Tales of the Dyslexic Author

Most of my friends and family know that I have dyslexia. I would consider it a "mild" case, over the years of meeting people with various types and degrees of debilitating effects. I have said many times, when I read its like someone dropped a scrabble game on the floor and I'm trying to make words out of it.

However, it still gives me trouble. Dyslexia is far more than a couple of backward letters in a word. My brain will sometimes replace a word with a completely different word, and I will not know the difference.

For the last couple of years, as I scroll through the TV guide, I thought there was a show called "Elvis next door."

I thought, what a stupid show. What is it, a documentary about people who live next door to Elvis impersonators? Maybe, there are so many "reality" shows out there.

Most reality shows don't make it very long, for painfully obvious reasons. There's usually nothing "real" about them. Contrived situations with manipulated people create an unrealistic situation for entertainment.

Then one day, I read it correctly. I guess my dyslexia had taken the day off or something, and the TV series is Evil next door.

Well, that's very different from what I thought it was.

My dyslexia kept me from showing my work publicly for a very long time. In fact, by now, I should have three times as many novels published. However, I allowed a disability to keep me from doing what I love, tell stories.

There are those out there with far worse "disabilities," and I know people hate saying the word, but it is accurate.

Disability means I am not able to do something, which is an entirely accurate statement. I cannot compose proper sentence structures, spell all the time correctly, or remember appropriate creative writing rules.

Then one day, I came to realize others can! Copy editors earn their keep. People like myself give them business. I need to do what I want, tell stories.

I am not a copy editor. I am a storyteller.

Every writer sends their work to a copy editor, who inevitably corrects their work.

I am an avid reader and have read numerous books over the years. I have quite a collection. There have been many times I have found errors in books which are written by famous authors, published by well-known publishers, that sold millions of copies, and they were not perfect.

Well, heck. I can write a not-perfect book!

It is true, authors who do not have dyslexia may have their books in and out of the copy editor's office in a few days with a handful of corrections, while my book may take weeks and have many corrections.

However, the alternative is not telling stories.

I'm not too fond of that.

So, I take ownership of my issue and have occasionally faced criticism from friends and family who do not understand the process or that even paid professionals miss things.

That's OK. I still get to tell my story.

My suggestion is, do what you want. People are people and only reveal their character through their actions, not yours.

My first novel, Pandemic Dawn Book I, was edited multiple times by friends, family, and a freelance copy editor, and when everyone finished, there were still a couple of errors here and there.

Over the years, I was afraid the reviews would only reflect where I fell short in my novels, knowing they were far from perfect in grammar and spelling. However, as the reviews came in, nearly 100% praised the books' story and characters.

Those searching for a good story and deeply developed characters can see past the imperfections of a book, and when they do, they will find what they were genuinely looking for, a great story.

Unless that is, what they are looking for is mistakes, but then, they will find what they are looking for as well, so either way, everyone wins.

So I say WRITE!

Tell your story, and let those who edit, edit.

You can use this concept of not holding back because of inabilities or handicaps across the board!

I have seen people with paraplegia in track races, a man born without arms win the Paralympics in archery, a woman with one leg win at a track meet. My granddaughter was born missing two fingers on each hand, and she participated in 4H archery and learned to play the piano.

Please do what you want, life is short, enjoy it and your family!

To the negative people who want to discourage you at every turn, they live a sad and miserable existence and seem only to get pleasure from other's misery.

The old saying is so true if there is a will, there is a way!

Have the "will" to live a happy life and do what you want without fear of others and their opinions.

Life is too short.

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