The Typo-King and I

Like everyone, I am a busy person. I get up early to go to work, work long, hard days and come home to more responsibilities. I would love to write here more often and more deeply, but often cannot. When I do write, most often it is while I am ordering coffee (or sitting and drinking it quickly).  As I am typing, friends are often walking up to talk to me. I almost never have time to proof-read what I write. I am on call for patients 24-7 and am almost always interrupted before I have that luxury of reviewing. I do dream of having the time to write carefully. I do visit other blogs and so many are done very professionally.

Why am I telling you this? On more than one occasion, I have written things here and finally get a chance to read it a week later, only to be horrified by typos. Sometimes . . . okay, twice, I have had people send me e-mails to scold me for my typos. They said things like, “Hey Mike, if you are aspiring to be a writer, the it reflects poorly on you to write poorly on your blog. Go back and fix your typos!”

I feel embarrassed about that. However, I do have another problem and that is I have dyslexia. I didn’t know this until I was almost forty. But then things seemed to start making sense.

When I was attending my small elementary school in Tennessee, I greatly excelled in most school topics. It was especially true in science. I was seen by teachers and fellow students as a child prodigy in science. I won the district science fair in physics (first place) and was second in over-all scores. When I was in the seventh grade, I was invited to come up to the high school and do a class lecture to them on earth sciences (and demonstrating my home-made seismograph). But that suddenly changed when spelling tests were introduced. I failed miserably and after thinking I was bright . . . suddenly I knew I was stupid. I failed miserably in spelling bees too. Of course, in those days neither teachers nor myself knew of dyslexia.

As a Navigator, I did horribly at memorizing scripture. I bet I spent three times as much time on it as my roommates, but did worse than the others when our leader asked us to quote the verses we had memorized that week.  I remember our staff leader calling me out, in front of the whole group, of not taking scripture memory seriously.

I tried to avoid writing classes in high school (while writing a lot on my own) because of public ridicule. When I started college, I had no choice but to take creative writing. I remember a profession calling me aside as he was assigning grades. He told me, that he had never had a situation where the best writer in his class was also the worst. I was confused. He said the content and creativity was superb, some of the best he had ever seen among his years of teaching. However, I was seriously hamstrung by misspellings and strange subsections such as “two” for “to.” So. he gave me an A and a D for his class, but averaged them as a B (hoping that I would work on the mechanics of typing).

I know that dyslexia is far more common that we thought and some reading this may have it. But when I see words, I see them (in my mind at least) like the scrambled letters that you must type on webpages to prove that you are not a robot.

My book, Butterflies in the Belfry, does not have this problem because I hired three different editors to help me clean it up.

I want to come back to the comment that I am an embarrassment to myself, as a writer, when I write here so poorly. But what they really should mean is that I am a poor typer. I type fast and as I try to read what I type, I don’t see blatant errors. So, to help with this, I may do an experiment where I do video blog posts.

I do have to run or hike almost daily (or at least 5 times a week) or I would need a forklift to get my (would be) fat ass out of the house. I want to try and figure out a way to do a video while I hike. The logistics will be a little hard as I don’t want to create a shaky video that will leave any viewer puking on the floor from motion sickness.

Stay tuned.

Mike

 

8 thoughts on “The Typo-King and I

  1. I think these people are being too harsh on you. I read your blogs and yes, I see some errors, but nothing to be so embarrassed about. Your beautiful writing comes through and that’s what’s important. Computers & cell phones fix many errors. While I am sure you would rather write perfectly the first time and be able to reread all the time, you are simply human and don’t have time to re-read all your posts, because I’m sure you have even more things to write on by the time you come back!

    One of the video blogs I really enjoy with Bryan is these guys motorcycling through the streets of china. We see their point of view and hear their voices. It’s really great stuff! So I imagine you hiking and talking in beautiful Pacific Northwest and we get to hear your ponderings and see the scenery. The footage on these can be a little shaky but if it’s just a little, the viewer gets used to it.
    Just a quick note of encouragement in whatever you decide to do.

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  2. Mike, your typos aren’t any worse than those of people without dyslexia. What you mean comes through very clearly, and with good syntax. Obviously, you have done a lot of work and have coped well with this brain quirk. Don’t be so hard on yourself!

    Dana

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    1. Blogging on very limited time — having to slam comments or postings through a keyboard (or worse a smartphone) as fast as possible — is a recipe for typos even without dyslexia in the mix.

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  3. I suspect the typos bother YOU more than it does most readers (at least I gather that from how many times you mention it). Your blog has been helpful to me, and perfect, error-free typing would not change that. Keep blogging (or vlogging), I’m interested to hear what you have to say.

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  4. Glad you don’t mind. There are the grammar police out there. Some are pretty good at shaming others and I guess I fall for that. I do want to try and do better. It is about having time. I start working 4 days a week next month. A year ago I was working seven days a week and had for about five years. So, I hope to devote one day a week to 1) writing, 2) drinking coffee, 3) playing with a new puppy, 4) hiking, and restoring an old land rover. But, maybe I can write better and more then. I have three books started and hope to see them finished. It is an expensieve process, writing books, as I must have professional editors fix things and they aren’t cheap. But that’s my plan.

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    1. Glad to hear you’ll have more time to do things you enjoy, that’s important. I’ve got a good start on your book, enjoying it so far. Although I may not be able to relate to some of the things you went through, I can relate to dealing with depression, social anxiety and working through spiritual issues. Looking forward to reading more

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  5. Even worse — dyslexia in the Navigators, where everything was Memorize and Rewordgitate SCRIPTURE (TM) or Eternal Hell. No need to think, no need to understand, only recite.

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