Through Difference and Depression with Love

Hatchling Heroes by Hayden SelfeI first started writing when I was fifteen years old and having difficulty in high school.  Both my own quirks and my anti-social behaviour brought me unwanted attention that made me a prime target for bullies and teasing.  This in turn affected both my home life and school work and I took refuge in my extensive imagination.

Admittedly my first few attempts at writing didn’t work out well, not for lack of trying, but because I had too many ideas. I recognised early on that I couldn’t work at multiple projects at once and chose to focus on one for the immediate future - The Dragon Paladin Series.

I drew inspiration for my book from various fantasy series, books and games that I enjoyed in my spare time, and because of this I had to be careful in creating the world that my characters live in so as not to make the mistake of plagiarism.

My encouragement to continue writing came from my family and friends with whom I shared the first beginnings of my books.  Their insistence that I could be an author was the support I needed to continue, and they also helped me throughout my school years as I became increasingly cynical about the worth of my schooling and my own opinions in the world.  Depression.

My mother was quick to suggest that after my school year was finished I could change schools; this helped immensely as I was then enrolled in a school program that catered to practical life skills rather than advanced theory.  After all how many times is calculating the square root of 324 going to be useful in your life? And how is catering to the bloated ego of literature fanatics that say writing must be done ‘this’ way and not ‘that’ way going to get you noticed in the crowd? It won’t.

I’m hardly a perfect person, my whole family can tell you that, but that is what makes me a good person, and I’m glad for it.  I still have terrible social skills and procrastinate a lot in finishing or even starting things, but at the very least I try.  That was one point of my depression that struck hardest. Whether or not it was worth trying to do write a book -  and you know what?  It was.

Hatchling Heroes, the first of my Dragon Paladin series, has helped me regain my confidence that what I do is worth it and I am proud of what I have accomplished.  I hope to continue writing and showing to the world that having Aspergers is not a disability, it’s just being a little different.

In the end great things don't come from great ideas, they come from ordinary people, with ordinary ideas and just a bit of dedication.

A Mother's Love

Want to know Hayden's mum's perspective? Read her story here.

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