Linda Maye Adams

The way things are supposed to be and the way they are


If you’re even a little bit different, if you don’t quite fit in with what’s normal, you end up in this weird sort of between. You have to find a way for things to work as they are and the way they’re supposed to be, and yet, people will still insist you’re doing it wrong.

I’m a visual spatial and kinesthetic learner.

Visual Spatial means I see in pictures. Where other people might read a word by sounding it out, I have to get a picture.

Kinesthetic means that I learn hands on.

A teacher in a business class I attended said this was a tough combination. They’re constantly at war with each other. Truthfully, that doesn’t even include the conflicts with the rest of the world.

SPELLING FOR A VISUAL SPATIAL

I’m a writer and I’m not a great speller. It’s because I have trouble connecting to the picture of the words. When other people read, they sound out the word. I get a picture. The whole process happens so fast that I hop over words as i read, absorbing them in an instant and then moving on.

It creates havoc on the spelling side. There are some words I can’t associate with a picture because they’re too abstract. Other words have abstract spelling. So I’ll be working on a story and stall at a word while I search for a picture to get the spelling of the word. Sometimes all I can do is type in something that’s a close approximation to get close enough for the spell checker to pick up the right word.

But try getting words wrong in any environment. You’re labeled sloppy, careless, or not trying hard enough.

KINESTHETIC AND LEARNING

The world has gone to the land of online classes. You don’t have to show up at a specific time; you can just tune into your computer and listen to a lecture. Most of the ones I end up having to take as work requirements have a module where there are lots of flashy pictures while a narrator drones on.

The Visual Spatial me hates the pictures. They’re often those generic pictures with people sitting at desks, smiling at the camera. They look nice, but they don’t mean anything in learning the material.

The Kinesthetic me hates the narrator droning. I’m just supposed to sit there and listen? There’s nothing actually to do? It’s not even letting me simply read it. Unfortunately, this is the fault of the people who want to “check the box.” It’s to prevent them from clicking through the material without actually looking at it.

The result is that I’m not getting much out of the training because no one’s really thinking about my learning type. It’s not that hard. If you’re going to spend the time on the pictures, pick ones that contribute to the learning, not just look pretty.

WRITING ORGANICALLY

Then there’s writing. I’m guessing the way I write is a result of the blend of visual spatial and kinesthetic. I don’t use an outline, and moreover, I can’t. It destroys something in the creative process for me that only the actual writing gives me.

The people who need outlines don’t get this. At all.

I wouldn’t have a problem with this because I don’t get how someone can outline a story out without having the story. But I understand from both being a visual spatial learner and a kinesthetic learner that everyone processes things differently. That’s reasonable.

A common saying is “Whatever works.”

Yet, the minute outliners find out a writer doesn’t outline, there’s a recurring theme:

  • Organic writers are broken.
  • Their stories are always a mess.
  • It’s wrong to go off on tangents or rabbit trails.
  • It’s wrong to need revision.
  • Organic writers need to learn how to outline and write the correct way.

Really?

What happened to “Whatever works”?

It’s a challenge for those are of us who don’t fit in the standard. The world wants to push us to the standard, and yet, the between is where the true creativity is born.

This is from a prompt over at The Daily Post on “Between.”  I’m a writer, so I wanted to paint a picture with words rather than a photograph.

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