Welcome to The Invisible Vision Project’s Blog, and welcome back to another episode of Guest Blogger Interview. Currently we are at episode #5! Today’s guest blogger is Susan Richardson, she is a poet and a writer that also happens to be blind. Her blog is called: Stories From the Edge of Blindness. Without further ado, let’s get right into the interview!
- Please briefly introduce yourself.
First, I want to thank Xin Sun for this incredible opportunity to be a part of her interview series. It is a huge honor!
My name is Susan Richardson. I am a poet and writer living in the belly of Hollywood. I also have Retinitis Pigmentosa, am legally blind and write a blog called Stories from the Edge of Blindness.
- What are your hobbies and interests?
I love to read poetry and fiction, and have also recently gotten into listening to podcasts, primarily those about true crime. I am a huge fan of murder mystery shows, Doctor Who and Harry Potter. I also have 2 rescue pugs and love taking them on walks and to the park. I love food and wine (perhaps a bit too much) and hiking (which I don’t do enough of).
- Name your strength? And your lacking?
I think my primary strength is the ability to look at things head on, even when I am afraid. I write very openly about both my physical and emotional experiences as a blind woman and a woman with mental illness. I try to look at the world as honestly as possible and don’t pull any punches with my writing.
In terms of areas in which I am lacking, there are so many. I struggle to be motivated and to believe in myself. I lack drive and give up easily. I suppose I am easily overwhelmed by the smaller things, because the bigger things take up so much space.
- What is the highest level of education you have completed so far?
I finished high school and did a couple years of university, but life got in the way, as it does, and I never finished my degree.
- What is your current occupation?
I stopped working, in the traditional sense, about 9 years ago, due to my vision, but I now write full time. I am incredibly lucky to be able to do what I love.
- Where do you see yourself in five years?
My goal is to have both a novel and at least one collection of poetry published within the next five years.
- Describe one of your proudest moment in your life.
Honestly, this is a hard one for me. I don’t think I have felt very proud of myself in my life, but I suppose I do, in some ways feel proud of how I have dealt with losing my vision. RP was a complete shock for me (no one in my family even wears glasses), but I never let it break me. I got the diagnosis and went on with my life. I am not saying that I don’t have down days; I have a lot of them, but I always face them and I always stand up again, accepting RP as just one of my challenges.
- What is your biggest fear in life?
In a physical sense, my biggest fear is being brutalized at the hand of another person, seeing and feeling that level of rage, that lack of humanity.
Emotionally, I am afraid of the people in my life not knowing how much I love them, how grateful I am to know them. I have experienced a lot of loss, and learned how important it is to tell people you love them, make sure they really know
- Please tell us about your blog: What is the title of your blog? When did you first start get into blogging and Why did you start?
My blog is called Stories from the Edge of Blindness. I started it in 2010, at the suggestion of my husband, as a way to get motivated to write a book about living with RP. Although I haven’t written my book, I have had a number of poems published and made some incredible connections with other writers, both blind and sighted. My blog has really helped jumpstart my writing career.
- How would you describe your blogging style?
My blogging style is often stream of consciousness. I write on the blog when I am feeling particularly vulnerable, and try to be as open as possible about my feelings. I also sometimes write stories about my city. Although I began blogging mostly about my RP experience, it has transformed into writing about the human experience.
- Who has impacted you the most in blogging?
My husband has had a huge impact on my blogging, as I never would have started or continued the blog without his encouragement. In the years that I have been active on my blog, I have also been profoundly impacted by the support from the blogging community and other writers; it was an unexpected and wonderful surprise.
- How active are you on your blog and approximately, how much time do you spend blogging?
I blogged pretty sparsely for the first 4 years, but when I began to get more involved in the community and began to read other blogs voraciously, I found myself inspired to participate and to write more frequently. I don’t have a set schedule, but I would say I blog on average, once a week. I do take breaks, but I always come back to it.
- Have you ever faced a challenging moment in your blogging journey so far?
Besides my own personal demons in regard to motivation and self- worth, I really haven’t had any super challenging moments. I have found blogging to be a great form of release and interaction, and have been lucky, so far, not to have the misfortune of encountering the trolls I hear about.
- In the future, where do you hope your blog will take you?
I hope that my blog will continue to be a place where people can come and feel less alone, a place where readers can get insight into the human experience of a visually impaired woman, and hopefully learn more about RP in general. I also hope the blog will continue to be a source of community and that it will inspire people to read more poetry, both my own and that of so many other poets whose work I love.
- What would be one piece of advice you would give to first time bloggers?
Read other blogs. Find blogs you love and read them and comment and get involved in the conversation. It is truly the best place to start.
*Please Provide Contact Info and Social Media Links below:
My blog is Stories from the Edge of Blindness
Here you have it! Thank you so much Susan Richardson, for your participation as a guest blogger on The Invisible Vision Project. And, thank you all for reading today’s Guest Blogger Interview. Please don’t forget to go and check out Susan’s blog!
By: The Invisible Vision Project