Updated: Jan 9
I do every step of publishing myself. But I’ve become aware of a host of people telling new writers that it will cost appox. 1000 dollars (!!!) to self-publish ‘properly’. Whatever that means. This has led to a lot of new writers freezing instead of publishing, as if NaNoWriMo, which used to turn out published works (like The Dead Set, my first book) was a means of making manuscripts to go into the hold bin, indefinitely. This was never the point of NaNoWriMo! The point is to make a 50,000 word book and making it publish-ready.
I'm dyslexic, and I really do think this has taught me a couple things about authority and who has it. For example, I remember sitting in hospital as doctors told my mum 'Oh, she'll never get through school' (I was 4 years old at the time, btw). Going away from that, at some point you have to decide who to believe, and who to believe in. I didn't know the value of a PhD when I was 4, so, I didn't believe the doctors. Struggle, learn, grind, there are few things in the entire world that I love more than writing and publishing. Here are some tips for normal-readers from a dyslexic author. I didn't used to think these would apply to normal-readers, but the more I read this blog, the more I realize I was wrong.
Don't be afraid that you'll mess up. Get used to it. Deal with it.Turn on your spell checker and grammar checker if you're dyslexic. That way, when you have a crap day and don't see all those little 3 letter words, you can hear them. Remember, it takes no effort to turn 'this' into 'shit' and not see it.
Turn your manuscript into an MP3, Chapter per Chapter. You may not be able to read fast enough to edit, but you'll *hear* missing and managed words in a speech stream. You can also have the computer read to you while you follow along in your copy. Pause and correct. (Best app for this? Speech2Go.)
Get ready for your life to change: Word has a 'Speak' option. Each voice is tied to a Localization in the Operating System. Switch the localization in Word if you need a female voice. Or you can buy Harpo voices online for more inflection (they make Speech2Go). Find out how to add 'Speak' to the Quick Access Toolbar by using any set of steps for this online. This is one of the single most helpful tips I have for dyslexic writers. *Listen* to your work. Listen to every paragraph you write if that's what it takes. Yes. It may take a while that way. Put all those whiles together, and you will have book 1. Go you!
Don't sweat the little things. You can't let perfect get in the way of good. Do good. That's perfect.Use technology to help you. Other people may wax poetic about how this cramps their style. That’s because they can. Technologies can make dyslexia invisible. Just because other people turn out books their way, doesn't make something wrong with your way.
Don't give up because it's harder for you than for a normal reader. Just finish.
Learn to love the struggle and the fear. I can't explain this any other way than to say... the struggle is doing something to you. Something good. The fear of being 'caught' by normal-readers/writers is a million times better (there's no real number for how much better, that's how much better) than the fear that keeps you from trying. So, choose the better fear. I've been 'caught' before, with all the name-calling and bullshit that can entail. You will survive it. But *not trying* will wreck you.