Our ‘Blog School‘ section discusses subjects that can help you become a better (sex) blogger. Fellow blogger Emily DeLeo (author of a Dutch book), is a writer and translator and below she shares some extremely useful tips you can use to prevent placing blog posts that still contain errors.
Okay, so you wrote a beautiful story, an interesting article, or a sleek newsletter. You place it on your website and share it with your followers or customers. And then …
While – full of pride – your read back what a brilliant piece you’ve written, you notice something. A misspelling. And another one. And, hey, there is a space too many and that word is double. How did that happen? You have read through it at least twice, how could you have missed that?
This phenomena is called blindness for your own texts. Your brain plays a trick on you and automatically fills in the missing words or automatically corrects the word order. Read this for example:
You this read wrong.
You read this too wrong.
Did you read those sentences correctly, or not?
It might well be that you have been working on your text so intensively, that you simply didn’t notice it anymore. You’re tired or you have spent too many hours on it. So, how do you prevent those little mistakes? Here are some tips:
- Read your text from another device than the one you created it on. Did you type it on your laptop? Try reading your text from a tablet or smartphone.You are guaranteed to notice something.
- Even better: Print your text and read it from paper. A completely different reading experience. Take your printed papers, take a seat (in the garden, the bath tub, wherever) and read it thoroughly.
- Read it out loud. I admit, this isn’t too handy when you are in a room full of colleagues, but if you are at home, with nothing but cats around that might think you’re acting a little weird today, it’s perfectly fine. This is especially recommendable for checking whether your sentences run smoothly.
- Use the search function in your word processor to locate double spaces. In Word, go to navigate, type two spaces and start searching. Reads much better!
- I get it: you want to share your writing with the rest of the world as soon as possible. However, and this might be the best tip – it is better to leave it be for the night. Or at least for part of the day. That way, you can look at it with a fresh eye.
- A tip that might be a bit difficult when you have a longer text, because it’s pretty time-consuming, but some editors swear by it: read your text word for word from the bottom up. Really. This is a super way of discovering misspellings or double words, because you look at each word separately. It does require some patience though 😉
- Finally, when you really can’t, or you simply have no time to leave your writing for a day or so: let someone else look at it. A fresh pair of eyes will almost certainly see some mistakes. If it is an extremely important text, you might consider hiring a professional proofreader, but if you don’t have the budget you might know someone with a sharp vision. A co-worker perhaps? Bat your eyelashes at him or her and have them read your writing.
There. With these tips you should pull off getting rid of those smallest errors. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I am going to print this one and read it out loud in front of my cats, so I can publish it tomorrow 😉