Reader/Writer Confessions: Proofreading

Everyone should really proof-read their work . . . but I don’t. Proofreading is very very important, something everyone knows by now. Have you ever read a book and come across a typo, grammatical error, or something small (or big) that’s bothered you? I know I have, and it’s probably very hypocritical to say that typos an un-proofread work bothers me, even when I don’t to it myself, but I can’t help it! So, why don’t I proofread. Here are a few of my main reasons, and also my resolution to proofread before I upload things — especially blog posts.

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It takes time. Okay, so perhaps I’m kind of lazy here, but proofreading takes up quite a bit of time, even though it’s a necessary thing to do. And I, personally dislike reading over my own writing. (I never read through my own work until I reach the third/fourth draft when I’ve sorted out the plot, and I’m down to the nitty-gritty grammar and wording stuff. I love that stuff. Just not reading it.)

I find it hard to pick up my own errors. Anyone else like this? Sometimes when I proofread, I don’t pick up errors that are there. Yet, if I’m critiquing someone else’s novel, I can pick up their errors find. I don’t really know why, either. Perhaps it is because I am so used to my own writing style that it all just kind of blends in together. Either way, that’s another reason why I’d rather not proofread.

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Why bother proofreading when that scene might not be in the next draft? I am notorious for cutting and adding things — then adding the things I’ve cut, and cutting the pieces I’ve added. My question is this: what is the point of proofreading if that portion of writing won’t even be present next draft? This is why I save all my proofreading for later later later drafts, when the plot is done, and I only have to fix up sentence structure, description, and grammar/punctuation. Otherwise, I only see it as a waste of time.

I post my work online for feedback/critiques, so perhaps I should proofread. And I do to some degree; if there are glaringly obvious, I will edit them out . . . but otherwise I won’t bother.

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So what about you? How often/thoroughly to you proofread? Should I be doing it more often? Let me know in the comments!

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One thought on “Reader/Writer Confessions: Proofreading

  1. I think most writers don’t pick up their errors in their own work as well as they do reading others, and I think it’s because you’re too invested in your own work. I proofread after the first draft, I can’t stand seeing the mistakes so I like to get into it straight away. After about the fourth draft I will print the manuscript off and look for the mistakes that way because I pick up a whole lot more mistakes than on the computer screen. Reading aloud helps too.

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