The Dyslexic Writer

Fall 2017

A letter to my blog coach.

To get you up to speed a bit about where I am with this writing thing, it all got kicked up a notch with a super cool thing that happen last month when I got together with a group of old grade school girlfriends.  We had not seen each other in 10 years or more, except for a recent funeral.  It was 3 married-for-long-time women with children, and single-for-equally-long-time me.  

Somewhere between relaying a sordid story of how I ended up standing in the parking lot of a Las Vegas sex club holding a policeman’s German Shepherd while on an accidental cross-country road trip/4th date following my mother’s suicide attempt, and telling them how my slight reading comprehension issue has been an asset at my current job, I was able to clearly describe exactly what a sex swing is, and did so without stuttering once.  The flow of conversation was surprisingly effortless, even after not seeing each other for more than a decade.  That’s how things are with old friends.

Cutting to the chase, one of my friends was confused by my admission of struggling with reading. “But you were Valedictorian of our 8th grade class?” she asked perplexed.  I just shrugged.  Then one of the other women, who is currently a vice principal at a local school, chimed in and said she had wanted to talk to me for a while about my – wait for it – dyslexia.  She and I met a week later and it was as if she handed me the key piece to a gigantic puzzle for which I had been unable to put together my entire life.  Think of it as someone dropping a magnet into a bowl of disjointed jagged metal pieces that suddenly then come together to form a beautiful flowing piece of artwork.  It was that fast and that strong.

This gift my friend gave to me has completely changed everything for me.  Everything suddenly makes sense.  EVERYTHING.  I am relieved and happy and I. AM. NOT. STUPID.  Game changer.  

With all of this new knowledge, I am now not afraid to be found a fraud.  I cannot read well.  I get super confused by words.  But for some odd reason, I have a desire to write.   

Six months back, as I was prepping for my very first writer’s retreat/class in Sedona, the course instructor sent a list of books to read.  I promptly went to the local book store to purchase them, all the while knowing I would not likely read even one.  They, along with countless other books, would be added to the stack next to my bed where I would look longingly at them each night, sometimes opening one or another, reading a few sentences before the anxious stomach churning would start and I’d discouragingly put the book back on the pile.  Books overwhelm me.  But I love them too.  This is not unlike many of my dating experiences for which I also seem to collect, give up on, or add to a pile, sometimes next to my bed.  Regarding books and men: I may not understand them, but I keep trying.  I never give up trying.  

Anyway, the woman in the book store asked me about the books I was purchasing so I proudly, timidly, mentioned I was prepping to go to a writer’s retreat.  She started telling me about customers who come into the bookstore and announce they are going to be writers. While ringing up my stack of books, as if I would relate to her, she added, “You cannot be a writer unless you are a reader.”  I smiled, then looked down, knowing the last time I read a book was in 2007, and it took me several months to get through.  I knew I could not let her know this; I would be found out to be a fraud.  But I also knew, I wanted to write.

Six months later, here we are, and I am embarking on this blogging adventure.  I would like to say I am fearless about the whole thing.  While the knowledge of my dyslexia has taken away my feeling a fraud, I am still a bit apprehensive. Afraid is good though, it’s how you know you are truly living.


Unapologetically yours,