A few weeks ago, my editor was unavailable which left me self-proofreading. It’s not advised but I wanted to get some helpful and engaging content out to you all. I had been nervous about sending my first unedited post but I braved the ‘Publish’ button, ultimately making mistakes.
Disappointingly, my fears were realised when it immediately received two comments that said nothing about the post other than corrections that should be made. At first, I didn’t mind but then I thought about it… They wrote a comment only to correct my human error. The way it was phrased felt blunt, rude and critical. It was as if the commenters felt that they had never written anything incorrectly before. Making mistakes in writing is so common for small and large bloggers and even in books.
All of your ‘perfect’ books have gone through at least three people, as do many professional articles. Author, editor and proofreader. Not to mention that it costs a great deal to hire both of those.
I will tell all you lovely readers that I am open to constructive criticism. Go ahead, tell me what I could amend but also tell me what I should continue to do.
How do I spell check?
I don’t. I’m awful at it.
It’s a pet peeve of mine. I can proofread other people’s work but not my own. And that is why I get Amy to do it. But Amy has been moving back home from University and without the internet over the past few weeks so I’ve had to rely on spell check and Grammarly. Never get technology to do a person’s job (I just proofread that and before I changed it, it said, “To do a person job.”)
In blogging – and writing of any kind – you quickly learn how hard it is to self-spell check. It is why you need an editor and proofreader when doing this professionally.
A BIT SLOW
I’ve always been slow at reading and writing. I was behind at school and had booster classes to help build up my skills. Still, my confidence has never been 100% when looking at the written word. It’s hard to explain but all the words seem to just mould together, scramble and read completely different things in my mind to what’s on paper.
I have never been tested for dyslexia. That’s not to say I don’t have some writing difficulty. I actually have many of these traits, which is hard for someone who enjoys blogging and works in marketing.
I’m not writing for a business here. When I am writing sponsored post or writing a piece of copy for work, I get someone else to check it.
I re-read my posts back. Once or twice. But more often than not I just don’t spot errors. It’s human error and I make the mistake of relying on technology to fix any cock-ups I’ve made.
Before you go correcting someone on their spelling or phrasing in a blunt, authoritative manner, re-think how you could word it – if you need to mention it at all. Because, when all you’re doing is picking at errors without commenting on any other aspect of a post or content, it’s negative.
It can affect others differently. For example, those comments made me feel very anxious. The same feeling I get when I receive messages saying links aren’t working. Someone had actually once said I was ‘scamming’ them into subscribing. I panic and I get worried that I’m being seen as a fraud. God knows why but I do.
I really don’t know how bigger bloggers deal with this everyday criticism and nitpicking. I find it hard without taking it extremely personally. I’m sure there are others who are trying to improve themselves in the writing department or are trying to read more but when someone corrects them so bluntly it can be hard.
What seems simple, self-explanatory to you is something that is hard to recognise for others.
Humans mess up every day. No matter what they do. As long as no lives are at risk, it can be fixed. In my job in London, I was constantly being put down for all sorts. Spelling a name wrong, copying in the wrong person… It became a crippling fear where I ended up making more and more errors because of how nervous I was.
I knew I made mistakes but to me, it wasn’t dealt with as well as it should’ve been. I was given a warning at one point which gave me my first panic attack since I was twelve. What bothered me later on in the job was that my superior, who I adored, made a major error. And I mean a big one. And I was blamed until it came to light it wasn’t me. Now this wasn’t a spelling error or forgetting to send an email. It was a big deal. And nothing happened.
I didn’t want her to get in trouble but me being blamed with the potential of losing my job and then nothing being done made me feel pretty shit.
The point is, we all make mistakes. Big or small. And when it’s something big, it should be dealt with properly. If it’s a spelling mistake on a blog post or in a letter, it’s nothing to concern yourself over. But that’s not to say I don’t want to get better.
I know I need to check over my work. I’m too impatient, that’s my issue. It’s taken this long for me to finally realise that maybe I’m not as good as I thought. I’m making it my mission to get better at it but I’m not going to cry over it.
I love all of you lovely readers and I hope you feel you can be honest with me. Constructive criticism is always welcome because it will one day pay off. You will get better content with fewer screw-ups and Amy will be out of a job! Ha ha.