This story is a part of Hacker Noon's Meet the Writer series of interviews. The series is intended for tech professionals contributing the most insightful Hacker Noon stories to share more about their writing habits, ideas, and professional background (and maybe a hobby or two).
If you too would like to start contributing to Hacker Noon, you can do so here.
Hi! My name is Amy Shah. My days are spent working as a physician, and my specialty is psychiatry. I like to crochet simple winter hats and scarves. I donate them to charity as part of an initiative I set up called the #100Hats Project. Every year, I do my best to make at least 100 handmade winter items to donate to people in need of warm clothing. I have done this every winter since 2017. Sometimes, people from the community donate yarn for the project or help make hats as well. In 2019, the project, in partnership with LVL1 Hackerspace, was awarded a small grant to help it continue. Also, I made my red beret in the picture on this page.
It was an interview with a talented software developer who is also blind. It brought the reader into his world and helped us all see why accessibility matters. I had told people in my digital community I was interested in featuring projects or stories for articles, and this developer showed interest in being interviewed. It was clear that he had a voice that needed to be heard.
Check out Amy’s story: Accessibility in the Workplace: "Companies Don't Give Me a Fair Shot," says a Blind Developer on HackerNoon: https://hackernoon.com/accessibility-in-the-workplace-companies-dont-give-me-a-fair-shot-says-a-blind-developer
This was the first time I had written about this topic, but I have done interviews for articles before. Usually, I write for myself: I write a daily journal. Since I have been writing in a journal more consistently I find that it’s easier to come up with creative ideas. Another source of inspiration was the book: The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. Now I have more than one copy of that book!
My usual writing routine varies, but I love getting up early to write in my journal. I have also tried other journal formats like The Five Minute Journal and The Productivity Planner. Both are found at intelligentchange.com. Those 2 journal types are built-in with writing prompts. I found those to be more friendly for a busy person than a long-form journal. Staring at a blank sheet of paper is scary! Making it through a journal entry is worth it despite whatever time crunch I am facing.
I think the inner critic is hard to ignore. Julia Cameron calls this critic “your censor” in her book. Her book has been transformative for many people. I also found it enlightening. Ignoring your inner critic and just writing it down can be so hard. Like many writers, I focus on volume - on writing more. I try not to worry about quality or how the piece is going to be perceived.
I just want to keep writing! I find myself in a state of flow when writing. It feels so good to write that I would be happy just writing for myself. At the same time, I hope to help people with my writing as well.
My guilty pleasure is shopping Amazon for new books :)
I like to learn about perfume and natural cosmetics. I have taught classes about how to make simple perfumes from essential oils at the local library. Other classes I have taught or helped teach included how to make soap, lip balm, and bath bombs. I have gotten so excited about this topic that I read a few textbooks on the chemistry of perfumes.
I have several ideas! Also, I plan to do more interviews with interesting people.
Thanks to Hacker Noon for this wonderful opportunity to write! I have thoroughly enjoyed this experience.