Over the last week, I needed to polish two short stories.
One of those I thought was as ready as it could get, and the other had undergone umpteen eyes.
But the minute I started the read-aloud session I put my work through before submission, I found not a few mistakes in punctuation, a spell-error, extra spaces.
That reminded me of my proofreading days. I used to work for an educational publication as the person who would okay the book before it went to print. I read it at a go, identified inconsistencies and the sort of errors I mentioned above. I used to decide if the book was go or stop—-I had stopped quite a few errors in my time from leaking into print.
I still do proofreading for friends.
How did I miss those glaring proofread errors in my own work?
A few things come to mind:
-I was too involved in the bigger picture to sweat the details
-My brain self edited the work as it was read…I had read it a dozen times already
-I was too subjective, we writers can never be totally objective about our own babies
-I had simply become lax, it happens if you’re out of professional practice
As I see publishing budgets slashed all over the place, I wonder if there would still be a place left for proofreaders…and it scares me.
If you’re a writer, do you get someone (professional or qualified) to proofread your work before you begin the subbing process?