being autistic. I am that kid who teachers said would never be able to string together a paragraph. I’m the one who would never follow the normal path (like it was a bad thing). So here I am, walking that path and inviting you all to walk alongside me (at a bit of a distance of course).

You’re all very welcome.

Dara McAnulty