I get asked all the time why I read so much, why I write any chance I can get, and why I'm always taking classes or reading books on becoming a better writer. The fact that I do all this will come as a shock considering my painful beginnings.
As a young girl, I was horrible at school, especially reading and math, however, I excelled at PE, recess, and lunch, haha. I was so bad at reading and math that I ended up in special ed, what they called it back in the '70s. Because of this, reading was very painful for me. Not only was it incredibly hard, but it was shrouded with a certain amount of shame as I was the only girl in special ed at the time. Don't even get me started on my seriously lacking math skills. What's ironic is that my dad was a mathematician of sorts and I have no idea how he managed the patience it took to sit down and try to explain it all to me, especially word problems. Kill me now on those damn word problems. Who came up with mixing words with numbers anyway?
Years later, in my late 30's, I shockingly discovered that I had dysgraphia and dyslexia. This would explain why math was a foreign language to me and why reading was so dang hard it brought me to tears most of the time. Here's the thing, even though I was awful at math and reading, I could always tell or write stories, even if my spelling sucked because of dyslexia. I wrote several stories as a young girl and one of them won an award at my school, which was shocking considering but storytelling is different from reading, even if the words coming from brain to paper are spelled horrifically wrong.
As I got older, my brain figured out how to read, I still suck at spelling, but my reading skills have taken off and I can be found reading just about every day. My husband, who I lovingly call the 'Professor,' is floored that I can read a 300-page book in one day and pretty much do this daily.
Writing came later and anyone that has read my rough drafts can tell you that I still don't play nice with spelling and those dang commas. Luckily for me, math is not on my radar as I am a Pediatric Occupational Therapist and that doesn't require high levels of math, thank God!
So, I guess the answer to why I read all the time, write whenever I can, and am constantly learning how to be a better writer is because now that all of the pieces have been put together about how I am wired, I am very proud that I have been able to overcome what was once painful for me. I have always been a good storyteller and dyslexia didn't get in the way of that so that makes me thankful. I am also thankful for the crutches that serve me so well such as spell check, Alexa, and Grammarly. Someone is definitely watching out for me. My advice to anyone trying to overcome dyslexia, specifically, is just keep trying, your brain is very versatile and adaptable and you will get it figured out!