Yesterday morning, I re-read Monday’s post, and found myself very embarrassed by the grammar errors it contained. Since this site has developed into a “how I am learning to write” blog, I am particularly disappointed in myself.
So here is one point that I feel obliged to make: edit your post before you publish it. I did not do that yesterday, mostly because I was writing it in a hurry between appointments. But that is a poor excuse. I could have saved it as a draft, and returned to it later. I probably would have added a photo of the Lego set for some visual interest, too. Instead, I published a post that had grammar errors, wrong words (thank you, auto-complete), and at least two transitional errors that made the story read less smoothly than it should have. Unfortunately, errors are distracting to many readers, especially those people with degrees in any field of English. I wasn’t an English major, but from junior high through graduate school, editing was highly stressed in all my classes that required some writing ability. That means all my classes except for pure math or statistics courses. So typos and grammar errors are particularly embarrassing to me. Besides, I often find myself stopped cold while reading novels that were poorly or not professionally edited–including works by some significant authors. Many of the latter are barely proof-read beyond the first half of the book anyway, which annoys me to no end–especially when the author contradicts him/herself on a descriptive point or previous action by a different character. My memory may not be what it used to be, so I find myself checking back for the original reference to see if it’s me or the author.
A lot of people can catch their errors by reviewing the “writing page;” but I am not one of them. I am one of those people who needs to review her work in Preview mode to catch errors. Why? I don’t know–probably some disconnect between one or more brain cells. We all have our little qwerks, and that happens to be one of mine. The point is that I did not take the time to review, and therefore published a post that could have–no, should have– been better.
So if you are following my blog because it has become a record of how my writing is improving, I apologize for the flaws in Monday’s post. At some point, I will return to that post and add a section of corrected work. Not today, though. It’s another time-restricted day.
With deepest apologies,
This post, and the comments following it, gives me a real sense of community today. I have cringed at spelling errors, grammatical mistakes, and even a post or two that were published when they were only about half completed.
I am not an accomplished writer, but I think that writing may be like many other professions in at least one way. Learning comes mainly by doing. Not doing because of a fear of mistakes doesn’t get anything done.
So true! Thankfully, most of us also don’t mind correcting and republishing! One fear–fear of making mistakes–is already too many. On the other hand, one of the reasons I don’t mind correcting is because too many electronic devices refuse to accept your correction no matter how many times you fix them. I still can’t figure out why spell-Che key sometimes changes a word after it has already been re-corrected by me several times. 😕
Spell Che key is a perfect example of what my iPad does to my words afterI’ve pressed the Send key.
No apologies are necessary, as I do know the feeling.
I have re-read my earlier blog postings and cringed in horror when I see, the grammar and misspelled words.
I have several past English teachers who are literally rolling in their graves, knowing I did not revise and edit. Since I began blogging, I simply walk away from the document over a period of hours to see and find my mistakes upon return. I also use a grammar checking site to assist me in catching my mistakes.
So, Eleanore, do not feel bad about your mistakes, especially when you are truly aspiring to improve. I love your site and I will follow you journey.
Thanks! As you can see by comments below, we are not alone!
I always write posts in Word first, then copy them into the posts page and always re-read in Preview before posting. But I am a bit of an over-editor. And I still make typos!
And as you say, software doesn’t always pick up if you use the wrong word – I used ‘ravaged’ in a post title the other week when I clearly meant ‘ravished’. Had to go back and edit afterwards. Frustrating, but human 🙂
Hello, Lynn. Thanks for your comment. Frustrating is the key word! Thanks for sharing your experiences, helping me know I’m not alone in this “affliction.” 😉
It happens to us all – to me, regularly!
So true. I also review in Preview and immediately after Publish. I always find something that needs editing.
So nice to hear I’m not alone in that “frailty.” Thanks for sharing!
Nice to know you’re human, Dr. E. 🙂 For me, the creative process can get bogged down by the picayune task of editing. I tend to think it’s better to get it out it all out on paper imperfectly than to wait until I have time to make it just so.
Wish I could do that, Lois! I’d have a lot less anxiety. 🙂
I am like you, for my own work. It’s different when we’re proofing someone else’s, but our own is so very difficult to catch the most simple typos, because we know what we meant to write, and that is what we read, even though it isn’t what is actually written.
Still, I actually don’t see my mistakes until I hit publish, and I read it right then, and see what has gone wrong. I know there will be some who will read it before I finish editing, but it is the way it is when we don’t have an editor. I do see it differently when it’s published. Mostly because it’s in a different format. My brain picks out what it couldn’t, for some reason, while it was in my editor, or even in my word doc.
So true, Fimnora! Thanks for sharing your own experiences. I don’ think I have many posts that haven’t been edited at least once. 😐