Cringe: For the Love of the Process

A. Ashni
3 min readNov 8, 2023

For 8 years now, I have been the editor of all my mother’s passion projects. The last was I’m Thoughting, which describes the journey of parenting a neurodivergent child in an education system that wasn’t designed for him. She poured her heart onto the pages and I stayed up nights giving them structure. We’d spent months on writing, weeks on sourcing expert testimonials, days on the cover design…

Today, we come back to this book with what I can only describe as adoring cringe.

There’s bad grammar that I missed and flow that definitely needed reworking. There are jokes that were clever for their time but would probably not see light today. There’s conjecture that now, years wiser, my mother and I can only laugh at. And we wouldn’t change it for a thing.

All writing holds within it a piece of the author as they are in that moment of labor. It is a privilege to be able to look back and see these versions of myself in text. Every quirk has character.

Truth be told, I have no desire to ask our publisher to put out a revised edition. In the same way that I have no desire to go back and rewrite any of my other pieces on this page. Each article serves a function as is — representing a milestone in this journey of never perfecting and always improving writing.

To edit them would be to erase a story of labour as not a means to an end but an end in itself. Editing would be an injustice to writing as a pratice, as a process that has inherent value outside of its product.

Being able to cringe at our own work is a gift; it means we didn’t stagnate.

Below is an excerpt from I’m Thoughting. Even if I’d write it differently today, I still think the book is a genuine, innocent, and important read. Mothers of people with disabilities vent either nowhere or in echo chambers; this book is for mothers who need to know they’re not alone and for those outside the disabled community to heed a forgotten stakeholder.

So please enjoy our labor of love. You can get your copy here. I hope you find soul and authenticity in the text. If you spot a comma where there should be none or no joke where there should be one, know that we’re laughing alongside you.

*and/or trans/non-binary.