I love those those times when my head is so full of something I really need to say that it just flows out of my brain and on to the page but no matter how good I think it sounds as my fingers are furiously typing it never reads quite as good to the reader as it sounded in my head as my fingers were furiously typing…
Not a great opening paragraph, I’m sure you’ll agree, but we’ve all been there! Who can honestly say that when they are in full flow they stop every couple of sentences to read over what they’ve written and make sure it’s sensible? Or maybe that’s your tactic for writing…
Who can honestly say that once the piece is finished they read it all through to ensure a) they’ve made their point, b) the punctuation and wording makes sense and c) all the key words are in place? You would probably all say yes, but do you read what you wrote, or do you read what you think you wrote?
A prime example
This is a primary school example of how our brains can trick us into thinking we know what’s written and it is also a prime example of why proofreading everything you write is important. What you post on line or print on marketing collateral is a reflection of you. We should all take the time to read every single word.
You might be chuffed to have got it done, read it through to make sure it’s right and want to get it posted but please, proof it properly you numpty!
Don’t rely on spellcheck - it’s not always rite!
Spell check is obviously the first tool at your disposal for checking basin spelling errors and grammar, but it doesn’t pick up when words are correctly spelled but transposed or simply misused (as above), continuity errors when your thought trail has taken an odd turn, missing punctuation or missing words where you have been cutting and pasting.
That’s why I’ve come up with these tips to help you get your content posted in perfect condition:
- Print your page with wide margins. Use a blank piece of paper, or ruler to block out the upcoming sentences and keep your mind focussed on the words, not the content
- Use a sharp pencil to circle errors and make notes in the margins if need be
- Correct your digital document and print again.
There’s nothing better than the human brian at spotting mistales, but there’s nothing better than the human brain at ignoring them too!
Have fun with your writing and don’t forget to proofread it!