The second letter in our series, from Rowan Coleman, talented and prolific novelist and TMK supporter.
This year Rowan has undertaken to send a handwritten letter every week of the year to lucky recipients nominated by her Facebook and Twitter friends. We are delighted to be able to reproduce them here and give her three cheers for the lost art of writing letters by hand.
Her recipients are an eclectic mix: young and old, friends and strangers and mostly people who might enjoy a kind word or some light-hearted advice.
This week, an encouraging letter to Kate, on having dyslexia.
Hello! My name is Rowan and I am a writer. I’ve been a writer for 12 years, but a storyteller all my life. It took me a while to get to grips with reading and writing words down, because – like you – I am dyslexic.
School wasn’t always easy for me. I was often in bottom sets and my teachers told me off for being ‘slapdash’. ‘lazy’ and a lot of the time I heard, ‘could try harder’. They didn’t seem to know that I was trying as hard as I could. And that’s because, back then (in the dark ages), people didn’t know much about dyslexia. They didn’t understand that a brilliant, bright brain might not be able to connect letters and words and numbers together in the same way as non-dyslexics.
I had pretty low self-esteem. I felt dumb, useless. I thought I was quite funny and good at drawing – but I didn’t expect to ever pass an exam or go to university. But I was lucky. I had a teacher, just one, who saw past my spelling and my handwriting and saw me. That teacher gave me something that is the best thing a person can get. He gave me confidence.
And now, at the age of 42, I think of my dyslexia as a gift. Because of it, my brain works in wonderful ways. It makes me creative and imaginative. I see the world in a particularly visual way – which is perfect for a writer. And dyslexic people are usually very bright, excellent, lateral thinkers, amazing artists, writers, actors and scientists.
Did you know that Darcey Bussell, Orlando Bloom, Tom Cruise, Roald Dahl, Albert Einstein, Eddie Izzard, Jamie Oliver and Keira Knightley are all dyslexic? And lots and lots of writers too.
Since I’ve been a published writer, I’ve written more than 20 books. That’s around 2,000,000 words and most of them are in the right order! Who cares if I still can’t spell nesercary nescersary that word.
Kate, if you keep working as hard as your mum tells me you can do, you can do anything you set your mind to. There isn’t a magic button that will make your dreams come true – you are the only person who can do that – and it’s hard and it takes time – but dyslexia won’t hold you back. It will show you ways forward in life that will make you realise it can be wonderful.
Lots of love, Rowan xx
[stextbox id=”tmk-box”]THE MEMORY BOOK – Rowan’s latest novel is available now from Amazon.[/stextbox]
This post is linked to Mum turned Mom with #theprompt link