Dyslexia: Overcoming obstacles
When you have a dream, you’ll do anything in your power to make it happen. Nothing will get in your way. Tatjana wouldn’t let dyslexia stop her pursuing her life long dream of writing a children’s book.
A Dutch behavioural therapist and mother, she loves her day job. Caring for the wellbeing of children is thoroughly rewarding but she has a different dream: becoming a children’s author.
She knows the importance of reading your kids a bedtime story and wants nothing more than to read her kids her own book. But it’s not easy being a mother of two, having a full time job, and writing a novel. It’s been a juggling act, as you can imagine she hasn’t had a lot of time for writing!
But she finished; the next hurdle, finding a publisher.
Tatjana goes to the Big Apple
Seeing her book in a New York book shop has always been a dream of hers so where better start the first step towards her dream than meeting a publisher there.
With the excitement bubbling she searched through our site until she found the perfect place for her trip.
Will NY live up to its city of dreams nickname for Tatjana?
An Interview With Tatjana:
Why was New York so influential to you as a child?
I’ve always had a thing for big cities. I love the vibrant energy. New York gets a lot of attention through movies and books that take place there. I had high expectations, but it was even better than expected.
Any advice for budding authors?
Follow a basic writing course so you do not fall into the beginner’s traps. But most of all, follow your heart and do not give up.
How do you balance your work/home/writing commitments?
I have three days to work on my book, the other days I take care of my family. During the days I spend alone with the boys we do fun things that can also bring inspiration for the book. Or I try to find solutions for dilemmas I came across in the book. I always have my notebook with me and write everything down.
What was the best thing about NYC?
The whole experience was very overwhelming, but the film shoot on the 52th floor was really out of this world.
Any advice for people who have to overcome obstacles to achieve their dreams?
Sometimes your obstacles in life are the greatest gifts you will get. It teaches you to experience things more intensely and appreciate things that other people take for granted. Don’t be afraid to fail, there is no shame in failure, just keep going until you reach your goal. Don’t care about what other people think, you only have a responsibility towards yourself and the biggest regrets in live will be not trying to achieve your dream.
What’s the next step for your book?
It’s still not at the level that I would want it to be. So for now I’m still polishing and sharpening. Then I hope to find a publisher who will publish. The book is beautiful and too good to only offer online.
Where do you go to find the inspiration for your book?
The setting of the story is inspired by my hometown and its rich history. Further inspiration comes from everyday life.
What was the thing that kept you writing?
Knowing that it’s now or never. Sometimes I get stuck in the storyline, I get tired of the story or I even hate it and don’t want to wright anymore. Normally I would give it a rest and pick up when I think I am ready again, but now I just move on. Nobody said this was going to be easy.
When did your love of writing start?
When I started working with children. Many of their problems you can fix through storytelling.
How many drafts did you write before getting a book you are happy with?
A lot. It’s incredible how much text has not made it into the book and how much I am probably still going to delete.
What were your favourite books growing up?
Narnia has always lingered in my memory. I forgot the name of the book, but I often dreamed about te story. But overall, I hated books when I was young, because it was very difficult for me to read.
Any advice for others with dyslexia?
You are not alone. More and more studies show that the brains of people with dyslexia learn differently. As a result there are difficulties with reading and writing. This does not mean you’re stupid, but that the current learning method isn’t perfect. I hope one day in the future there will be a learning method that meets the diverse learning ability of people that now get diagnosed with dyslexia so that this will be prevented.
Where else would you like to see your book?
I really hope it will be published in Dutch and English.
What is your ultimate dream as a children’s author?
That people love the book.
Does your day job help when writing with children in mind?
Definitely it has inspired me to start writing.
Have your children read your book? What do they think of it?
They are 1 and 2 years old. It will take a while before they can read it.
Is there much of a writing scene in Amsterdam?
I write from home in London.
Where are the best places to write?
At home without distractions.
What does travel mean to you? Why is it so important?
Traveling broadens your horizons. You learn to see the world and know his true form. I feel like a rich person in many ways to have been able to see so much of the world. It is important to know that you have a privileged position in the world so you can be grateful for this.
How does the world and traveling inspire your writing?
Everything is an inspiration. But if you’re traveling to foreign countries you step outside your normal paths and you experiences new things that inspire. Sometimes these are big things like landscapes you have never seen, but I also love the little things that someone you meet during your travels can tell you. Especially other cultures and their values are fascinating. The new insights they give you are a true blessing.
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