Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Continuing the authors struggle - “ if I can do it, so can you” - Article 2.

To continue writing about the struggle creating BDTB, readers may find this next article an encouragement.  I have to get to the point about delving into BDTB at some point, but I feel one more avoiding that will not go amiss.   If the reader finds public writing something of a frightening prospect, then consider what comes next.  If I can do it then so can you. Why? Well, when it is understood all the obstacles I have had to overcome, and did, why can others not do the same? 

What obstacles? I can hear those calls to clarify my claim that if I can work around them so can you. Apart from the obvious mental and internal damage outlined in the previous blog that my experience contributed to, what else is there? That particular experience is not going to be present in everything I write and contribute to problematic article construction.  

As I am writing this I have also reasoned that it contributes a little in explaining mistakes in the text, simple errors that the reader wanders how on earth they got there. If you can write a book, what’s the problem? Simple errors like, “image” instead of “imagine” is a common one for me. The “lly” on the end of a word like “actual” instead of “actually.”  The wrong spelling of a word, “route” instead of “root” or the other way around or the wrong “wander” instead of “wonder.” They do not appear in the book because I get someone to proof read it and pick out those so obvious errors that I make. When writing a blog that process does not happen.  I am at my own mercy and the mercy of the reader to see and respond to mistakes.  Those mistakes are not as minor as the author would like to imagine, as they cause a reaction in the reader, a negative one. The writer hopes they will be forgiven, but they are not as it implants something within the reader from which they cannot escape. Reflect inside yourself and look for the response to text errors, got it, “wander” in italics which you have just read instead of “wonder,” see, you cannot get away from the stimulus that it created. How many of those will be tolerated before your work is abandoned? 

So after putting that forward for consideration it takes a certain amount of courage to go public with anything written.  What’s more, if you suffer from dyslexia and acute word blindness like I do, then even this blog is a daring exploit equal to any exploration that Dr Livingstone undertook. Risking being chewed over dinner by cannibals or swallowed whole by some ginormous snake, I put myself forward to suffer the same fate from the public.  I suppose putting oneself in front of a critical public is a mystery with the dyslexia and word blindness disadvantage. Not only that, I cannot spell for a toffee and my grammar - how many so far in the text? 

The following has been taken from my introduction on my web site:

About ten years ago I discovered the cause of the disadvantage of dyslexia. It turns out that it is nothing more than a lack of understanding of how words are constructed. There are rules, which when understood enables any person to spell reasonable well. Learn the rules and the dyslexia can virtual disappear. I have never been able to spell with any confidence, which led to my shyness to want to write. If it were not for the computer age of spelling and grammar checkers, I would still be living in the dark ages of scripting. I think laziness is one part of the dyslexia problem, and I am very lazy in this area. However, as it turns out not the whole problem can be attributed to this condition as I will continue to elaborate. 

After finding a course to understand the symptom more fully, the expert gave what I have outlined above. I did indeed become more aware of my laziness and with some effort should be able to correct it. However, there was another quality that I began to question and presented to the oracle. To my surprise believing that an answer would be forthcoming, it did not. It seemed as though my saviour did not have an answer and struggled to put into any understandable context what I am about to reveal. 

I had always believed that my lack of ability to spell was a metal problem; damage somewhere in the control box. Somehow the wires were crossed a little like a disorder, not a disease as such but damaged, something not repairable. I could not spell, and it did not matter what I do will never be able to spell. So maybe it becomes a little clearer, that when I realised that my brain had not been vandalized in some form, but just plain lazy, it became a minor relief. My relief however was very short lived, minutes later I had reverted to my metal depravity theory as the tutor stumbled and floundered too coherently put into any understandable form my dilemma.

What did I give to such an expert that stumped the tongue; the best way to present this is to give the clearest of examples as follows.

“Very good product and prompt delivery”. 

The above very short sentence was one I submitted as feedback after buying off EBay. One would not think it possible to be able to make a spelling mistake on such a short and uncomplicated sentence structure. Behold, below the same sentence, but this time what I actually wrote. 

“Very god product and promt delivery.”

Knowing that I had a problem, it would have made sense to enter the text into a word document first. At least the spell checker would have corrected one of the mistakes, “promt” to “prompt”. The other spelling mistake, “god” to “good,” the spell checker would not have corrected. Detecting the spelling as correct, because there is no input for it to understand what I had really intended, would then have gone unchallenged. Therefore, even with such an aid it did not provide any realistic solution to my problem. 

Now to explain; I wanted to write the first sentence, but in fact wrote the second with spelling mistakes. My mind's conditioning only allows me to see what I wanted to write, and not what I actually wrote. I believe it is called word blindness. It does not matter how many times I read over that faulty sentence, I would always read it as the correct version. Knowing the acute problem, I read over the defective sentence once more, again, once again -------- and again. Satisfied that all was in order continued to post online the goofy error, you can image my horror when 24 hours later I went back and read:

 “Very god product and promt delivery.” 

Stumped and ashamed, even after the most diligent of checking, the simplest of errors becomes like a nightmare. The example of only one short sentence is huge in my reflection; multiply that over a page or a novel, could I become crazed into madness. The time spent in constant fear or dread of the mistake could induce insanity. The mistake I cannot see, not just a spelling mistake because I am lazy with that particular aspect of writing, but a deeper problem of which I have no understanding. I feel as though I am naked, my inadequacy exposed to all who read.”

This ends the regurgitated text.

The inspiration to write a book has also created a need to seek out other authors to find out how it is done. It came as a surprise to find out that any first draft can be a shame to the most experienced of writers. Understanding that encourages any unskilled novelist to get the subject down on paper first, it does not matter what unreadable mess it is in, only you have to read it.  Now plough through the mumbo jumbo straightening it all out as many times as it takes. I have purchased several computer aids to help with spelling and grammar, but that is still not enough. I have each chapter proofed another five times at least. Each time the text is altered to read better, or add more information that it may be lacking. Each time it throws up an error, as another individual proofs the text the writer can clearly see changes to enhance the work. Errors that hide amongst strangely constructed sentences, that seem coherent to the writer, but I can ensure you that they will not be to the reader.   This is an interesting formatting hint I have learnt, do not write as one speaks. Do not type down how you speak, it does not work, try it and get others to read a paragraph and listen to the feedback. Writing demands a crisper, cleaner, correct use of words; we do not always speak the way written text is required to be structured. I wish I knew how to explain this better; I am still learning this insight and putting it to good use. The punch line here is that the third party professional human element cannot be done without. 

If I can overcome all this, then so can others. My creations may be a lot short of perfect, but I can try to improve as I strive to develop the skill. Maybe through several versions it will get hammered and forged into something reasonable. So through Burning Down The Bricks I have something to say. Not only through the content that the book is focused around, but also that I can write it, when by all reasoning I should not be able to do so at all. 

The copy of BDTB Version 1, that you may have read has not had the professional eye scrutinise my creation.  It may take until the end of June 2013 to complete further corrections and hopefully improve before it gets replaced. When it does then any considering writing can compare the two versions if the first was purchased. If the reader buys the copy that is available at present (version 1) and is in some way happy, then this is the level I can achieve without the professional glance. However, it is more likely that the flaws will stick out and grammar critics and experienced book readers will go to town and rip it to pieces. It is justified and I deserve it. 

There is another side to the book as I have already put forward in the first blog. The need to inform of the dangers of international property investment verses a book that can be written better. Particularly off-plan investment, as the same dangers are a global reflection of identical elements which can happen in any location. I chose to risk the public knocks and any other respected and well known writer’s criticism. How much have I got to lose? Not much as my wealth has already been stripped so there is not much else left to take. 

Here is a thought to finish before I launch into the cover creations. Is my writing getting better? Could you read this without cringing too much at errors? I will have to create a cringe meter.  I can then produce from each article a cringe curve, the reader can insert a value derived from the number of winces per article, which should deplete over time if I am improving. If I can do it, so can you. 

  There is an on-line flipbook preview of BDTB which contains the introduction and the first chapter. Flash player is required in your browser link to BDTB.

  There is one review on Amazon, here is the UK link .
  The PDF version can be obtained from this link to PDF version.