Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Blogging Irresistible to Adoptees?

Could blogging be the perfect vehicle for adoptees?

If psychologist, researcher and adoptive father William Reynolds is right, then...yes.

"The adoptee is inclined to be rather shy and personally wary individual who is ill at ease in dealing with others. Impulsive in decision making style, whose self-image tends to be remote and untrusting, who has real difficulty persisting at tasks without immediate rewards, and whose tolerance for frustration and delay is minimal."

Reynolds (along with two colleagues) presented that profile of adoptees back in 1977, long before blogging.

Reading that quote in Betty Jean's Lifton book, Lost & Found, made me sit up, blink and shake my head in wonder. For the last week, I'd been puzzling over my persistent state of writer's block. I had stopped - cold - in the middle of rewriting 250 pages of a ghost story for young adults. The second draft was a big improvement over what author Anne Lamott calls, the "Shitty First Draft" in her wonderful book, Bird by Bird. There was no obvious reason to bail. The writing was going well. I just...gave up. And it wasn't the first time. A bookshelf in my basement is stacked with unfinished manuscripts. And then there's the ten draft chapters of a novel which probably falls into the "Latina Chick Lit" genre filling up the desktop on my computer.

Writing a fiction novel requires persistence. The reward is uncertain. There is no guarantee that it will be published. Fiction writing is frustrating. There are many unforseen delays and hurdles to cross, like getting an agent to actually read your work.

Is finishing a novel harder because I'm an adoptee? I used to produce daily newscasts. Roll in, work all day and then...airtime. Immediate gratification. And then the switch to radio reporting/producing. Similar routine. Pitch story, sell story, produce story, airtime., paycheck. No wondering if all my hard work was going to pay off.

Could sticking with a task with an uncertain outcome be especially challenging for some of us adoptees? If so, why? I asked my (adoption issue educated) therapist and she didn't know. I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Until I figure out what's really behind my writer's block, I'll blog. It's perfect! Immediate reward: check; frustration: minimal; delay: none.

As for the other attributes listed by Reynolds: ill at ease in dealing with others? You'd never guess it to meet me, but absolutely. Impulsive? Dangerously so. Remote self-image? In the process of putting it into focus...now that the adoptee has finally awoken.



Blogger Cookie said...

I look forward to your blog! Though I haven't been keeping up with my blog reading lately, I confess.

I only have two unfinished books - you made me feel better!

10:26 PM  
Blogger Peter McEwan said...

I believe that a blog is an ideal medium for adoptees to write about their experiences and feelings, because it allows us to create a safe distance between our thoughts, words and audience. Having read through various adoptee related blogs, I've seen that many adoptees are finding their way to expressing thoughts they dare not repeat to their adoptive family, or are bouncing the ideas off their readers and seeing what comes back before they are expressed to family members. Perhaps there's an element of being worried about being accused of being ungrateful for having been adopted?

12:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Given my own adoption experience I wonder if two sides of the 'triangle' project issues on to the child simply because they is less or no fear of doing so. It was a life long trauma for all those I know, and it turned out I was the only one who knew of post adoption counselling. Even that is a double edged sword. The social workers claim that for a fee they will search for your lost family - what a cheek to take money from us as if we haven't suffered enough. But the search has to considered 'appropriate' first, and guess who gets to exercise all this discression. If we were discriminated and not helped for a fee or not, I think that would sure add to the anger and suppressed anger/depression.

They only like glossy stories, and we are not asking to be liked, just heard. The truth becomes your best friend, but when we speak the truth we expect to be handed our head. So a united voice is a goal - keep it up. Karen

1:56 PM  

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