At the age of five when I probably came up with some random story or other at school, the fact that I couldn't spell never hindered me as a reason not to tell a tale. Obviously years on as my class mates picked up the correct spelling for words, I sort of got left behind. A few spellings went into my brain, but others never stayed, the way other people worked out words and their structure it all just seemed alien to me. If a word sounded a certain way, then why wasn't it spelt like that too?!
So suffice to say, I started to avoided writing and reading - there's just something so demoralising when homework keeps coming back covered in red pen, because you've spelt every other word wrong! So colouring in and hands on projects became my friend - these tasks however don't migrate across very well to senior school, and every English class became a pit of despair for me especially when my reading wasn't up to much, and my spelling was even worst.
So I abandoned books and writing for much of my teen years as much as possible if I could help it. Though there's a lot of help for dyslexia now, it was a semi-new concept when I was at school, and the word 'stupid' was thrown around a fair bit at the few unfortunate people with dyslexia instead. Anyway I digress, despite this and getting an abominable grade for my English and subsequent French GCSE (if I can't get my head around one language I don't know why they thought I might do any better with a second!), the following year I made myself a New Years resolution to read all of the childhood books which had sat unread and unloved in my bookcase for years. So on a random day in January that year, I just picked a book and began reading.
I won't say it was easy because it so wasn't, it was an up hill slog, but little by little and book by book my reading improved. The thin teenage stories which had taken me so long to read before, I now whizzed through, and the larger more classical volumes weren't so threatening anymore and I devoured those too. However at this stage putting the words back onto the page, wasn't as easy. The spelling was just as bad, and the grammar almost none existent.
So of course I did what any normal person would do if their grammar and spelling was that bad, I thought to myself - I might write a book! They say the best way to learn anything is to practise it, so that's what I did. Remember the demoralising red marks, well it turns out computers do that too, yet they also provide spell check as well. Which I have to say became an invaluable resource, and without it I'm not sure if I would have carried on with this odd choice of pursuit.
So yes I am a writer, and yes I'm also Dyslexic, but I don't really see why one should make me not do the other, and frankly I don't think it should stop anyone from pursuing a life of literature. For a person with dyslexia it will be harder to read the books you want to read, and even harder to writer the things you want to write, but you should never let it hold you back. Because the rewards in the end, are so worth it!
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