Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Insecure Writer's Support Group

Hello everyone!
I am back at school and I have wifi and a temp job.
2 more weeks and I have to hit the books again until May. Whoo!
Until then *drum roll*.......

Well, I've been editing my book hardcore recently. I am no in the stage where I'm handing it off and letting my friend read it. She's sooooo helpful.

Especially with things that spell check and grammar check don't actually...check.

So, through my friend's edit's I got a ton of word changes. Things like "lair" to "liar" (she said this was the funniest). Mostly, I forgot to add "-ed" to things. And sometimes I even mixed up a "too and a to" and a "then" and a "than".

These things, though we know our eyes are so used to the screen, and so used to our book they can't really make out these simple errors, still make me feel very insecure about the greatness of my work, and the value of my book.

Worst of all, it makes me feel like a bad writer. : (

I haven't found a way to feel better about these mistakes either, because I feel like perfection is expected of a writer/English Writing major. But truly, I'm not very good at spelling or grammar. I have to work very hard on trying to figure out my commas, semicolons and colons. I had to look up the difference in then and than some years ago because I wasn't sure which one I was supposed to use.

Recently the whole "phased" and "fazed" got me all mixed up. Apparently the one I've always needed to be using was "fazed".... (which means basically disconcert, discomfit, perturb, fluster, confound.) Yep. Would have never known that. Thanks yahoo. 

AND to top all this off, no matter how many times I edit my book, I CANNOT FIND THESE MISTAKES!! 

This is why you need a beta reader. It is impossible for me to locate any of the mistakes my friend caught. (Right before I sent it to her, I had edited it completely, then as she read, I read along with her). Found none of them. 

Does this make anyone else feel like you just fail at writing/editing/everything? cause it does me!! : ( 


  1. I'm with you! If I miss one thing, all I can think about is that obvious mistake. But this might make you feel better: I was watching Pawn Stars and the owner bought a first edition Charles Dickinson without having it checked by a pro first. When his book appraiser came in to look at it, the first thing she did was turn to page 18. At the top left hand corner at the end of a sentence the word recall was misspelled as "recal". This proved it was a first edition because the error was caught in future editions and fixed.
    So think about that! Charles Dickinson misspelled a word. I guess it's okay if we do from time to time, too. : )

  2. WOW!
    That does make me feel better. LOL.

  3. I have to say I found your post very interesting. I have never thought to judge my worth as a writer or the worth of my work by this standard. But of course it makes sense becuase you want your manuscript to look polished and professional.

    I have always focused on the voice, plot and characters and left hunting for typos as a final step. This makes me wonder how I measure up in the misspelled words department :)

  4. I feel like it's been my biggest insecurity. I guess it's strange now that I think about it. I could be focused on those major things, but I'm not. LOL. I think it may be because that is what people focus on when it comes to being a writer and finding out flaws. They see a spelling or a grammar mistake and go "AND you're an English Major (or writer)". Drives me insane! LOL.

  5. Don't feel like you've failed! Everyone does these things. Sometimes you just get in the zone and grammar flies out the window.

  6. You're not the only one who gets insecure with grammar and punctuation. I was never an English major, and English is my second, no, third language (technically) so I do feel like I'm kidding myself thinking that I can be a writer, especially in such a competitive business. But! No matter, I like to write and will keep on writing for the joy it gives me.

    True story: my hubs has an English degree and yet I'm the one who proofreads and spell checks anything he writes! Heehee! ;)

  7. I love readers! They found all sorts of things that I missed. And there are usually LOTS. So don't feel bad - you are right in the company with us. New follower :)

  8. Caitlin - LOL. Yes, I tend to get in the zone a lot! ...everything goes out the window.

    Cherie - English is your third language?! I applaud you...cause I complained the whole time while I was learning Italian. Sign Language is so much easier for me...though I don't practice like I should...:/ haha.

    Hello, Tasha!! Thank you so much for joining my blog! I love love love new followers!! :D

  9. I am with you! I have issues spelling and with punctuation big time which makes me feel like lower than an amateur. Then the fact that someone had to tell me that I needed to take the adverbs out of my WIP. Yah, I totally get you. :)

  10. As you will have learnt by now from the other comments, Ashley, you are certainly not alone. And you shouldn't let these things make you feel bad. They're merely typos and in no way reflect on the quality of your writing. We all do it and that's why it's essential to have a fresh pair of eyes to look over your MS for you.

  11. I can relate to this, especially concerning commas, semi-colons, etc. They drive me crazy! Don't feel like you failed though, I don't think these issues are what really matter in the long run. Your ideas and the quality of your writing is what matters, and an editor can always help with the punctuation or grammar issues.

    So glad to meet you through the IWSG! You have a great blog and I love your pic of Jaspy! :D

  12. Oh, Ashley, even the BEST writers make these mistakes. Don't let them beat you up. What makes a good story teller is not one's ability to achieve perfection, it's your knack for spinning tales built from the deepest parts of your imagination! We have beta readers, crit partners, and editors to worry about then and than, it's and its, affect and effect. You worry about the other stuff.

  13. You are not a failure, sweet gal. You are HUMAN. See that word?? That's the whole reason you rock at writing. It's not how perfect everything is, it's how well you capture emotion on a page. All that other stuff? Spelling, grammar, punctuation, that's what a second, third, and fourth pair of eyes is for.

    You're doing the work of a writer--making your characters come alive and be relatable. All that other stuff is icing ... and you have apprentice bakers for that. okay? Don't forget: even the published writers have editors to follow behind them and spot clean the little things. :)

  14. I bought the book Novel & Short Story Writer's Market at Barnes and Nobles a couple of weeks ago and found an error. On page 25 it reads, "Writers should keep in in mind. . " So if after being edited and published and the professionals didn't find this error, you should feel better:)