Over the years I have written a lot about writing, and different bits of the process. I’ve also written once or twice on the subject of dyslexia. This is not really a post about the latter and a lot about the former, but my process, and every writer develops their own, is to an extent informed by how my mind works. So it’s difficult to talk honestly about my process, or explain why it is my process, without mentioning that I am dyslexic.
So lets get the D word out of the way. Dyslexic’s think differently, their brains process things in a different way, the result of which is they tend to approach things in different ways, and its most common symptom, which is to say how it is perceived, is word blindness, making both reading and writing a more complex skill for a dyslexic to master.
Think of reading and writing like rock climbing, most people have four limbs, but some people might have been born with only three. Both four limbed people and three limbed people can learn to climb, but the three limbed have a more complex time learning to do so. It doesn’t mean they cannot scale Everest, they may a sherpa to help them (but so did Hillary, even though he was the ‘first’ to climb the worlds highest mountain).
Okay that’s not a perfect analogy, and my Sherpa Tenzing is a combination of time, patience, a good editor and MS word. I am also also not deep in the dyslexic spectrum, which helps. But the point is that a lot of my writing process is informed to an extent by how my mind works, so my dyslexia is part of it.
Also though, just before I move on to the ‘meat’ of this post and talk about process. My synopsis that my dyslexic brain causes me to think differently to the way the majority of peoples think, is both entirely correct and utter hogwash. Which is to say, it is most likely true, but we have absolutely no way of knowing. No one knows how anyone else ‘thinks’ or ‘how there mind works’ it is literally imposable to do so. Because you can only ‘think’ the way your own mind works, and so you can only experience the universe and everything within it through the filter of how your own mind works.
We also assume the brain is where the mind resides. But the mind is much like the soul, no one can point to your soul, no one can actually point to your mind. All we ‘know’ for sure is the brain interprets nerve impulses and sends out nerve impulses through electrochemical reactions. Your mind does so much more. Otherwise a portion of your mind would be spending all its time reminding your heart to beat and telling your kidneys to stop complaining about last nights quart of scotch. Someone who suffers a terrible brain injury, or with dementia, or whatever affliction of the organ we call the brain, may merely have lost aspects of the connection to their mind, which exists in a cloud like bubble on a fourteen dimension of reality and sort of floats about three feet to the left of your central cortex.
Maybe when you ‘real connect’ with someone and you’re ‘really in sync’ it is actually your floating cloud like minds are intermingling on a high plain of reality, while you share a caramel latte in a coffee in Bracknell.
The point being, we just don’t know how each others minds work, or even what each others minds really are. So for all we know no one’s mind works the same way anyone else’s does. Or all minds work exactly the same way and we are kidding ourselves that we are actually in anyway individuals. Claiming therefore that I am dyslexic and therefore my mind works differently is clearly facile on my part… Fuelled no doubt by the endless desire of my fourteenth dimensional floaty cloud mind to find something, anything, that sets me apart and makes me ‘special’.
Except its does, all dyslexic’s think a little differently from non-dyslexic’s and interpret written information in a different way to the ‘norm’ whatever the ‘norm’ is. But then who wants to be the ‘norm’, I would sooner think a little differently…
This also explains why I started writing this long post about my writing process, got distracted and wrote about something else entirely.
Which, oddly enough, more often than not is my writing process.