How does a dyslexic person with Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder become an Author?
The most common responses I get when I tell someone I am an author are “I could never do that; I have ADHD.” And “I could never do that; I am dyslexic.” These conditions are more prevalent than one would assume. Over 7.8 billion people in the world are dyslexic, and almost 1.8 billion people have ADHD. I personally have both.
I learned to read in the fifth grade. I was lucky, I had a teacher who recognized my dyslexia and taught me a coping mechanism. This turned me into a speed reader, devouring over four hundred books a year between studying.
I began writing around the same time as I started reading. In the sixth grade I won a writing contest in school, by the time I was sixteen I was winning national poetry competitions, and having my poems published in poetry books. The problem was, I wanted to write books but could never pay attention to it long enough to finish it.
I finally started writing short stories. I could keep my attention on those and actually finish them. I was frustrated though, because I wanted to write books. I kept practicing with short stories and told myself, “By the time I am twenty, I’ll be a published author.” Which turned into “By the time I am thirty, I will be a published author.” Then, finally, “By the time I am forty, I will be a published author.”
I am thirty-nine years old, and I published my first book, His Wayward Little, on January first of this year. My second book, His Sassy Little, goes live on March fourteenth. So, what changed?
It was a combination of two things. The first being that last year, at thirty-eight years old, I was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder. Somehow in all the years of my existence, no one saw the signs or thought to test me. Until my husband, that is. He is also ADHD and he encouraged me to get tested. That wasn’t the only thing that changed last year.
The second thing that changed my world was meeting Author, Pepper North at an event. I had never read her books, I didn’t even know they existed. I had no clue that books about my particular lifestyle were out in the market. It made me realize, maybe I was trying to write the wrong type of books.
I have always heard, write what you know. I know Littles; I am one. So, having medication for my ADHD and now knowing what I should write I began writing my first novella. It took many tries, I started the story more than forty times before I could get connected to it enough to write.
About the time that I was getting frustrated and about to give up another author friend encouraged me to search for Alpha readers in her reader group. Having the Alpha readers encouraging me to continue because they wanted to know what happened in the story was what I needed to finally achieve my goal. It wasn’t the medication that was the catalyst for me to continue; When writing His Sassy Little, I wrote most of it without the medication.
My point in all of this is, There should be nothing that stops you from achieving your dreams. Everything can be overcome if you find the right solution for you. My solution was to have that group of people encouraging me, counting on me to finish. Someone else’s might be the right medication or having the right coping mechanism. Whatever it is for you, find it, use it, and achieve your dreams. No matter how long it takes.