Have you ever found yourself reading something totally awesome, only to become distracted by a silly flaw in the writing? It can be some poor punctuation (or lack thereof), a run-on sentence, a misspelled word, etc. In spite of how any writer can make these simple mistakes, it’s hard (at least for me) to not immediately write someone off as an amateur.
Maybe that’s rude of me. The thing is, if you’re looking to become a successful author (like yours truly), an editor will judge you exactly the same way!
Well, say you aren’t trying to become a successful author. Neglecting to proofread is still a bad habit, and it still makes for poor writing. Do you WANT to be written off as a “bad writer”? Of course not!
Don’t Be Lazy
Like I said, most of the mistakes that we make when we write without editing are simple, easy-fix mistakes…which means that the amount of effort to find and correct these mistakes is small. This isn’t rocket science.
“I told, him, that he was wrong”
I see stuff like this all the time. Is it that hard to spot the error? Nope. Is it that hard to fix it? Uh, nope! Remove those commas!
The truth is, not proofreading your work is an example of LAZY writing.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m lazy too. Sometimes I’ll be in a hurry. Or sometimes I’m so confident that my writing is PERFECT, and proofreading is unnecessary.
*rolls eyes* As if THAT mentality is going to get me anywhere.
Some people complain and say that they can’t focus. They read everything over too quickly and they’ll miss something like this:
“He was going to zoo”
Mentally, a lot of us will insert the word “the” before “zoo”. We know “the” is supposed to be there. If we’re flying through a paragraph, it’s easy to miss something like that. Does this excuse that this sentence is still wrong? Unfortunately, no.
Discipline yourself. Take a deep breath and read things SLOWLY. A great way to proofread your work is to read it out loud. My brother suggested this to me a while back, and it really works! It’s a lot harder to mentally add words that should be there when you are orally reading something.
An Editor Can Do This For Me
This is another example of lazy writing…only there would appear to be a loop-hole. We think we can escape proofreading if we have an editor.
Well, when you become Stephen King, you can do that. Forget editing, you can hire someone to proofread your work.
Are you Stephen King? I thought not. So you’d better proofread 🙂
You’ll never become a better writer if you neglect the tedious process of editing your own work. You’ll never become good at spotting your own flaws, which is something that we all need to learn to do. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes editing is a straight up pain in the butt.
So get to the point where you can love editing! Where you can love crafting a beautiful, perfect sentence, and everything flows together in a way that is totally of your creation!
If you don’t give the effort to proofread, why will an editor? If you love your writing, you’ll edit. You’ll critique yourself. You’ll make it better on your own.
Don’t wait for an editor. Proofread. (And do us all a favor) 😉
What do you think?