Hi my name is Dave and I am a generator of typos. I feel the need to admit that up front before I go into today’s post, because there is some hypocrisy in this post.
The other night I was surfing around Amazon.com, looking for some books on creativity that I could load to my Kindle for my trip. And then I found it. A free creativity book and not just a free book but a free short book. I like this type of manifesto style book because it allows me to absorb the information quickly and put it to work. I downloaded and, forget the trip, I read it that evening. It wasn’t bad. I didn’t learn a lot from it, but that was largely because the writer and I seem to be on the same page and it was obvious from the content that he and I must read a lot of the same people.
There was an issue though and I have to say it really threw me. It was chock full of typos and some really twisted sentences. Now again, I struggle with this as well and I have put out a few things, proofed them carefully and then read the finished product and saw things I missed. It can be maddening.
You might notice I didn’t share the name of the book or author. That’s because in spite of it’s flaws, it does have some pretty good information and I wouldn’t want some typos to keep you from checking it out. As I read the book, I kept thinking the same thing, “This guy needs an editor.” So do I and, most likely, so do you. Here’s what happens. You write a piece, knowing exactly what you want to say. If you proof it yourself, you’re likely to miss errors because, again, you already know what you were trying to communicate. An editor does not have that luxury. They are reading your information for the first time and if something is unclear, or misspelled, or grammatically incorrect, it will stand out to them a lot more quickly. An editor can be your best friend.
Now please note, I can’t afford an editor for this blog, but I trust you all will let me know if I do something wrong, but for a book, especially in a day when writers live or die by their reviews, an editor is defintely worth the effort and expense. If that is out of your price range, at least share your work with a few trusted (and grammatically gifted) friends before you hit “publish.”
The book I read was good, but the errors would have made many quit or worse yet trash the author in the reviews. Taking a few precautions would have made it a lot better.
It’s just like in math class… Check your work!