“Proofread carefully to see if you any words out.” Author Unknown
Lately, I have been blogging more often because I have had the time and a lot on my mind. But, I have also found that the editing process has become more elusive.
The mind sometimes moves fast and as thoughts are pouring out and the fingers are in motion, words are invariably left out. Take a look at the opening quote.
Some suggest that we read our copy back out loud. Once during a proofreading job, we always worked in two’s. One read orally to another to try to catch any mistakes. We were dealing with legal jargon and mistakes were simply unacceptable.
So, what is a writer to do? The art of writing itself is not an easy task. Gloria Steinem put it this way, “I do not like to write. I like to have written.”
Others may enjoy what we have written, but it is a process. First, we must have something to write about which we hope will capture an audience. Then, we must add some substance to the piece and try to create an interest in our readers.
Putting pen to paper can be a real challenge. Everyone has thoughts and things that they think about, but to actually pen those thoughts is an entirely different undertaking. Nathaniel Hawthorne reminded us, “Easy reading is darn hard writing.”
Yet, in the process, I always look back after posting and see words left out or extra words because we not only write, we must type or enter the words on a keyboard. This adds to the possibility for more mistakes! “Many writers profess great exactness in punctuation who never yet made a point,” says George Dennison Prentice.
As a more frequent blogger who has many ideas to share, please bear with me if you see a few errors. I strongly believe that a second pair of eyes is needed for that extra scrutiny. Spell check has its advantages, but it may not catch omitted words or extra words for that matter.
Currently, I am reading The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin and as he was becoming a writer, his father saw some of the flaws in his writing. He said, “I saw the justice of his remarks and thence grew more attentive in writing and determined to endeavor at improvement.”
Yes, writing and authorship are a brave feat and even the best writers have great editors. It is our task to impart our feelings, observations or share some new information. But, the great Shelby Foote put it simply when he said, “Everyone needs an editor!”
Lynn August 10, 2014