In Episode 8 Catherine Asta talks with acclaimed artist, poet, and Wall Street Journal and Publishers Weekly best selling author, Morgan Harper Nichols about how her own late autism discovery led her to writing her new book 'You Are Only Just Beginning' which was released on 14th February 2023 and focuses on new chapters in life.
Can you tell us a little bit more about the change that you are making on an individual level and leading around autism? What are you advocating for, and what difference would you like this book to make?
"Yes, yes. What I'm advocating for is more self-advocacy for people like us, and permission to self-advocate, even for like the smallest things, I think it's very important to talk about self-advocacy for diagnosis - I mean even just the accessibility of diagnosis, and people being able to just get information - I think that there are massive gaps in that.
And then also the small things in life of just being able to say, this is how I wanna spend my time, or I'm interested in this very specific thing, and I wanna go on a road trip to this very specific museum - who's gonna go with me and who's not gonna make comments about how weird it is that we're doing this, and they're just gonna let me just be me, because I let other people be themselves - I'm gonna do these things and who's with me?
And , sometimes it might be just you, or sometimes it might be a friend, or you know, somebody who, who's learning. But I'm really curious about that, because it's like, yes, there is a big moment of diagnosis and figuring all that out, but there's also that moment where you leave that specialist, that therapist's office, and you have to face a world that is gonna keep on telling you, yeah, no, you, you gotta focus on this, or you gotta be this kind of parent.
You gotta be this kind of business owner or whatever.
And to just encourage the self-advocacy of, no, keep asking questions, ask questions about everything, and of what's working for you? Does this work for me?
So I think that's why I had to write this book from the perspective of, I'm going to fill this book with all the little things that I wanna nerd out about, stuff that I've self edited out in the past. I have a whole chapter on elephants, which was for a very long time, a special interest of mine.
I have another whole chapter on monarch butterflies.
There's another one on lions, and these are all areas that I have self-edited out, even metaphors, because I'm like, well, these aren't the kinds of metaphors that people want. People want mountain valley metaphors, they don't wanna hear me talk about animals.
And, you know what?
There's a whole bunch of, first of all, animals out there, very healing for a lot of people, and we have to take care of them more in our world. There's a whole lot of people out there who can connect with this.
And yeah, they may not be the ones that everyone pays attention to when they're trying to write something for the most mainstream way of sharing, but I wanna pay attention to those people, and I'm gonna take that risk.
I'm gonna take that risk of getting into these little specific things in the hope that it can encourage other people that they're allowed to do that too."
I love that you've written a book that you're not trying to appeal to the masses here, that this is a book for people who look like you, people who look like me.
"Yes, yes, yes!
That's my hope.
And it's ended up with me making a work that I'm very, very proud of."
Listen to podcast episode 8 in full
Become a Community Member
Buy us a Coffee
If you enjoy listening to the Late Discovered Club podcast and want to support us, and you can, please consider buying us a coffee.