I wish someone had told the 7-year-old me, who’d just found out she was dyslexic, that it’s ok to write, even if you can’t spell.
I went through the next 11 years at school thinking I was rubbish in French (French taught in France, not as a foreign language). So it came as a bit of a shock when I got a distinction in my French baccalaureate exam.
The frustrating thing was, no matter how hard I tried in any test, it didn’t matter if the content of my answers were good, I’d have so many points knocked off for each spelling mistake I’d regularly get 0/20. Well it would have been -4 or even less, but as the teacher kindly pointed out, you can’t officially give someone a negative mark. So lucky for me it seemed the marking at the baccalaureate wasn’t only about my spelling.
Over the years, while it was taking me twice the time to read a text than other students, while I’d misread something and not understand what it was about and through all my misspellings, I failed to realise that’s not what writing is about.
Almost a year ago, I started a blog to have a lasting memory of my time in South America. But I’ve been back a while now and I’m still writing, because I enjoy it.
I wish the 7-year-old me would have known that was possible.
Now I’m just going to spell check this before I publish it.