[From ages ago, but I still love this.]
Typos make me crazy. But I will make them. Everyone will. The trick is to have the guts to release early and release often. If I can just write and publish a post, I’ll have done something. If I write and edit, and proof, and fuss, and sleep on it, I end up keeping a draft in my post “draft” space for weeks until I don’t care anymore. I often delete these unholy messes that could have been angels if only I’d let them be free.
So I have learned to live with the fact that I cannot achieve perfection in posting to this, or any blog, or in any work I create. Textual perfection is a ghost, like trying to carry water in your hand. Give it up. I have typographicalitis, and I admit it. It’s a disease that causes me dis-ease as a writer, as a writing teacher, as a writing teacher teaching both writers and folks who are or want to be writing teachers.
Is it better for me to get out ideas and go back to fix the text later–after more eyeballs have had a chance to see what might need changing? Yes. I say, yes.
While I have suffered alone in the past, I mark today as the day I stand up and call all to unite with me and stop this horrific disease from crippling our writing selves. Down with the internal editor who belittles the internal writer! Down with perfectionism! Up with writing and editing and proofreading later! Up with writers everywhere!
Please join me in reciting the below. Today, right now, dedicate your lives to working these seven steps to deal with your typographicalitis.
The Typographicalitist’s Serenity Prayer
May I have the serenity to write what’s in my mind and heart, accepting that I may or may not commit typographical errors along the way, and have the grace to know that this is always a possibility.
Writing one word, sentence, paragraph, essay, book at a time, I will enjoy each moment of writing for what it is; accepting the typos as they come, knowing that the world is filled with writing judges, yet, I will not be afraid; trusting that those who judge me for my typos will also be judged by others for their typos (damn straight), and trusting that I can go back and change anything at anytime if I label everything I do as: DRAFT.
May I forever write as I need to, for whoever needs it most, in whatever ways are most useful and satisfying to both myself and my readers.
A Seven Step Program for Living with Typographicalitis
- Admit that you have typographicalitis.
- Recognize that you need time to find errors and correct them but that sometimes, you need to get text out there quickly.
- Understand that you need others to help you.
- Exam your past errors to see how you can prevent “hte” and “jsut” and “withe” from happening again.
- Make amends for your typographical errors by letting readers know you meant “six” not “sex”; “meet” not “meat”; and “wholesome” not “whoreson.”
- Adopt a measured and reasonable approach to writing that includes time and space away from your text and slow proofreading (whenever possible).
- Know that you are not alone.