So, what can I do now?

First of all, let me clarify one important point; this is not a negative blog post. Regarding my lifetime achievement awards, upcoming actions don’t represent everything I’ll be earning myself. However, I do think it’s the right way to start making steady progress. It may seem slow, but it’s still a walk forward with focus. In the end, I believe finding the finish line after a spell of less money will only lead to more success in the future.

Plus, as I follow this pattern, I’ll enjoy myself whilst doing the work that’s involved. I hope others will handle the honest approach I’m making as progress continues to take place too. I want those who know about my work and website to trust me. I’m hoping my blog can bloom into something special for disabled people. For that to happen though, I need to complete a constructive number of tasks to gain some greater skills.

What I’m going to do is far from ‘starting from scratch’. It’ll involve some new activities, but also ones I’ve wound up and enjoyed before. I already have links to locations I need in order to get my plans moving. In fact, I’ve already started some activities I’ll be up to months ago. To me, making these new movements only seems to make sense.

In my own way, I’m just getting my career and lifestyle a lot more organised. And, at the end of my journey, I see myself landing in a place that’ll not only benefit me. I’m seeing a positive picture with me and many more disabled people in it afterwards as well.

Okay, Joe. What’s your plan?

Studying two new courses only seemed sensible

In January, I started to study a subject that interested me online. As time moved by, my level five Health and Social Care Management CPD certificate only crawled closer. Beforehand, 100 hours of studying were estimated by the educator. Looking back now, I’d say it took me more like 50. I’ve now completed the course’s assessment. Out of 55 questions, I scored 81 percent; enough correct answers to be classed with a higher distinction.

This isn’t a certificate I’ve obtained to make my CV look a bit better. This subject is one that I need to know more about. My memory isn’t my best friend, but I’ve now received a lot of information I need. I’ll continue to revise the data, dragging it into my mind, and research other elements of the subject as well.

Along with this, there’s another subject I’m studying that welcomes general wellbeing. The idea of studying counselling & psychotherapy appealed to me a lot in February too. Progress is now underway; once again online, a level three Counselling & Psychotherapy course is schooling me more as time continues.

Leaders need to work well

Both of my studied subjects are useful tools as they offer advice about leadership skills. As an independent character, I can’t deny that I’ve been quite shy at times. But overcoming any shyness only seems logical as I’m due to approach others a lot more often.

And I’m getting there. As nervous as I was, I pushed myself to perform my first live solo performance in January, playing guitar and singing too. I’ve also been raising my hand in public groups to make a point if anything comes to mind. My hands still shake whenever they seize a microphone. But still, the more you do these things, the easier it gets.

My studied subjects will enhance both my sociological and psychological skills. As a disabled man, I’ve certainly sensed being blocked by barriers against disabled people in society. I want other disabled people to try to deal with their problems with the suggestions I make. Life isn’t easy when you’re disabled, but we need to stay as positive as possible.

I’m a pretty positive person, and I’ve dealt with my issues in the past. If you’re disabled and struggling to stay happy, then helping you out with advice is on my to-do list.

Music makes a massive difference (and other arts do, too)

As mentioned, playing live music was something I salvaged last month. What I performed included just one song, named “Strong and True”. I tackled my fears with my 12-string electro-acoustic guitar. It was performed after formal discussion took place at the GMCDP’s annual general meeting. People seemed to appreciate my efforts, and I’ve acknowledged plenty of positive feedback since.

People seem impressed by my singing and songwriting, so I’ll keep it in mind. It won’t be a massive focus, but if you make decent music, you can easily make a statement as well. That’s one task I’ll be looking to do more as time continues.

After performing that song, staff member and musician Dennis Queen seemed to have enjoyed it too. I was happy to read her words online: “You’re right Joe, we really are ‘strong and true!’”. After hearing that, I’d obviously achieved something and sent my intended message across.

The song states that disabled people are strong enough to break the barriers ahead. We’re also true; truly genuine people who certainly should not be ignored by others in society.

Previous work still savours my interest

Writing about the music that others make is a role I’ve often explored. I was praised for the live music review I wrote on my personal website about post-punk band Saint Ivy. However, that was perhaps more due to my enjoyment of the event itself. When it comes down to writing album reviews, that really isn’t a task I can master.

Nevertheless, saying something about how disability arts speak out is also on The Disability Issue’s to-do list. Messages can be creatively expressed by any type of artists. Disabled people need to push themselves more so we can start receiving attention from others. When they do so, I’ll certainly appreciate it, and more blog posts are likely to appear.

Disability Arts Online

Since playing at the AGM, access has been permitted to the Disability Arts Online Facebook group. Dennis Queen invited me, and since accepting I’ve appreciated it more than I thought I would. It’s a useful way to stay updated on the consistent creative progress made by disabled artists.

Social networking is obviously the game you’ve got to play whilst on Facebook. Regular analysis of what interests me and telling people about my own efforts will gain attention. I’ll want to write about the wide variety of disability arts from time to time. And, if I make some music people hear, I’m hoping it’ll be enjoyed by disability arts fans as well.

Networking with the right people

At the moment, I’m looking to talk to more people in my life than ever before. If we get to know each other, I’m sure services I offer will secure friendships with many people. Getting to know more people across Greater Manchester seems to make more sense than anything. My ideas and actions need to be explained a little before they’re explored in depth. Different people need to know who I am. They need to hear what I have to offer, and why, when, where and how I can currently make a difference.

For example, although I graduated from the University of Salford way back in 2012, it’s not totally out of mind. I want to talk to people who offer services to disabled students at university. To know what’s true, I plan to go solo, researching what’s available to support disabled people in higher education.

After struggling with seclusion at university due to depression, I’ll be happy to help. Loneliness isn’t uncommon at university. After gaining more skills in counselling and psychotherapy, I want better times to appear for individuals. If I help them excel, maybe they’ll appreciate my help, and spread word of my websites as well.

I reckon I’ll be meeting a lot of people in Manchester. By hosting the most popular universities in the UK, related staff and students are available to talk to. Giving disabled student’s advice about how to deal with difficult times could occur; we’ll have to see.

I’ve got to build my websites well, continuously

Preparing my websites so they look as professional as possible takes up time. Both built with WordPress, disability-issue.com and joestevenson.net need to be updated on a regular basis. Keeping my work professional must be done to make more achievements. Organisation is also something I need to master.

Giving people the opportunity to receive email updates was on my to-do list for quite a while. It was an impossible task to issue on joestevenson.net/disabilityissue – and for that reason alone I acquired a new domain. So, please, sign up today. I’ll do my best not to disappoint you in the future.

One other thing I’ve made clear is that I’m interested in what other people have to say. People haven’t been interested enough to contribute any text yet. However, plenty more eyes need to start staring at my website. I’ll certainly continue to keep an eye on my emails.

It’s time to go

It’s all underway. I’m currently building my website into better shape, with email subscription now available if you’re interested. I’m trying to make it as professional as possible, but it’s not all too easy. But it’s not your problem; just remember that disability-issue.com is now the domain you need to use.

I doubt what I’m up to is going to grant me with much money over the next 12 months or so. However, I do believe it’ll be an interesting and enjoyable experience for myself and many others. So, what’s wrong with that? I’ve just got bigger plans saved for later. Material worth might not be around, but mentally, I’ll only appreciate everything that’s on offer. If you ask around, a lot of people will tell you that’s what true wealth is.

Tragic But Brave by Alex Cowan / Mental Health Books by Wordshore