Proof, Proof, Proof, And Don't Panic

I have this theory that typos are spawned by pushing the send button. Sentences that made perfect sense when written suddenly sprout missing words. Perfectly spelled words suddenly lose a t or an e. It happens.

Yesterday I had an article published that ended up with two missing words in key sentences. Both my editor and I missed it until it appeared on the website.

More troubling, I had submitted a pitch to a new publisher but they couldn't email me back due to a typo in the email address.

In other words, you're not paranoid about proofing if the error gremlin is out to get you. However there's also no need to panic. Because fixes also happen and that gremlin can be beat.

The article with the missing words was corrected five minutes after I spotted it and sent an urgent email to my darling editor. She even thanked me for re-reading my own prose.

The publisher with the bouncing email actually messaged me via Twitter about the problem and we solved it together. The email made it through (well it arrived in my spam folder* but I fished it out). Which does argue for always giving people more than one way to reach you on a query.

Do not let the error gremlins spoil your writing day. Keep plugging along. Proof, proof, and proof again and then take a deep breath when the error gremlin strikes. There's editors out there pulling for you!

*If most of your life is spent querying people online, checking your spam folder daily is a must. There's always that one important email that got routed to the wrong place by the error gremlin.


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