Ok, it’s not going to be War & Peace – you just want to get your blog out there! No reason why you shouldn’t proofread your own work before it goes live. But a word or two of advice:
Thinking about the next step towards publishing your book?
Probably you’ve been advised to have someone cast a fresh eye over your writing to weed out any typos or smooth your grammar before it goes to print, but you might be hesitating because of the cost.
Is it worth it? you ask.
What does a proofreader do that the spellcheck can’t?
I’m going to share with you an interview I participated in a while ago: I was asked by a writer for my thoughts and experiences from this side of the laptop – looking at a new manuscript lovingly created by someone like you, now feeling nervous about entrusting it to a stranger with a red pen! (Well, red font I suppose).
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I would imagine proofreaders are easily able to put themselves in the shoes of a writer. To help a writer like me to see the process from your point of view, tell me some of the challenges you face as a proofreader.
Does it matter what your body language says?
The type of art that uses the body as a canvas to express someone’s feelings about something important in life. Some use it just to adorn themselves, like a permanent necklace or a bracelet. I’m not talking about piercings here, but tattoos, which are by no means a new fad – people have been applying permanent etchings to their skin for thousands of years.
In the past ten or twenty years though, this has become almost a fashion, like the mini skirt of the sixties or the ruffles and bows of the New Romantics in the eighties. But this is a fashion that you can’t discard: you can only embellish, add to or remove painfully.
Tattoos for cosmetic purposes
Maybe tattoos are a Marmite thing – love them or hate them. Opinions are definitely divided, and while some regard them as beautiful works of art, others see them as a
You’ve read it and re-read it, you left it a day or so to see it with a fresh eye, you even got your partner to proofread it. And before that, you were responding to the red and green wiggly lines screaming at you from beneath your typing. But, you wonder, does it really matter?
So you publish it. It’s your latest blog or a new page on your website. Or it’s a novel that you’ve finally, FINALLY, managed to send to a publishing house.
And then the shame!
A different kind of post from me today, to tell you about my day at the Darling Buds of May Farm writer’s retreat.
You might remember a very lovely, gentle TV series starring David Jason and a very young Catherine Zeta-Jones, based on the stories by H.E.Bates about a Kentish farmer and his ever-growing family, the “deals” he struck (an early Del-boy character I think!) and the enviable fun and loving relationship the farmer Sidney Larkin had with his wife and children.
It was memorable for the setting in which the series was filmed, an old country farm complete with roses growing over the door, farm animals and geese wandering freely, a duckpond, and seemingly, forever summer. It certainly left an impression on me, and of course, launched Catherine Zeta-Jones to the fame she now enjoys.
Last week I had the opportunity to spend a glorious, hot, summer day at this very lovely venue myself, Buss Farm, near Ashford in Kent. As well as a wonderful B&B, some of the outbuildings have been converted into workshop premises for training courses. On this occasion, I was learning how to write a book and publish it. As I work with writers who are keen to have their books edited and then see their books in print, I am often asked how to go about finding a publisher and I decided I needed to gather the information to help my clients do just that, rather than just wielding my red pen, proofreading their typos and spelling mistakes.
It would take me too long to tell you all about it – suffice to say it was an excellent day learning how easy it is to self-publish, and money well-spent. Follow this link to all the courses available with the Internet Business School.
Not ready yet?
If you are not yet ready to publish, you will no doubt need a proofreader to fine tune your manuscript. Contact me and we can talk about font and formatting, and if you wish, I can walk you through the whole process of getting your book out there on Amazon.
When you’ve drafted an article, leave it for a couple of hours, or overnight before you continue or decide to publish it.
When you open up that draft article again, you will have “slept on it”; the images in your mind will have developed, like photographs, the words you wrote about them will have dried on the paper, the file you created will have been safely saved.
Not every writer chooses to hire a professional proofreader for copy-editing. But I’m not just talking to novelists or journalists: I’m talking to website owners as well!
The content of your website has every reason to be as accurate as a published book or hard copy magazine – it’s the window to your world and it really matters. Reasons cited for not bothering to have work proofread are valid and varied:
“I can’t afford an editor.”
“True, I make a few mistakes, but not enough to need one.”
“That’s just my style, it’s the way I write.”
“I’m going for a casual, more talky style.”
“Nobody will notice – most people aren’t as picky as you.”
Probably the most common reason for hoping to do without an editor to copy-edit is
Right from the start, let me state that I am no snob regarding my love of English, it’s just what I know best due to the chance location of my birthplace.
It’s a dreadfully complex language, made up of so many historical influences and invasions, therefore anyone who learns English as a foreign language has my admiration!
But if English writers
Some will guess what’s coming, others won’t even recognise it, so neglected and abused has it become in the last decade.
I feel so hugely defensive and have a fierce need to protect it – there is actually a Protection Society for it with thousands of members!
It’s only tiny, but such a clever little thing. Sometimes it sits toward the back, and sometimes right at the back, as it doesn’t demand too much attention, and makes no noise at all. In fact it’s so quiet that people have started to ignore it completely – with devastating consequences!
Mostly it helps us out with two important things: it can help us with ownership, or possession. The other thing is it reminds us that something’s missing.
What the blazes am I talking about? A yapping chihuahua? A 21st century memory chip?