Sorry Editor–I’m Having Another Dyslexia Moment #MFRWauthor

I’m taking a little different approach on this week’s MFRW Blog Challenge prompt and talk about how my learning disability causes my most drastic editing mistakes.

Mistakes. We all make them and we all hate when people correct those slips. But as writers, we have to quickly get past this feeling. The process starts long before we get our work in front our publishing editor. It begins with our critique partners. Early in my writing career, I had a hard time not taking my critique partners’ suggestions personally when they pointed out what most people would think of as a silly mistake. Now, I actually love when either my critique partner or editor finds those dyslexic moments.

Copyright: blackboard1965 / 123RF Stock Photobackground
Copyright: blackboard1965 / 123RF Stock Photo

One of these moments is my occasional use of the wrong word. I’m not talking about using “there” for “their”, or “to” for “too”, I’m referring to my heavy reliance on Spell Check. We all know Spell Check can be a both a blessing and a curse. My problem is sometimes I can’t tell which it’s being.

I’ve always hated that sometimes language isn’t easy for me. I didn’t learn to even read until I was in fourth grade. This was when I was moved into special education classes for my learning disability. I’m dyslexic and I also have a similar speech disability. Sometimes the word I want to say isn’t what comes out of my mouth. I sometimes forget totally how to pronounce words or I garble up the syllables. I call it speech dyslexia, because it’s so similar to the way I see words on the page and in my head, which means, I never really learned how to spell complicated, multi-syllable words. Or, more precisely, I’ve had a harder time of it then most.  I’ve overcome so many of  learning issues extremely well, but  sometimes I just lose all my coping mechanisms and mistakes happen.

So, I don’t have just one common mistake that my editors find. I have several, but I think using the wrong word is my most common. The funniest being this example caught in my very first book. I wanted to use the word “inconvenience” but couldn’t remember how to spell it, so when I got the drop down list from Spell Check I picked “incontinence.”  I know, how could this mistake be made? Well, easy, often in these multi-syllable words, the letters jumble together and I only know what’s being said because of context.

For me reading has always been a challenge and writing sometimes an even bigger one… But just like I can’t stop the changing seasons, I can’t stop the stories forming in my head, wanting to be told to the world.

Thank the stars there are editors out there willing to catch my dyslexic moments!
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  1. Cathy Brockman says:

    I have s type of dyslexia as well Sometimes I write things backward I see it fine but it comes out quite the mess when my beta gets it. Sometimes it’s funny too. Your example cracked me up!

    1. Thanks, Cathy, for stopping by! Yes, things do get funny at times.

  2. Cailin Briste says:

    I do the swap the simple words all the time. your/you’re is a favorite of mine. At least my typing has gotten better. In high school I typed certain sounds/letters phonetically. A soft “c” was always the letter “s”.

    1. Thank you for your comment, Cailin! For me typing has ways been easier for keeping the words from jumbling up as much. I hate to hand write and rarely do, because I’m constantly mixing up letters.

  3. lyndilamont says:

    We all type the wrong word occasionally, and you are so right that sometimes Spell check and grammar check are more curse than help. Love the incontinence example. 🙂

    1. Thank you for stopping by, Lyndi! Yes, you’re right about everyone mixing up words.

  4. Interesting. Since you have dyslexia and a speech impediment, I’m not sure if this would work for you but I always encourage people to read what they wrote out loud. Often our brains will “autocorrect” when we read internally and we will see what we thought we wrote instead of what we actually wrote. By reading out loud, we are forced to hear, and thus see, our mistakes more clearly.

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