We are writers. Because we are writers, we need to make sure that all of the things we write are indicative of what we do. What does that mean exactly? The short version? If you are writing it, make sure you proof read…even if it’s a simple text. I hate to text. I have no nimble coordination…meaning, as my grandmother used to put it, I use my hands like a man, and I have a great lack of patience when it comes to how long it takes me to write them. I often get caught up in the spell correct feature…(piece of shut!) and I tend to hit the send button before realizing that I should have looked at what I had written. (It can go very, very bad when you send a text to the wrong person…) Even though I hate to text, I know that I need to slow down and do it correctly because I am a writer and for a writer to send out a text that has no punctuation let alone misspellings…well…it’s just shameful.
Because we are writers every little thing we jot down is an open target for non-writers. “Hey you sent me that e-mail and there were 17 misspellings…and you call yourself a writer”, non-writers love to clown us when we screw up. It makes them feel better about being non-writers. And it is human nature to make fun of people who are “supposed” to be good at something but then mess it up, like the basketball star who misses the basket…there is always some fat guy in the crowd holding a bucket of chicken in one hand and a 40 oz. beer in the other screaming…”hey big shot why’d you miss the basket”. (I think people like that ought to be ejected from the game for stupidity…but then who would go to the live games and entertain us by making idiots out of themselves on national TV?)
We do a lot of writing every day that we don’t even realize we are doing. E-mails, text messages, notes, grocery lists, to do lists…it goes on and on and all of it is writing. Since we are writers, all of it is also open to scrutiny. Case in point, I made a grocery list the other day so that my spouse could go to the store after work. I wrote it quickly so my handwriting, which is small and messy, was already working against me. I misspelled cheese (Cheeze), tomato (tomoto) and Canadian bacon (bacoan). In my defense, I was in a hurry and trying to get to other things I needed to do, but my 11 year old daughter was the one who brought the misspellings to my attention. Now I don’t know if any of you have a pre-teen in the house but there are days around here I’d rather have a house full of raptors (the mean little dinosaurs) because they can be nicer. At least these guys kill you and get it over with…the 11 year old seems to enjoy the torture factor. Well, she found the spelling errors and when they got back from the store she took a red ink pen and lined through the misspelled words, correcting them off to the side. She handed it back to me and announced that I needed to edit my work better. My spouse stood off to the side and said, “awww, look at that honey, she’s your little editor”, little editor my ass…..
So next time you are about to send a text or an e-mail or anything else that requires the use of words…stop and edit it before pushing that send button. Trust me, you’ll be glad you did…because being handed your pen, and your pride, to you by an 11 year old is no fun at all. Just remember, you are a writer…and because of that…someone is always watching.
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