I realise that I take for granted the things my father taught me about writing and publishing. Growing up I knew that I wanted to draw cartoons and comics. My father nurtured that. With his background in journalism, he taught me things. Important things.
From a young age he drilled into my head that you need to have someone look at your work before you send it out into the world. If you can’t get someone else to do it, then you take at least a day and come back to it afterwards. But whatever you do. Proofread and edit your work!
I would ask him later on, what about spell check? Isn’t that enough? No, he’d reply. Spell check does not notice grammatical errors in your work. It also doesn’t see words that are used incorrectly in a sentence.
Years later, I work a day job as an Office Admin and I can tell you, spell check in Word doesn’t even always turn on when it’s clicked to on. I’ve sent out a few invoices with typos that should have been caught but weren’t due to glitchy software. Which is why I save everything I am going to send out to draft and then quickly review it myself before I send it out.
If you are an aspiring writer, then my advice to you is:
- Take time away from your work after you’ve written it.
- Read your work once you’ve had at least a 24 break.
- Then if you are able to, get another set of eyes on it. Anyone capable of reading who is willing to look at your work and correct you.
In this day and age, there is no excuse for badly edited work.