We welcome you all back to our regularly scheduled posts from Marco Orlando.

Marco Orlando

I’ve had people ask me recently how I got into the habit of writing in the beginning and how it seems to come so naturally to me. In a way, writing kind of runs in my family. My mother and grandmother before me are both creative people in their own way. Writing is one of numerous ways their creativity shines through in different things they do. It’s possible I may have subconsciously picked it up from them over time, the same way I may have subconsciously picked up other things from other people, such as pacing back and forth while I’m on the phone with someone.

I’ve come to appreciate the English language and all of its subtle nuances that make it truly unique through reading and writing regularly. It’s part of how I became a wordsmith and how public speaking became my strong suit. I enjoyed learning when I was in school. Reading and writing regularly had played a major role in developing my love for learning when I was young. Reading and writing are good skills for anyone to have.

Members of the Bangor Chapter recently requested I host a follow-up session to the writing workshop I had facilitated at this year’s annual statewide conference. My mother was asked to join the discussion with me. We both agreed. I began by briefly touching on some of the recurring themes I had established at the conference. I believe that everyone involved with SUFU has a story to tell, and we each get to tell it the way we want to. I wasn’t overly concerned with spelling and punctuation and grammar at the time. I figured that part would come later. My main goal was to get people into the habit of writing, putting their thoughts into words, and giving their stories a voice.

This was where my mother joined in to discuss some of the next steps towards writing stories. She has had three different books published, all of which dealt with different aspects of small town life in coastal Downeast Maine, where she’s originally from. So she shed some light on her experiences getting her books published and talked candidly about her frustrations with having other people she didn’t know so well proofreading and editing her work, specifically regarding certain changes they had wanted her to make because they were not entirely familiar with her subject matter.

These grievances led to a discussion about the culture in various parts of Maine, how Maine culture has changed over time, and how important it is for young people here in Maine to gather as much information as they can from their elders before they are no longer around to pass on what they know. If something sounds important, it’s probably worth writing down. If someone needs help writing their story or putting it into words, I encourage them to seek out that help. I’m glad I inspire people to start telling their stories. I feel that strongly about it. It’s important for us to tell our stories to anyone who will listen, not just because our stories are worth telling, but because they absolutely need to be told.


Thank you Marco for the encouragement to write!  If you are self advocate and would like to share a blog post with us please email Laurie Coldwell at lcoldwell@sufumaine.org   


The Speaking Up For Us (SUFU) blog contains views and opinions of each individual writer. The views and opinions expressed through these channels are purely the bloggers’ own and does not reflect the opinion of SUFU as an organization or any SUFU staff member.

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