Famous Authors and Dyslexics …

I cannot blame my Dyslexia if my books are not very good. I was very surprised to learn that latter-day writers such as Agatha Christy, Lewis Carrol, Edgar Alan Poe and Jules Verne were apparently likely to be Dyslexic, and Jules Verne and some other notable Dyslexic writers were thought to have ADHD as well.  About 3 in 10 people with Dyslexia also have ADHD*.

It only serves to confirm that Dyslexics have a differently wired brain, with an alternative imagination, and generally, I am pleased to say, higher than average intelligence. However, there are many to dispute any heightened intellect, in my case, including myself!

Did you know Albert Einstein, Stephen Hawking, Leonardo da Vinci, and Pablo Picasso possessed some of the greatest minds and talents in history, and yet were undiagnosed Dyslexics?

Today’s Dyslexic authors include the poet, musician and writer, Benjamin Zephaniah, paranormal and fantasy American best seller, Sherrilyn Kenyon/Kinley MacGregor, TV writer and author, Lynda La Plante, to name but a few. These are (and, for me, surprisingly) dyslexic writers. Most rely, as I do, on copy editors, proof-readers and spouses to ensure what ends up on the paper is readable.

I found a lovely article by an American Dyslexic author, PJ Maney; ‘Dyslexia is a writer’s superpower (with help)’. She goes on to describe the tools there are to support us Dyslexics with our writing; Spellcheck, Grammarchecker, digital dictionaries and thesauri, even what fonts to use, apparently ‘Comic Sans’ is the best font to write in, and above all help from professional, and non-professional readers.

It was my music teacher who said I would never make it as a musician – my original career thought – and to go into catering, which I did for the past fifty years. Many Dyslexics entered the catering industry, Jamie Oliver and James Martin to name just two highly successful Dyslexics. I shared a dormitory at school with the late A.A. Gill, a food and travel writer, he was also a television critic, was restaurant reviewer of The Sunday Times, wrote for Vanity FairGQ, and Esquire, and published numerous books – all with Dyslexia. Talking of chefs; Rick Stein’s brother, Professor John Stein #, Emeritus Professor of Physiology, is Chair of the Dyslexia Research Trust.

My aspirations, therefore, should be to write entertaining and well-crafted novels. I cannot use my Dyslexia as an excuse for a poor book. With today’s ‘tools’, anybody with Dyslexia, who wishes to write, should do so. In fact, it may be an advantage to be Dyslexic!


www.readandspell.com/famous-people-with-dyslexia,  www.happydyslexic.com



# For selected publications on Dyslexia by Professor Stein: www.ox.ac.uk/news-and-events/find-an-expert/professor-john-stein

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