Posts Tagged ‘Content’

Tips to Avoid Typos

Editing

We’ve all been there. You spend time and effort to write an article you can be proud of, click publish, and then sit back and wait for the likes to roll in. Suddenly a comment pops up.

Oh crap, there’s a typo. And someone’s pointing it out.

How could that be? My guess is rushing. For me that’s par for the course because I rather fancy myself the queen of procrastination. The faster a deadline approaches the quicker my fingers fly across the keyboard at a fevered pace. Mr. Flynn, my eighth grade typing teacher, would be proud.

Yes, I know that dates me.

But that flurry to pound out an article, whether for self-publication or for profit, tends to sometimes cause us to skim over things instead of really proofing what we’ve written. What’s the solution? Well, it’s not foolproof, but these are my steps.

  • After you’re completely done writing and formatting, run the document through a review. Have it spell-checked and tested for grammar. I read an article yesterday on LinkedIn where there were several words missing from a paragraph. Puzzling.
  • If you have time, set it aside and come back to it. Even if it’s just a quick stroll down the hall for a drink of water, a few minutes away often provides fresh eyes.
  • If you’re copying and pasting to another site like LinkedIn or WordPress, read your article again in the preview format. Sometimes funny things happen, maybe you’ll catch an error you missed in the first reading.
  • Read it one more time—out loud. Yes, I know that’s a little repetitive, but you’ll be surprised how often you find errors when you read something out loud. Even if you’re mumbling it under your breath, if it doesn’t flow right, that is when you’ll catch it. And better then than after you’ve hit publish. This is where I typically find the their/there or your/you’re errors.

I’m not crazy enough to think all my writing has been error-free. But there’s a part of me that is extremely obsessive about typos. I cringe when I find them in past articles. And yes, sometimes I even go back and correct them, even though no one else will probably ever see them.

Reading and re-reading has made me a better writer. I don’t always agree with the grammar rules, but then I’ve always been a bit of a rebel. There’s a little bit of picking and choosing, but mostly I stick to the old school lessons and what is commonly accepted as the norm.

Before I step off my soapbox, if you’re going to take the time to write something, write it right. I’m not talking about posting a status update on social media or sending an informal email to a friend. But if you’re posting an article on a platform in which you would like to be seen as a professional, or someone capable of providing content, it’s worth the work.

If someone found a typo in your published work would you want to know? Just asking for my inner proofreader.

 

Roxanne Wilmes is a freelance writer, author, ghostwriter, and thirty year survivor of the restaurant and hospitality industry currently with AmericInn Hotel & Suites.

 

 

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When Content Trumps Mechanics

LettersThe other day I read an amazing story written by someone I know. The content of the story was gut-wrenching. The mechanics, however, were painful.

As a writer, I find it very difficult to turn off my internal editor.  When I’m participating in National Novel Writing Month, it comes down to writing as fast as possible and typos be damned.  The only thing that could hamper your effort is when your brain starts dictating faster than your fingers can fly across the keyboard.

Yes, that happens.

But in day-to-day writing I typically edit as I go, doing a couple checks after it’s finished and before it’s published.  However, not everyone has that same anal-retentive need to scour pages for typos.  Hey, I get it; some people can let it go.  Me? Not so much.

The story I mentioned was so filled with passion and emotion that I found myself nearly speed-reading to see what would happen next.  Where would they go?  Would he find more trouble?  It’s that kind of “super-content” that lets me push that internal editor out the window and just enjoy the story.  Know what I mean?

Those are the kinds of stories that I really love.  When you’re just so enthralled and into the story that you feel like you’re almost a part of it; you’re sad when you reach the end.  You don’t care if there’s punctuation other than an occasional period involved, let alone worry about an Oxford comma or semicolon.  You’ve shut off the inner monologue, put down your always-at-the-ready red editing pen, and settled in for the sheer joy of the story.

Yep, that’s when you know the content trumps the mechanics.  Cheers to those who write.  And don’t fret, there’s always spell-check.