deaf@work: SARA

Every writing progress is different, learn how author Sara Novic handles her writing days. #DeafAtWork #NDEAM

[VIDEO DESC & TRANSCRIPT: Sara is seated in her home office.

SARA: I had no idea that writing could be a career. I’ve always loved reading and writing. I had a journal growing up and I’d write about my feelings. Writing is something I’ve always liked to do.

Black and white clip of Sara’s books stacked up. In the center, a white border surrounds white text “SARA” underneath, appears in white text “AUTHOR”.

SARA: My name is Sara, I’m a writer and I teach writing in college.

Black and white clip of a note attached to a bulletin board tacked with a thumbtack, white paper and black text reads “Narrative secrets are not the same as human mysteries.” – J. Ward”.

SARA: I was born hearing and then when I entered middle school, I started losing some hearing. I felt isolated at school because I was mainstreamed — I wore hearing aids and used an FM system and all that machinery. It wasn’t until I went to Emerson College in Boston, a mainstreamed college that has a strong ASL program and Boston was where they had a strong Deaf community, that I finally got involved in the Deaf community. I met many new Deaf friends. It was a very exciting time in my life to grow into and to validate my identity as a deaf person.

Black and white clip of Sara typing away on the computer, the view of the computer is partially blocked by an open notebook. Next clip, black and white clip close up of Sara’s typing hands on her computer.

SARA: In college, I took a creative writing class. It was the first time I really had the support of a professor who shared feedback like, “This is really good, you should extend your story and make it a book.” I wrote short stories mostly while in college, and there was one specific short story that I kept expanding which eventually became my first novel!

Black and white clip of Sara looking at something on the computer then opening a notebook next to her. Next clip, a close up of her notebook and bookmarking it with a pen.

SARA: I wake up and take my dog for a walk where I think about what I’m going to write before I sit and write. I actually hand write my ideas first, I don’t type my ideas on the computer. This means it’s slower writing so the process is slower — at the same time it requires a lot of thinking breaks to write. On writing days, I do a lot of cleaning around the house which some people think procrastinates my process but really, I’m still thinking about how to write my character or my story.

Black and white clip of Sara’s notebooks and papers stacked on her desk. Next clip, black and white close up of Sara’s computer with her writing document open.

SARA: I’m currently working on a new book that has all Deaf characters — the entire book is about Deaf people! There are four primary characters in the book, three of them are Deaf and one of them is a Child of a Deaf Adult (CODA). It will be interesting to see if the hearing world responds to the book in the same way they did with the other book that wasn’t about Deaf people, but about historical fiction and a war.

Black and white clip of Sara typing away on the computer. White text appears at the bottom center, “People so far have been supportive of my work. I’m still figuring out a way to bring the hearing and deaf world together in my stories.” – Sara” and a light blue line outlines the left side of the text. Next clip, black and white clip of behind Sara looking at her laptop.

SARA: If you can, try to apply continuously to show them that their system is limited — there are many ways to work. Especially in the field with a lot of writing and reading, I feel like that’s a perfect job for Deaf people. My advice is to apply for that job, show up, have a conversation with them and show them that they’re wrong about you. Show them what they’re missing in their company.

Black and white clip of Sara’s books stacked up. Next clip, black and white clip of Sara laughing at someone off camera.

Video cuts to grey background with the NAD logo quickly changing in different bright colors from teal to white to black to hot pink to green to orange to teal to yellow to purple to finally the official NAD logo with copyright text underneath “The National Association of the Deaf (c) 2019 All Rights Reserved”.]

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