Why Do I Write for Vocal?
The purpose of why I write...
"The letters jump Miss. It makes it hard for me to see. I can't seem to catch them. "
"Don't be silly, stop making excuses, and READ" said the teacher.
I stop up in front of the class as I announced to the class it was the teacher who was the "Silly b***er" as she didn't understand me.
Needless to say, they phoned home to my mum.
It was the 1980s and dyslexia wasn't spoken about. Words jumping about the page was seen as a lazy excuse for not wanting to read!
That was the name of the support group they stuck me in due to my refusal to read out loud. It wasn't just the written words sometimes I forgot how words sound too or another word would emerge from my mouth that wasn't the word I wanted to say.
In this 'special' group, I literally got to colour, look at picture books and learn to spell words that even 35 years later I don't use!
'Astonishment' was one of those words- still had to spell check it!
The Diagnosis: 7 years later
Finally, once I hit 14 the teachers finally took me seriously. I believe it was only as they were worried about their own stats and my ability to sit GCSEs.
An appointment with an educational psychologist was arranged to check my intelligence level to see if I was suitable to do GCSEs or if I needed to be moved to another kind of school!
The funny thing is the psychologist noticed straight away that my eyes were 'jumping'. This inability to focus on the black words on a white background and the way I acted on the screening tests was 'textbook dyslexia'.
She switched to a blue filter. The letters no longer moved! In the long run, this filter would go on to help me with the headaches and sickness I got from reading.
Dyslexia and Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) was formally diagnosed. Dyslexia also affected the way I hear and process sounds so it's not just a visual issue.
Sadly, it didn't get me out of exams as my IQ was quoted at 134, which meant that I wasn't just capable of GCSEs I could go on to do a degree. Just 5 minutes of extra time was added to exams and I was given a blue filter (a bit of plastic) and a statement to confirm my diagnosis.
My family and I were given no other support information. I couldn't ask Google it was the early 90s. To learn more I had to go to a place called a library and read books.
The dyslexic writer
I now earn from the very thing that teachers said I would never be able to do independently- write.
Dyslexia enables creative flair and along with the Romani heritage I am born to be a storyteller it's built into my very genetics.
I was published in an anthology by Livewire publications just 2 years after my dyslexia diagnosis
I went on to write articles and press releases for national and international news as well as be a ghostwriter for some brands and personalities.
Today, I have an academic background in psychology and leadership, and a 2,1 diploma in history from the University of Oxford. The dyslexia and ADHD that may have held me back at school make me a more innovative, creative, and strategic thinker in the 'real world' who is extremely persistent, focused with high energy, drive, and self-discipline.
Never let anyone tell you what you can or can't do. How one sees another says a lot more about their own identities than who you are as a person. Teachers have key performance indicators (KPIs) they have to meet. If you don't fit the box or pose a threat to this then sadly you pay a price.
My mission now is to empower others to learn new skills and transform themselves! Whilst sharing my own lived experiences and goals to help empower others to take action.
What I love about Vocal
At Vocal, you can write about many different categories you don't have to fit yourself into a niche. I love to write for self-expression. My topics can vary depending upon my mood and where my writing muse takes me.
I am here to practice my writing, I love to write, but writing doesn't come naturally to me. Writing is also something that can cause me headaches, fatigue, and sickness without the filters I use.
Vocal comes with the added bonus that you can get paid for your work! So, I am literally getting paid to do the hobby I love!
The money gets invested back into improving my writing and more importantly supporting other writers in this community by tipping or making pledges to them.
What do I love most about Medium? The sense of community!