I promised myself I’d only do this site if it was fun and immediate. I know, it's the impulsive artist’s credo and blanket disclaimer, but wait!!!
I just gotta say this and then I’ll leave it alone. I was born severely dyslexic. No not the “I transpose numbers from time to time--oops”…I literally see everything backwards. Yes, I’ve written seven books, thousands of articles, scripts, ad copy even lyrics. But I always found great editors who knew how to spell and, more importantly, who I trusted to understand my ‘voice’ and keep the phrasing completely conversational—that’s code for borderline illiterate where writers are concerned.
In fact, on my fourth book, I was crazy busy. Between the show, designing products and doing my one-man theater gig, there simply was no time to continually brow beat my publisher who hated my bad grammar. What she didn’t realize was that I was on TV ever-single day chatting like a magpie. Viewers would tell me that they could hear my voice in their heads as they shopped or did creative projects---how annoying. They were used to my patter, my cadence and my blah, blah, blah.
So, while on a national tour, Ms Grammar-Puss got out the red pencil, and did a number on the manuscript. She turned a breezy fun read into a sawdust-dry technical manual. Sure enough, we got literally thousands of letters from fans that told me I’d sold out and actually didn’t write the book at all. I was only saved by the photos, which were undeniably my designs. Well, nevertheless it cost me thousands of dollars in damage control and the book did okay but didn’t come close to the bestseller status I’d enjoyed up till then (writing badly). After that, the #*&^* left me alone LOL.
My point is I do this site because I like communicating with you alone, in my own, unfiltered, non-micromanaged voice while in planes, trains and automobiles. I want to share what I’ve learned after many years of research. Unlike the more corporate sits of the past, this one is really more of a journal and I do the best I can. So please, while I know so many of you are avid readers, no matter how hard I try there will always be bad grammar and typos---that’s code for “I can’t even decipher spell check.” I know you want me to appear as professional as possible and I do appreciate that, truly, and I hate to make you cringe. However part of my reinvention process this time, was to surrender my “control freak.” Let life happen rather than masterminding it.
See, I discovered that my need for perfection had robbed me of some critical joy and I didn’t even know it. My discernments about everything artistic were, in truth, judgments that in time, carried over into my private life---leaked into my overcompensating need for approval. That’s code for “I didn’t want anyone to know how severally dyslexic I am.” On TV, several times, I did fess up my handicap if only to assure viewers that we’re all insecure, but we can’t let it hold us back.
But now years later, now site, new generation, new transparency.
As I have moved forward, I’ve learned to see the world through many other lenses versus only the filter of my own eyes. In so doing, it’s upped my empathy, patients, my tolerance and my compassion. I can spot acts of individual courage quicker, I can see the honesty in efforts we often take for granted. It therefore allows me to be moved deeper, and more often, which does bring me greater joy. It’s also quieted my own fears and helped me gain personal acceptance that’s no longer measured by other’s judgments. So if you get the gist of what I’m trying to communicate and if offers insight, that’s really the whole point isn’t it?
As we all move forward in these absurd times, it will take all we can muster to see our commonalities rather than our differences. It will be up to us to offer the hand of human kindness first. We may have to lean in closer to hear the whispers of others and our own hearts.