huffington post


People often ask me when I’m going to write a book. It comes with the territory when you write a blog, I suppose. I write nearly every day, so it would seem like a logical next step. But my answer is the same every time. “I will write a book when I feel like I have to.”

When I started writing this blog, it was because I woke up one morning and was quite simply – and overwhelmingly – compelled to write it. If I didn’t put the words somewhere, my head was going to explode. Someday, I have a hunch, the same will happen with a book. It will simply present itself it and need to be written. (Whether it will need to be read will be a different story entirely.)

I have always been very happy writing here, in my (relatively) safe little corner of the world. I had never felt the need to venture beyond this amazing community. Until last week.

Last week, for the first time, I wrote something that I felt like I had to share beyond Diary’s audience. And I knew exactly where it belonged. So I took a chance.

I sent it to the Huffington Post.

Unless we count a letter that I wrote to Seventeen magazine when I was twelve, I had never submitted anything that I’d written to anyone before. It was nerve-wracking at best. But I needed to do it. So I did. And then I waited. And then checked my e-mail obsessively. And then waited.

By the time that I had officially convinced myself that I’d be lucky to get a very nice note saying, “Nice try, kid.” an e-mail popped into my inbox.

Thanks for sending this. We’d definitely like to run this on the blog, so if you could just send me a photo of yourself that we could use to create a headshot for you, as well as a title for the piece, we’ll get you set up.

A head shot? Right, cause I’m so the head shot kind of girl. I searched through our family photos. There was only one I could find in which I was far enough from the person next to me to isolate my head. Sorry, Luau, but you’re on the cutting room floor, babe.

I wrote a bio. It was harder than I thought. How would I introduce myself to people outside of these walls? Would I describe Brooke as autistic or as having autism? How would I describe Katie? Or me?

I played with the words until they felt right.


Jess Wilson

Jess can typically be found at A Diary of a Mom where she writes about her life with her husband Luau* and their two beautiful daughters, Brooke*, who is nearly 9 and has autism, pervasive anxiety, and sensory processing disorders, along with a wicked sense of humor, and Katie*, who is soon to be 11 and has been diagnosed by her mother with typical tweendom and a heart the size of Montana.

Jess is proud to be featured in the Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism and to have been a regular contributor to Hopeful ParentsAutism SpeaksThe Oxygen Mask Project, and the Sensory Processing Disorder Blogger Network (SPDBN).

You can follow her on Twitter @diaryofamom, or join her on Diary of a Mom’s Facebook page, a vibrant community of over 5,000 people with autism and those who love them.

And yes, I used my last name. I finally had to admit that hiding behind my hands and saying “You can’t see me” isn’t really so effective. It is what it is.

Last night, I got another e-mail.

Dear Jess,

Thank you for sending us your post, and welcome to The Huffington Post blog. I’m sending you your log-in username and password (below) so that if you’d like to submit future posts to us, you can do so directly through the site. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us. Thanks!

Here is the link to your first live post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jess-wilson/support_b_1321898.html

All the best,

C

And so it begins.

Together, we’ll test the waters out there when it’s right. We will humanize autism. We’ll spread our message of acceptance, understanding and compassion. We’ll get the word out about the desperate need for research, support and services. We’ll talk about why it matters so damn much.

And then we’ll come back here and do what we do every day – together.

Huffington Post, people. Holy hell.

Please click –> HERE <– to read my post, comment on it if you’re so inclined and then, if you’re willing, share it (pretty please). You can also click –> HERE <– to subscribe to my HuffPo blog.

Thank you!

37 thoughts on “huffington post

  1. huffington post should be the one saying “holy hell”…they are very, very lucky to bet getting such a terrific writer and such an articulate, compassionate point of view.

    congrats on this! excited for you.

  2. CONGRATS Jess!! That is awesome!!! Funnily enough…I swear to god this morning I was thinking (for the first time, I might ad) When is Jess going to write a book? And …..then…this post. I swear I must’ve had a psychic moment this morning, lol! This is wonderful! I can’t WAIT to read it…but for now I have to go because Cymbie is going to the dentist before school this morning. Wish me luck. xoxoxoxo

  3. So proud of you…jusrt so darn proud! You find the words to advocate for your little girl-for your family. You find the words when so many of us can’t speak. Your share your gift of writing and by doing so- gift us all the strength to stand. I thank you.

  4. you need to get a cape!! supermom/hero extrodinaire!! Beautifully written on a topic so very important to all of society. Great job, as usual!! Congratulations!!

  5. Let your light shine Jess – so happy for your success. I will be sharing and linking all over the place. 🙂

  6. I knew as soon as you mentioned you were submitting to Huffington Post that they would immediately grab you as a contributor. They’d be crazy not to do so.

    You’ve done the White House, you’re now on the pages of HuffPo. Welcome to the big time, my friend. I know you’ll do us proud.

  7. So amazingly proud of you, Jess. My favorite blogger on my favorite website (next to Facebook, natch). Way to go, mama.

  8. Congratulations Jess! If anybody can teach the world about autism, compassion and love, it’s you. You’ve put a precious little face to autism. Brooke’s face. You’ve made autism very human and real. So grateful that you will now have an even larger audience to teach and inspire.

  9. Being the mother of an autistic son, this means so much! This is actually the first time I have seen your work and I will continue to follow. Keep up the good work, it’s fantastic to know parents have a voice and have support! 😉

    Kathryn

  10. Congratulations! Everytime I read your blog I think to myself, this woman puts into words what many, many of us cannot express, myself included. So THANK YOU THANK YOU from the bottom of ALL of our hearts for being our voices!

  11. I knew we couldn’t keep you to ourselves, you have too much talent and a message to carry for all of us. Congrats Jess!

  12. Hi. My name is Phil. I enjoyed reading your story and the comments. I’ve just submitted a pitch to The Huffington Post on their general submissions page. I submitted the full text, but then it said I could only submit 1000 words, so I shortened it. Did you have the same experience? Also, from the day you submitted, how long did it take to finally hear back. Many thanks, and congratulations.
    Phil

    • phil, i think it was a week or so all told though it’s been a while and i can barely remember what i ate for breakfast, lol. good luck, i hope it works out for you!

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