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I’ve been trying to improve how I work recently. Given that I started as a a professional writer in 1986, a reasonable person might assume I would know how to write by now – but the truth is that I don’t think I’m there yet. True, I’m not without some skill, but I would like to be more than a technician. I would like to be able to touch people’s hearts – and that is no easy task.
It remains an ambition. My goal is to write with clarity, humor, style and empathy. It’s an exploration, a work in progress. It’s a deeply satisfying journey – but the goal is damnably elusive.
Did you know I was dyslexic (which covers a multitude)? I wasn't diagnosed until about 15 years ago. It is clear that the man who diagnosed me was on the button. Though I have no difficulty in reading now - and ended up top of my prep school (aged 12) - that merely proves the point that dyslexia has nothing to do with intelligence. Some of the signs were/are:
· Learning to read late.
· Being unable to learn - and recite - by rote.
· Having difficulty in remembering - and confusing - messages.
· Compensating by remembering by association; and then learning to deduce from the data I have assembled.
· Having serious and sustained short-term memory issues including being unable to read a telephone number and retain it long enough to dial it without great effort.
· Having great difficulty in filling in forms.
· Disliking corporate environments (very few corporate executives are dyslexic).
· Being entrepreneurial (entrepreneurs are disproportionately dyslexic).
· Being an out-of-the-box thinker.
I wish I had studied all of this earlier but, in truth, I'm quite proud of my mind and it never occurred to me that I was suffering from a cognitive condition. Instead I attributed some of my behavior to flaws in my character - and tried to conceal them accordingly.
Perhaps I still do.