Proofreading for the proofreader, or, learning to police your blog
I was moseying through the blogosphere looking for tips on proofreading, and I found a really good one by Shane Arthur on foolproof proofreading for bloggers (try saying *that* 5 times fast!). He proofreads blogs professionally for many professional bloggers, and I was both impressed & surprised by this blog, which you can see here: http://www.copyblogger.com/proofreading-tips/.
One of the reasons I’m impressed with his blog is that he explains, with one trick, how to proofread your own work before posting it, making sure that you understand all 14 points.
Number 1- assuming a proofreader mindset can be difficult for a writer who’s never had to proofread their own work before. I think one of the reasons we have so many problems proofreading our own work is that we trust our computer’s spellchecker too much. I’m a sight speller, so that’s not much of a problem for me, but it takes work & a dictionary for the nonprofessional writers as well as a lot of concentration.
Number 2- write as if you were going to be publishing a book. His point is that if you do your proofreading more like someone preparing a book for publication, proofreading becomes much easier because it matters even more to make a good impression to the publishing employee who takes the first look at your work.
Number 3- read every day. The more you read, the fewer errors you make (in my opinion) because you’re looking at your material much more carefully.
Number 4- if you hate to read, write about what you hate to write, ditto with reading. For me, this can be difficult because my attention wanders off if I’m not really getting into the mood of what I’m working on or reading. Doesn’t matter- keep at it, and you’ll improve more and more as time goes on.
I’m not going to go through all 14 points because this would become something I dislike- they’re his words and my repeating everything is basically stealing Shane’s blog- my job is to get you to go to his blog and find out for yourself.
Proofreading is something I’ve done my entire life- my mother taught me and has become instinctive to the point where I can find every little error in the sf/fantasy & historical mystery novels I enjoy reading. I proofread papers for my classmates in college, evaluated e-slush for Baen Books and have taught myself to look at everything before handing my assignments, either in school or my commissions for authors and/or publishers. Take pride in your work, even if it’s “just” a blog- more people read your words than you might think.