Friday, September 21, 2007

Hopes Goals and Dreams for a Friday afternoon

It's just a few more days till Look Me in the Eye goes on sale. Next Tuesday.

My book has just finished its first week on the Amazon bestseller list, and it’s not even on sale yet. Who’d have expected that from me, an unknown debut author from the backwoods of Massachusetts? It’s true, I have a famous brother, but the demand for my book really shows how urgently people seek stories of hope and inspiration. I sure hope Look Me in the Eye helps fill that need. I’m pedaling as fast as I can.

I’d like to take a moment to tell you some of my hopes and goals. Every day, people ask me, “What do you hope to accomplish?”

In a general sense, I want to do creative work that benefits society. At the most basic level, that’s what I want to accomplish with my work life. And I hope to accomplish both those goals via my writing. I’ve already achieved commercial success and stability and now I’m ready to add another dimension.

I hope to show the wider world that Aspergian people, and other autistic people, have feelings just like everyone else. Our thought processes may at times be different, but our underlying emotions are the same.

With all my funny stories (at least you readers tell me they’re funny) I’d like to demonstrate that some Aspergians (me, at least) can find humor in any situation. And I hope that most of you readers find my book entertaining.

I hope young people, and anyone are struggling to find their way, can take inspiration from my story. If I, a high school dropout, can have a family, make a few dollars and found several businesses, they can too. And I hope to deliver another message in that regard: you’ll never win unless you’re in the game. Excuses do not make us winners.

I hope my story gives teachers, mental health workers, and anyone else who works with autistic and Aspergian people a better insight into how some of us think and feel. While some of us may respond to medication, others need only understanding. And we don’t always think the way mental health handbooks say we do. I want to make that point very clear, at least with respect to me. I don’t know how YOU think, but I sure know how I thing, and in my case, all those shrinks all through my childhood had some pretty wrong ideas about me. And now that I’m a successful grownup, the proof is, as they say, in the beef stew.

I hope more people will see Asperger’s and autism as an invisible disability. A guy in a wheelchair receives compassion everywhere he goes. An Aspergian who doesn’t know how to fit in may be ridiculed by some of those same people, because he looks normal but acts different. I hope to increase the level of tolerance and understanding in the world a little bit.

While some Aspergians may struggle with day to day life, evidence suggests that Aspergian and autistic thinking may be an essential part of much creative genius. Using examples from my book, I hope to show the wider world that some Aspergian traits that other people ordinarily see as disadvantages may actually be rare and wonderful gifts.

And I hope readers will see the other people around them in a whole new light, once they read my story.

And now, if we could take a moment to mention the supporting cast, back there in the background . . .

Can you step forward . . .

A bit more . . . .

He’s right here, the guy on the left



He’s Shawn Nicholls, the Internet wizard who brings you ME, online. Shawn is the fellow who provides the technological underpinnings for all you see here in the blog. He’s responsible for restyling the Look Me in the Eye blog, to make it colorful and professional, not plain and basic. He’s made countless little devices, like the 3D book. He’s the one who edited the video of my brother and me, and put it on YouTube for the world to see. He’s also the guy who gets my content on sites like Amazon, Perez Hilton, People, and others.

I should point out that many things like YouTube are actually his idea and his creation. He's made a big contribution to the book's promotion.

He’s much younger than me, smart, computer savvy, clever, and hard working. When my stories pop up in out of the way places you can look to him.

And we can’t forget my mate, Martha, known to readers as Unit 2. She builds and operates the www.johnrobison.com website and works with Shawn to keep us looking spiffy.

And those of you who read about me in People or Entertainment Weekly or USA Today or any of the other papers and magazines . . . you can thank my publicist, Christine Aronson, for letting them know I exist.

Look for exciting photos of Christine, me, and my book - stacked up for sale, Monday night. Stay tuned.

13 comments:

The Anti-Wife said...

What you want is very inspiring. Many people are changed by fame, but somehow I don't think you will be one of them.

Paula's Poetry said...

John
You are the living example of my motto.

"Don't ask for an easier life, ask to be a stronger person."

You exemplify courage and strength.
You will accomplish exactly what you wish. I am in awe that you allowed the world such a personal look into your life. I thank you for opening your heart and home to us. I look forward to the arrival of your book.


Take a bow, you deserve it.

Paula

Joanne said...

How come I didn't hear about you and your book until today?! I can't wait to buy your book for my 14 year old, who has Aspergers, along with a huge brain and an absurdist sense of humor. More people need to know that the 'weird kid' they've noticed at school may be longing for human contact but doesn't know how to go about it.

Thank you for being a role model in an area too little understood or acknowledged!

xxoo Joanne

John Elder Robison said...

Joanne, I have no idea why you didn't hear of my book till today. I'm not hiding. Anyway, now you've found it, and me, and I do hope you and your son enjoy it.

May I suggest you and your son listen to the audio book clip on the right side of my blog. As an Aspergian, he may find my own Aspergian voice familar and comfortable.

crysnrob said...

I really liked your point about the disparity of appearances and behaviors. I encounter this all the time, and I work with teachers who, even though they know how to react to a child with an ASD, have a hard time transferring that knowledge base to interacting with an adult.

(By the way, I've always been fond of the term "aspie" myself.)

Robert

John Elder Robison said...

Robert, Aspie always sounded to me like some kind of dangerous snake. I prefer Aspergian which has no such connotation to me.

mugglebornmom said...

I've just heard about your book and I plan to check it out. Both of my sons, ages 7 and 14, have Aspergers. Due to the relentless bullying and the school systems taking them in the wrong direction we decided to start homeschooling and we are thouroughly enjoying it. I look forward to reading your book.

Chrissy said...

I cannot wait to read this book. My little brother, who is seven, has Aspergers and I'm constantly wanting to hear HIS side of the story. Though this isn't his story at all, it is yours, I feel like it really will provide me with a lot of much needed insight. Thank you for writing this, I have a feeling I'm going to love it.

John Elder Robison said...

Chrissy, I hope you enjoy my book, and I hope it give you some insights into how your brother may be thinking and feeling.

Mugglebornmom, I'd say the same for you, and I'd also suggest you may find my book inspiring because I didn't make it through public school, either.

Jane said...

John,

Thanks for the comment on my blog. I'm going to get your book...it will be a nice refreshing read in comparison to all of those clinical books on Asperger's.

Good luck with the sales.

John Elder Robison said...

Jane, I hope you enjoy my book. It's not clinical at all. People say it's funny, sad, inspiring, hopeful, but one thing they do not say is . . . clinical.

John Elder Robison said...

One more thing about Jane . . . she has some very nice photography on her blog. Check it out . .

mmaund said...

John, I listened with great interest to your chat with Richard Stubbs on ABC radio today. You are an inspiration to Aspergers who will now know all about their problem. You are a brilliant man.