Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Insecure Writer's Support Group: I'm Not . . .

Please click here for a list to visit the other insecure writers. Yes, we need your love. Insecure Writer's Support Group was created by the awesome Alex J. Cavanaugh.

Although the Insecure Writer's Support Group has been going on for a few months, this is my first post with them, and I have a confession. Yes, this confessions may shock and amaze you (Yeah, right!), but here it goes. I'm not . . . perfect.

Phew! There, I said it.

Yeah, yeah, I know. No one's perfect. Hence why we probably need the support group, right? But the problem is that I feel like I have to be perfect. Why? Well, because I'm a writer AND an editor. You know what I fear about being both of those things. Typos. Yeah, I said it. I'm afraid of the "typo." I'm human, far from perfect. I don't know everything, although I like to try, but I'm afraid a typo can destroy two careers with one mistake.

If I have typos, then I'm not only a bad writer but a bad editor and vice versa.

Oh, and I have had typos on this blog, even in published stories. I still cringe from them. If I miss something, I do beat myself up for it for days, weeks, months! Oh, who am I kidding? I still feel bad about them. Sometimes it gets to the point where I'm afraid to send my work to my critique partners. They are great people. I love them, but I'm afraid that if they find a typo (and they do happen), then they'll wonder what kind of critique partner I am to them, what kind of editor I am. I'm not even sure I want to mention that I'm a freelance editor to agents and publishers that I hope to query one day for the fact that if I make a mistake, then I'm bad at writing AND editing.

It's a lot of pressure, especially for something as silly as a typo.

Do you worry about such little things as a typo? Or are you more big picture worriers?

36 comments:

Rachel said...

I worry about typos, because I proofread by listening to my screen reader software read my writing back to me. I catch most mistakes, but I'm always afraid some incredibly stupid-looking typo will get past me, and then everybody will think, "OHH, that poor blind girl, she must not know how to type." LOL!
But I can let go of typo errors easier than I can let go of "big picture" worries about my writing.

Miranda Hardy said...

Yes, I worry about typos and grammar. I can't help it. It's natural.

Christine Rains said...

Pshaw. You're a fantastic CP! :) Don't worry about the typos. I miss them too. I worry more about holes in the plot and missing vital parts of a story.

Aubrie said...

Awww....that's what CP's are here for: to find those typos you overlooked!

Don't worry about it!

Summer Ross said...

I am right there with you! It seems to me the smaller details of writing effect the career in a big way. But perfection is impossible for a writer- even if there are no typo's I always find something I want to change after a piece has already been published- sometimes it's a word that sounds so wrong in the piece I couldn't believe I missed it!

But with everything in life- if you focus to hard on the little hings you might miss the bigger picture.

Rachel Morgan said...

Heck, yes, I worry about typos! Especially since I consider myself something of a perfectionist. My work would NEVER have a typo in it! (Ha, yeah right!)
Hopefully the people that you edit/critique for understand that EVERYONE is human (even you!) and that a teeny typo is not the end of the world. It happens!

Julie said...

Oh, this is my first month participating in the Insecure Group as well. Glad I'm not the only one just getting started. As for the typos, I totally obsess over them. I have found typos in my blog posts and get so angry at myself. It seems no matter how many times I check something, I still can miss typos or errors. I can sure understand why an editor is so important!

Amy Jarecki said...

Oh yeah, I'm totally neurotic about typos, plus I have a slight touch of dyslexia, so I'm super sensitive about spelling - I have to fix errors immediately even when I'm on a writing roll!

Amy

Nicole Zoltack said...

I could have written this post - I feel exactly the same way! When people ask me what I do (which I always say stay-at-home mom first) I say author. I don't always mention the editor side. And typos bother the heck out of me!

M.J. Fifield said...

I worry about typos a lot. And I hate finding them in past blog posts. Or anywhere else really. So know you're not alone...

Brinda said...

I want to stab myself when I find stupid errors in my work. I've been told that our brains skim over our own work and we fill in words and ignore others. This statement (whether true or not) is the only thing that keeps me sane as a former English teacher.

Sherri said...

Absolutely! I do worry about typos. The more I brush up on grammar the more paranoid I become about making a mistake. It's a bit of a vicious circle since I love words and I love to write. :-)

Misha Gericke said...

Well, I've sort of resigned myself to the fact that typos slip through my writing, so it doesn't bother me when my CPs pick up on one.

After all, part of the reason why I have other people read my work is so that I limit the odds that a mistake will carry all the way through the story.

:-)

Jan Morrison said...

nah - I can't spell, I put in too many or not enough commas, and so forth. It is definitely the big picture that causes me to flail and falter...ah well, vive la difference!

kmckendry said...

I worry about typos and grammar to the point that sometimes it takes me far too long to even write a blog post because I keep going over it!--Funny thing I just had 3 typos in this comment! but I fixed them.

Krista said...

I don't worry about typos. But I was born without the spelling gene - so I have made alot of spelling mistakes and typos in my life. I worry about the big picture.

The is a plus side though -- I always forgive other's typos -- even on blog posts :)

Sarah Ahiers (Falen) said...

i'm a big picure kind of worrier. I mean, a typo might disappoint me, but i usually I can just shrug it off

Tara Tyler said...

hate typos! i re-read emails several times and might still end up with one from a revision! drives me nuts! and spell check can't do it all. with blogging, i will correct a published post until it's right!

comments i dont worry about as much =)
you kno what i mean!

Patricia Lynne said...

I used to worry about typos, but I managed to get over that worry once I convinced myself that everyone makes typos. Not that I still don't cringe when I find a typo or someone points out a typo in, say, my published book. But typos can be fixed, so I try to remember that.

Nicki Elson said...

I'm a writer and editor too, and I totally know what you mean about the extra pressure! But the thing is, as an author we're too close to the work to be able to catch all the little things and even some of the bigger things. Which is why EVERYONE needs an editor - even editors who are also writers.

Nancy Thompson said...

Ha ha! I'm not an editor yet I still cringe when I see an error or typo in my own work. But that's the thing: we are human and therefore NOT perfect. Very far from it. We'd be boring as hell if we were. So revel in your imperfections. It's what makes you you.

BTW, I'm a new follower via Alex's IWSG. As a lifetime member, I'd like to welcome to the group.

The Golden Eagle said...

I worry about typos all the time. Sometimes the overall novel is the main thought on my mind . . . but once that's over with, there's something else (like typos) to panic over, it seems.

Ciara said...

Yes, and after finding a typo on page one of a book, I'm even more concerned. Yep, page one. Not one other typo in it, according to all who have read it. But, did it have to be on page one. The sad thing is the editor, nor I, nor the proof reader caught it. Ugh! Oh well, I'm over it now. Don't worry, if your story is good, no one cares about the typos.

Marta Szemik said...

I have typos on my blog all the time! I hate it and I know it's all my fault because I type quickly and sometimes fail to proof before posting. And, if it's in the middle of the night I just miss it. It's like eating sand. So don't worry, you're not the only one and like Ciara said, if the story is good, people will continue reading.

Melissa Bradley said...

I worry about typos and the big picture. I'm a mess. :) I worry so much sometimes that I self edit as I write and take forever and a day to get out even a paragraph sometimes. I think it;s part of the reason why I have not written anything in 6 weeks. I've got to ease up on myself this year so that I can get some projects finished at least.

Rusty Webb said...

Ha! Typos, I don't think I've ever had one. Not even one. And that's teh truth.

Well, I've made my peace with them. I hat them too, but I don't have any sort of editing cred to worry about so I just do my best and move on from there.

Thanks for friending me on Goodreads, I feel just a bit more more like a human because of it.

Jennee said...

Oh yes, the dreaded typo... I make plenty of those. But then, when I read a book and see one by someone much more talented than me, I don't feel so bad! lol. Don't be so hard on youself, that's what the rest of the world is for! haha!

Trisha said...

Oh yes, I totally worry about typos. I'm a perfectionist when it comes to writing. But yes, I make typos too. It happens. Sometimes you can write a word correctly 50 times and on the 51st you'll get it wrong (typo).

I can definitely understand your added worry, being an editor and all. But just know that you're not alone! hehe

Iain Edward Henn said...

I worry about big picture and typos...does that qualify me for the Insecure Writers thingy?

Once I've completed all my rewrites I'll still go back through on a mad typo hunt!:)

Lauren Alissa Hunter said...

Oh gosh typos. You always think you're beyond them, and then someone e-mails you about your manuscript and says "What, exactly, is a secret SEEPER?"

KEEPER, dangit. Secret Keeper.

Happens to us all, worth worrying about to a certain extent, but voice and story are the most important elements!

farawayeyes said...

Never thought about the kind of pressure it would cause for you to be an editor and a writer. I figure it's like the game show Jeopardy. When your sitting in your living room watching you know every answer, but just let them get you up there on the screen and you're bound to draw a blank over the most simple thing.

We don't see our own mistakes the way we pick out others. Personally, I think you're awesome. Don't sweat it. (Yeah,I know easier said than done.) Wear the hat you need at the time and leave the other one in the closet.

Meredith said...

Ugh, typos. They're the worst! But the good news is, everyone makes them. So I wouldn't worry too much. :)

dadwhowrites said...

IWSG type passing through...

Do I worry about typos? Oh God, yes! My day involves working with people who take a positive delight in pointing out typos. It's an academic environment of hyper-literacy and its denizens can get very hyper about grammar and usage indeed. Chances of sharing my writing with anyone I work with? Er, pretty much zero.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I'm always on a hunt and destroy mission to find typos. You shouldn't feel too bad if you have them, though. After all, editing our own work is difficult!

tfwalsh said...

That's a lot of pressure you're placing yourself under... remember you're not a robot, but human. And I'm pretty sure no one judges you... Remember you're pretty awesome just as you are:)

C D Meetens said...

I worry about typos, and I feel really bad when I notice them after commenting or posting. On comments, I'll even delete the comment and try again. I know it's hard not to stress over something like this, and I can see why it bothers you. I also think it shows you care about your craft.