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Overcoming Adversity – Words of Encouragement From The Dyslexic Author

Today I am the proud, moderately successful indie author of over fifteen publications. I lay claim to having written The Benson Family Chronicles, The Growing Roots Series, The Think You Know Your States Series, two cookbooks, a collection of poetry, and The Southern Dictionary. I work as a freelance content writer and marketing specialist, and run this blog to boot. Although I am far from rich, my writing does (in one form or another) pay the bills. It allows me to work from home, so that I am available to my daughter at all hours.

I knew from a very young age that I wanted to be an author. My earliest memories include making up my own stories, my own songs, my own plays… but they never got written down. They were simply oral portrayals of the thoughts inside my head. Despite wanting to be an author, I hated reading. I despised it. Reading was stupid… but why?

The reason why is the reason many people say they do not enjoy reading. I didn’t know how, I had great difficulty in learning, and it frustrated me. In fact, I could not even read at all until second grade. The first reason was fairly obvious to everyone at my school, and my family. I had a severe speech impediment that affected the way I heard, said, and thus, read and wrote, words. Yet even after three years of speech therapy, and great success in my endeavors there, I still had problems. The school tried to help me, my family tried to help, my mom bought me one reading program after another for home use…

Finally, in second grade we found out that I had dyslexia. The words, to me, just seemed to mix themselves up on the page. When combined with my issues stemming from my speech, it created a very big, very sturdy barrier. I thought I would never become a writer, never succeed in academics despite being a very persistent, determined learner.

Once the issue was determined, however, I was taught new approaches to reading that had me excelling. I learned to read in third grade, and quickly developed an intense love of books. By the time I finished fifth grade, I had not only overcame adversity and two learning disabilities, I was more than advanced for my age. I was reading at a college level! Once that switch for reading was flipped, there was no holding me back, and soon my stories were being put to paper – not to mention the fact that I broke my school’s Accelerated Reader records… twice.

It is strange for me to think that at one point I was far behind in reading, or that I had developed a distaste for something I so dearly love now. It is with an intense feeling of pride that I look back on my childhood, and see the barriers I have overcome. It is true that both problems still affect me a little, now and again. The dyslexia is usually not an issue, but if I’m in a rush or tired, I still tend to write dyslexic, confusing sentences or words as I put them on paper. There are still some words I do not say correctly, although it no longer affects the way I spell or read those words.

The reason I share this story with you is that I know there are so many people out there who have their own issues. Things that stand in the way of their dreams. But if I can go from a 7 year old dyslexic girl with severely dysfunctional comprehension to a 26 year old published author of over 15 titles who has sold thousands of copies of her books, you, too, can do anything you set your mind to.

“If you reach for the moon and fail, at least you’ll land among stars.”

 

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