Tag Archive: author

Scott Adams

Scott Adams: cartoonist and creator of the Dilbert comic strip and American nonfiction author.

Born: June 8, 1957

Never being held back by his dyslexia, Scott Adams was valedictory of Windham High School prior to earning his MBA at the University of California, Berkley.  Along the way he became a member of Mensa and trained as a hypnotist.  He also worked as a software developer for a decade prior to launching his incredibly successful Dilbert cartoon in 1989.  Today he is the CEO of  Scott Adams Food, Inc. and a co-owner of Stacey’s Café in Pleasanton, California.

Adams credits his huge success in life to his belief in personal affirmations and positive thinking.  His satirical work, The Dilbert Principle was originally designed to poke fun at corporate America and its hierarchy.  Today it is required reading in many business schools around the country, proving one of Adams’ observations about success.

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes.  Art is knowing which ones to keep.

To be fair, Adams does not limit his biting sarcasm to remarks about large corporations.  He has also been known to turn his sharp wit on himself.  He has even used positive humor to develop his views on his learning difficulties and those of others.  Adams has observed, “There is nothing more dangerous than a resourceful idiot.”

While he is obviously not an idiot, Scott Adams has certainly proved the power of resourcefulness in both his career and life.

John Irving

Novelist and Oscar winning screenwriter.

Born: March 2, 1942

John Irving is the author of such famous novels as The World According to Garp, for which he a National Book Award,  and The Cider House Rules, which, in 2000, earned him an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay.  He has been honored by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the Guggenheim Foundation for his work in literature.   But this author suffered in elementary and high school.

The diagnosis of dyslexia wasn’t available in the late fifties – bad spelling like mine was considered a psychological problem by the language therapist who evaluated my mysterious case. When the repeated courses of language therapy were judged to have had no discernible influence on me, I was turned over to the school psychiatrist.

While he struggled with reading and writing his thoughts, he still had lots of creative ideas just waiting to be put on paper.  His determination to find his own voice, and his experience in doing is held out as a shining example for the young struggling writers of today.  Sally Shawitz referred to him in a 2004 interview with Donna Ricks.

If a child is dyslexic, can he be a good writer? That’s a good question, because many people confuse difficulties in reading and the ability to write. In fact, some of the most accomplished writers that we know happen to be dyslexic. For example, John Irving, who won an Academy Award for the Cider House Rules, is dyslexic.

Lewis Carroll

Lewis Carroll - famous dyslexic

Lewis Carroll - famous dyslexic

Lewis Carroll; Victorian author of Alice in Wonderland.
Born: January 27, 1832
Died: January 14, 1898

Perhaps no other author ever captured what it means to be dyslexic as Lewis Carroll. Here are just a few samples.

But I was thinking of a way To multiply by ten, And always, in the answer, get The question back again.

Contrariwise, if it was so, it might be; and if it were so, it would be; but as it isn’t, it ain’t. That’s logic.

His answer trickled through my head like water through a sieve.

I have proved by actual trial that a letter, that takes an hour to write, takes only about 3 minutes to read!

It’s a poor sort of memory that only works backwards.

That’s the reason they’re called lessons, because they lesson from day to day.

‘What is the use of a book’, thought Alice, ‘without pictures or conversations?’

‘When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean – neither more nor less.’

Which form of proverb do you prefer–Better late than never, or Better never than late?

On the other hand, perhaps no one else ever so thoroughly captured what it means to be human, either.

Who in the world am I? Ah, that’s the great puzzle.
One of the secrets of life is that all that is really worth the doing is what we do for others.

Charlie Boorman

Charlie Boorman - famous dyslexic

Charlie Boorman - famous dyslexic

Charlie Boorman: adventurer, actor and author.
Born: August 123, 1966

Even as a child, Charlie Boorman tried to educate others about dyslexia.

At the time when I was going to school in Ireland people didn’t really have a clue about what it was, so I had to spend a lot of my time trying to explain to teachers what dyslexia meant.

It took him a while to see that the way he saw the world was actually an advantage.

It’s unfair because often people who have disabilities – visual or hearing or wherever it is – they can very often excel in other things and it’s a matter of finding those things. Often dyslexic kids will excel in being a little bit mischievous or tying to find attention in other ways because they’re not getting it in class. If anybody has walked down the road and someone says turn left and you take a right that’s a form of dyslexia. If you write a number down backwards or you get the numbers mixed up a little bit occasionally, that’s a form of dyslexia.

Today, he is still at it, trying to teach the teachers, and the students, how they can best learn.

While they’re being taught to be teachers, they need to be taught to identify dyslexia … so that that child can then be earmarked and say, ‘right, that kid needs a little bit of extra help’. That was the kind of battle I had. I knew what I had, but my teachers didn’t.

Debbie Macomber

Debbie Macomber; New York Times bestselling author of over 150 books.
Born: October 22, 1948

No one would have ever picked little Debbie Macomber as a future writer. At 10 years of age, she still could not read.

I am dyslexic, but they didn’t have a word for that when I was a child. I was just considered slow. School was difficult. I was the only girl in the slow reading group. My teacher said, ‘Debbie is a nice girl but she will never do well at school’. And I didn’t.
In spite of her teacher’s dire warning, Macomber still dreamed of being a writer.
I would throb with joy at the thought of it, but I didn’t tell anyone; not even my best friend. I knew if I did tell anyone they would say, ‘you can’t be a writer; you don’t get good grades. You can’t spell’. It was an impossible dream.
After 11 years of marriage and 4 children, her husband decided it was time to pursue her dream.
He said, ‘honey, go for it’. So I rented a typewriter, sat down, and tried. But the stories in my head didn’t transpose to my fingers. I learned by dissecting the books I loved.
Her first book even made Simon and Schuster history.
It was the first of that line to be reviewed in Publisher’s Weekly. I was pictured in Newsweek. And I gradually built my audience.

Agatha Christie

Agatha Christie: one of the most successful mystery writers of all time.
Born: September 15, 1890
Died: January 12, 1976

She created Miss Marple and penned her adventures. She gave Hercule Pierot his monocle and fussy ways. She holds the Guinness Book Record for best selling writer of books. But for famous mystery writer Agatha Christie, the first mystery in her life was trying to read.

I, myself, was always recognized . . . as the “slow one” in the family. It was quite true, and I knew it and accepted it. Writing and spelling were always terribly difficult for me. My letters were without originality. I was . . . an extraordinarily bad speller and have remained so until this day.

She attributed the early challenges of those years to shaping who she became.

The popular idea that a child forgets easily is not an accurate one. Many people go right through life in the grip of an idea which has been impressed on them in very tender years.

Thus, it was in that which most challenged her that she found solace.

Writing is a great comfort to people like me, who are unsure of themselves and have trouble expressing themselves properly.

In dealing with her dyslexia, Christie followed her own good advice.

I have learnt that I am me, that I can do the things that, as one might put it, me can do, but I cannot do the things that me would like to do.

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