Notes from a dyslexic writer: How to let go of your fear of writing and become a tortured artist

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Many people seem surprised when I tell them I’m a writer. Yes, I actually make a pretty decent living as a writer, and have done so for the past twenty years. Before that, I did a lot of writing as a university student and before that as an angst ridden teen with a diary.

John Irving, Dav Pilkey, Linda La Plante, Jackie French — all writers with dyslexia. Writing is something many dyslexics excel at.

Does writing come easy to me? No!

Does it take me 10 times longer than a non-dyslexic person to writing something coherently? Yes!

Does it sometimes feel like torture trying to get the words out of my head? You bet!

But I believe this actually makes me a better writer.

The truth is: I write because of my dyslexia, not despite it.

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In first person: how does #dyslexia affect your relationship to language?

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The Oxford Dictionary invited three guest contributors to explain, in their own unedited words, how their experiences of dyslexia affect their relationship with language. It’s an interesting question–and the answers may surprise you.

Quotable quotes:

I feel like perhaps people think I have a limited vocabulary, but I don’t, I just stumble and can’t use the words I want to…It’s an invisible problem that people don’t fully understand, a constant exhausting struggle.” ~Alex Gray

“I realised that I’m better at other thing rather then reading writing and spelling which I still to this day struggle with massively but I’m figuring stuff out…This learning differculty isn’t something people should be ashamed of I’m proud of my dyslexia because I wouldn’t be the person I am today without it.”~Anthony Rayner

“I never had any of my work put on the wall, I did terribly in spelling tests, it took me a long time to learn to read…Ultimately I am fortunate. I love language. I love reading.”~Liz Massie

Read the article here:

https://blog.oxforddictionaries.com/2016/10/dyslexia/

“It’s what’s in your heart that’s important” – #DiverseNurses

British health writer Roy Lilley is incredibly eloquent when talking about his struggles with dyslexia and school as a child, and how he went on to became a prolific writer (27 books on the management of health care!!) despite the low expectations of others.

To help improve his spelling, Lilley relies on spell check, and sends his articles for editing and proofreading. He still lets the occasional spelling mistake slip through, but he doesn’t worry about it anymore: “I write 700 words a day, and if the other 699 are ok I’m not too worried about that one.”

Quotable quote

“It’s what’s in your heart that is important. If you are writing about things that you care about, if you are writing about things that are important…what’s a spelling mistake between friends? It’s not important. The important thing is if you’ve got the desire and the need (if you’re a student) to express yourself–you just get on and do it. Because, you know what, if you want to be a nurse or work in the clinical interface it’s how you look after people that’s important. So I would say, be like me, don’t give a stuff.” ~Roy Lilley

Watch the video

This is part of a series of videos called dyslexic nurses. The videos feature UK nurses sharing their unique perspective about neurodiversity in health care: watch Dyslexic Nurses.