One of the annoying and frustrating things I’ve had to deal with in my life is an inability to use the pen when writing. You see, I’ve always found that my writing is ridiculously atrocious when I’m using a pen.
It’s like, I know what I’m going to write – I can even see it in my head. But as I put pen to paper and start writing, what my hands write is occasionally different to what’s in my head. The end result is a lot of crossed out words, and frustration about my inability to write properly.
I have no issues with using the keyboard on a computer, because it’s easier to backspace when making a correction than it is to correct handwritten notes. But the writing thing has always been annoying and perplexing.
Perplexing because it never made sense to me why I’d think of the word ‘happen’ but my hand would write ‘harness’, and I’d be like, “What the fucking fuck?!” and then I’d scribble it out and write it again.
That sounds extreme, I know, but it happens a lot more than you might think. Most of the time I just make spelling errors, which is annoying ’cause my mind knows how to spell, but my hand apparently doesn’t. But when I actually write entirely different words to what I actually want to write, that’s just a level of weirdness I never understood.
I’m writing about this today because I’ve been doing some software testing work this past week or so (helping out a friend with his workplace’s testing requirements for just a couple weeks), and I’ve had to do a lot of writing of script errors and bugs.
Now, most of my note-taking over the past few years has been on laptops, entirely because my writing sucks, so I’ve adapted how I write to what works better for me. But this software testing has required me to write notes on script errors and bugs that I’ve found, occasionally going into some detail to provide relevant information.
Today, after some particularly annoying instances that’s just been the latest in a long series of annoying instances on a daily basis over this past week, I decided to see what I could find out about this from Google.
At first I didn’t know what I was looking for. I didn’t know what the right questions were. I kept on finding articles and blog posts on how I could be a better author.
But eventually I found something that was somewhat relevant, and I began following a trail. What I ended up with was that I suffer from something called Dysgraphia or Written Expression Disorder.
Oh, great. Another disorder of some kind!
But anyway, what fascinated me about this is that this is mostly related to people who suffer from Autism or Aspergers Syndrome.
Some children with autism or Asperger’s syndrome also have dysgraphia, or written expression disorder. This learning disability impacts a child’s ability to write and spell without affecting their reading ability. Many people with dysgraphia have higher than average IQ and are able to write but may have problems with fine motor skills and coordination.
That’s definitely me. I can read fine, and I can spell pretty damn good too. In my head, that is. Writing it out on paper, however, is a mighty pain in the ass.
The issue it talks about with fine motor skills was something I was already aware of with Aspergers. I’ve been clumsy all of my life, inept at physical sports and activities (it surprised me how good I was at martial arts, though, back in my wilder youth).
That article also mentions a number of symptoms of Dysgraphia, one of which is:
Problems organizing thoughts on paper
Yep, absolutely. I guess putting down the wrong words or spelling them incorrectly applies to that.
This research has been helpful for me though. Now I know that the reason I suck at writing with a pen is because of a ‘written expression disorder’ related to having Aspergers.
At least I can type properly.
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