Embracing my Dyslexia

My name is James Burnell and I am a children’s book author. I will be soon publishing my first picture book, ‘The Word Keeper.

Before I started my author’s journey, only three people knew I had dyslexia. I was always embarrassed about it and didn’t like to admit I needed help. I avoided reading out loud as much as possible.

Now, I have learnt that no matter how much I hide from dyslexia, it is part of me. Words have always fascinated me, how a single word, or a single letter, can completely change the meaning of a sentence or change the context.

While it wasn’t my intention, I realise now I wrote about my experience with dyslexia through the fantasy world of Zumans of the planet Zoogan. The Word Keeper is the keeper of every word and rules. When they retire the new Word Keeper abolishes all rules leading to confusion and chaos throughout the planet.

I have always felt my dyslexia was something to be ashamed of. Growing up, I only ever heard dyslexia mentioned in negative ways. It wasn’t until I accepted it and embraced it that I learnt there are advantages to it. Such as:

  • 3D thinking – Dyslexic people are more likely to be able to visualize in 3D, turning over what they see in their minds.
  • Strong memory – Some individuals with dyslexia recall facts as if reading a good storybook rather than just as a list of random data.
  • Excellent puzzle-solving skills -They accurately identify the right shape and figure out complex problems like no one else can ever do.
  • Wonderfully imaginative – Dyslexics can really envision a fantastic view of the world.
  • Think outside of the box – It’s nice to stick to standards, but if you really wish to go far, you have to think originally, as evidenced by today’s entrepreneurs.
  • Critical thinkers – Another trait that some dyslexics possess is their ability to use logical reasoning. They know exactly what the difference in two topics really is and will use critical thinking to solve a problem.

I am now proud to share that I have dyslexia. Dyslexia is my superpower!