Make Money From The
Hands Dealt to You In Life

©Roy A. Barnes - All Rights Reserved


There’s an old saying that goes, “You have to play the hand that is dealt to you.” Now, even if you are not a gambler, this saying does apply to us living and breathing beings because each one of us has an uniqueness in our personalities and life situations just like the combination of cards one gets while playing a hand of poker!


As writers, we can exercise our gift and ability with the written word to not only write about the challenges we face living, but by sharing them via published articles, essays, and books based on our personal journeys, more money and surprising opportunities can come our way.   Let me share with you one aspect of how I’ve played the hand that’s been dealt to me in life in a winning fashion.   You see, publishers of various media are looking for inspirational stories of overcoming. 


I was born with a condition called Asperger's Syndrome, which is a neuro-biological condition that is considered a high-functioning form of autism. This condition affects my dexterity, how I take in the environment around me.  Asperger's Syndrome makes it more challenging for me to relate to people on an interpersonal level, etc.


As a lover of travel, Asperger's Syndrome affected my getting around the places I visited the first time I took a group tour abroad. This happened when I was allowed to explore places on my own. You see, I often got lost in cities because I have a hard time understanding where I'm at in relation to maps. And only with the help of the police and the locals, did I manage to get back to where my group was.   


In a nutshell, I had to learn to compensate for the hand that was dealt me, which in turn helped me travel independently throughout the world.  Having Asperger’s Syndrome may have been a blessing, too, as far as writing is concerned, for we Aspies (those who have this condition) are very methodical and ritualistic when it comes to approaching the things that interest us, so that definitely helps me keep focused on the aspects of my writing, including the tracking of submissions, the business side, meeting deadlines, etc. 


Ironically and FYI to readers of Writer2Writer in Australia, one of the world’s most renowned authorities on Asperger’s Syndrome, Dr. Tony Attwood, is based in Petrie, Queensland. 


Once I started getting more serious about my freelance writing in the late summer of 2004, my market searches came up with a number of publications that wanted personal stories of people overcoming a physical disability or other life challenge, such as growing up in an alcoholic home, giving care to homebound people, dealing with addictions, etc.    


One such publication happened to be the  Brooklyn, New York-based publisher LaChance Publishing, who were looking for written accounts for their book called Voices of Autism. I submitted my essay to them about how I overcame my Asperger’s Syndrome to become an independent traveler and got an acceptance, pay, and publication in a book that is widely sold to consumers. They actively seek accounts from writers about various hands dealt to them in life, and besides autism stories, have published such books on breast cancer and Alzheimer’s. I’ve also had this account published at You and Me Magazine.  


Published Articles About Playing The Hands Dealt To Us In Life Can Lead To Other Opportunities 


I shared the You and Me article link with an agency in my home state of Wyoming who airs a show on disability issues each week.   This resulted in being invited as a guest on their program in April of 2009, where I got to talk to them about dealing with Asperger’s Syndrome and my road to becoming a travel writer.   Well, that connection led me to another wonderful opportunity, for one of the people involved with that program told someone at another proactive disability agency in Wyoming about me, who in turn asked me to speak at their June 2009 conference on the subject of being self-determined when pursuing your dreams. 


A famous radio host in America named Don Imus has said that “no one goes through life undefeated.”   How can you best deal with the struggles you face?   Writing is a cathartic way that helps us come to terms with what we face, but submitting our writings to editors can lead to seeing our bylines in print, which can not only inspire others, but can open the door to other opportunities you wouldn’t have ever dreamed of…all because you got dealt a hand that seemed like a loser upon first examining it!  


Online writing sites such as this one,, and regularly mention calls for submissions about dealing with and overcoming life’s challenges.   Subscribe to them and explore their archives. 





About the Author: Travel writer Roy A. Barnes is a past contributor to Writer2Writer and other writing-themed publications like The Willamette Writer, The Busy Freelancer, FellowScript, Writers Weekly, Writing for DOLLARS, and The Christian Communicator.   He lives in southeastern Wyoming USA. 



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