Happens all the time. each day when I put finger to keyboard and press to publish something I wrote, I face possible humiliation particularly by spelling purists and grammarians, but also by my inner critic.
I am an author who cannot spell. Spell checker only helps some of the time with some words. Dictionaries help only when I have some idea about how a word might be spelled.
I am an author who also punctuates erratically.
I am an author who suffers from and with dysgraphia.
I am an author. I write and publish two blogs five days a week.
I am an author, Norton published my first book; Penguin my second book; most recently, Metaplume has published sixteen of my eBooks.
I am an author and rejection and the pain of rejection visit daily.
I am an author, but first, now and forever, I am a writer. I cannot not write.
Emotional Fitness Thoughts about dysgraphia
What is dysgraphia? A brain glitch that interferes with many writing related tasks. For some it means sloppy hand writing. For others it means difficulty organizing the thoughts in your head so you can get them on to paper clearly and easily.
For me, dysgraphia means not being able to see spelling errors when I write, even when I can tell you the correct spelling. A simple word like “the” becomes hte, eth, het; “now” becomes not; “not” becomes now: “ever” becomes never.
A related challenge that has worsened with age, my brain has decided it knows better than I what word I am trying to write. This means I might be wanting to write “thank you” but my brain decides I mean “thoughtful.” Not helpful.
Punctuation is part of the my writing error mix, but lies more in a memory glitch. This one most affects my ability to remember simple numbers. My social security number still baffles me at times; a new telephone number takes months to learn and even then numbers reverse.
Why? I have what a strong narrative memory, but an almost absent semantic memory – the memory that allows you to recall isolated facts, rows of numbers, formulas, and punctuation rules.
In case you wonder, I do not suffer from the better known learning disability Dyslexia. I am a rapid and voracious reader. Nor have I ever suffered from writer’s block.
I am a writer, I have become a published author only by the grace of those who did not stop reading when hit over the head with one of my errors. Let me say here, I know that for some people finding spelling and punctuation errors is a visceral blow to your being and to protect yourself, you often read no further. As one well-known president noted “I feel your pain” but I keep reading.
I am a writer and one with a brain and an open mind. I have become a published author because beginning with my teachers in elementary school, some saw the brain behind the errors and honored that part of my being, not just the part that can’t spell or punctuate as most of the English speaking world honors.
EMOTIONAL FITNESS TIPS
Tip one: People are more than their color, their clothes, their jobs, their religion, their nationality, and their ability to speak or write “properly.” Most of us pride ourselves on our tolerance, automatic dismissal of another person is prejudice, not tolerance.
Tip two: When you are victimized by another person’s automatic dismissal of you, you have to deal with your pain; you own it; you can let it consume you, destroy you, or you can let it go.
Prejudice is an evil, but letting it destroy you when it comes to you in the form of words or emotional dismissal harms you, not the other person.
Albert Ellis of Rational Emotional Behavioral Therapy said, “The best years of your life are the ones in which you decide your problems are your own. You do not blame them on your mother, the ecology, or the president. You realize that you control your own destiny.”
As Captain Kirk noted when being attacked for the outside, “Shields up.”
My mother always said when another called me names, “Suck it up, Buttercup.”
Tip three: Do not ask the impossible of another or your self. Those ask me to spell properly and who expect perfect punctuation, ask the impossible of me. Expecting the same of myself is also expecting the impossible.
Tip four: Dream your dreams, but check reality. Be realistic about your strengths and your weakness. Do not try out for American Idol, if the only place your singing is tolerated is in the shower.
Tip five: Self soothing skills help you keep other people’s emotional slings and arrows from entering your heart. Two of my eBooks are designed to strengthen self-soothing skills. Go to my Three Easy Emotional Fitness Exercises for an introduction.
Links and other articles of interest
- About Learning Disablities (ncld.org)
- About Dysgraphia (ncld.org)
- Thoughts about memory (gloriaoriggi.blogspot.com)
- About REBT and Albert Ellis (rebtnetwork.org)
- The Daily Prompt (dailypost.wordpress.com)
Watch for the opening of Emotional Fitness Training’s Store November First. This and other EFTI posters will be featured. Weekly free-bees and those that are not free will cost less than a latte and sustain you longer. Visit the store now to learn a bit more about Emotional Intelligence.