Some of the stories in Dogwalker were written as long as four years ago, but I wouldn't say I've been working on this collection for four years. I have always been a little unsure of whether I could make it as a writer so I've held other jobs and worked on other projects this whole time.
I have many stories which don't make it to the computer. When I put it into the computer I make some changes and often add a few sentences here and there. I like the typewriter for first drafts because it means you can't change anything right away, you just have to put it all down.
The first story I wrote was "Catface" which was later selected for The O. Henry Collection, so that gave me some confidence to try some more. Gathering these stories together was fun, but I realized when I read them that I have certain mental preoccupations and they keep recurring in my stories.
I make films about people with disabilities as well and I think this question is more relevant in regards to these documentaries where the actual person appears on film. I know these people are proud of who they are and what they are doing with their lives.
I write most of my first drafts on an old manual typewriter, a really old one. It's a big black metal "Woodstock" from about 1920. I try to write everything down at once, in one sitting. The longer stories in this collection are divided up into sections. Each section represents a different sitting, a different idea for the same story.