A Daily Prompt response. Daily Prompt: Sad But True.  Tell us about the harshest, most difficult to hear — but accurate — criticism you’e ever gotten.

Boy being beaten for spelling errors

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.


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. 

STAY Strong

Life is hard and relationships often hurtful; staying strong is far from easy.  I fail often. But persistence and keeping on with what matters makes all easier. Note, I did not say easy, only easier.  You will fail, but you fail less and succeed more if you keep trying. 
Thank you for all you do. And share if you think another will find this useful. That will be practicing kindness if only to me.


Links and other articles of interest

Image by: (spellingdearest.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.



  1. Pingback: Daily Prompt – Harsh – Poem / Poetry – “The Survey” | toofulltowrite (I've started so I'll finish)

  2. Pingback: From the mouths of babes | Life as a country bumpkin...not a city girl

  3. I love your post and your advice. Tell your hubby I didn’t see any errors! I posted it on my pages, with this note: Katrerine is me! When I took English Comp. in college the professor gave 2 grades for every paper, e.g. A/F. That was the grade on my first paper. The A was for content, the F for mechanics, you know, the spelling, grammar, and punctuation. By Year’s end I actually got A/B (sometimes). Enjoy the short message and if you also have dysgraphia maybe you, as well as I,can profit from her advice! (After I re-read my note on FB I cleaned up three of my errors and now, I think, the note above is OK.

    • Par, it was my hope this would help those who got the A/F routine understand a bit more about themselves. The EI people promote self awareness and for me and I gather for you eventually understanding why we couldn’t spell was a biggy. That came for me when a fantastic psychologist dx my son’s dysgraphia. The school’s psychologists had missed it.

      One of my stories revolves around the English professor who called me to apologize for having to give me an A instead of an A+. I thought he had called me to his office to tell me I was failing his course. That was First Semester Freshman manditory English; my high school English teacher in a mis-guided attempt to motivate me had predicted I would fail Freshman English. After telling me I was only A-cing the course, Dr. Bohner patiently tried to teach me several basic spelling rules. The rules didn’t stay in my head, but he was the first to give me some sense I was bright. All the other women I knew loved his sexy looks, I loved his ability to see my strengths.

      Thank you for commenting and re=posting. Another of my hopes for the post was that some editors or other readers would ease up a bit and look at content as well as grammatical correctness.

  4. I am her husband and I have spotted a few errors in this post which I decided not to edit so you can see an example of the substance of the blog. Do these errors put you off and prevent you from reading on? I’m curious. Please comment. Is it substance or form which holds your interest in the blog.

Leave a Reply to misswhiplash Cancel reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.