Sunday, January 9, 2011

Edits and errors

New year, new schedule. Posting two or three times a week. Sorry about the break last fall while finishing my book “Strengthen your nonfiction writing.” Hopefully it will be out this spring! I’m still copy editing, Lou Turner, publisher, said we will have about three more passes between us to get all the changes. I drove myself crazy trying to get all the “prairie dogs” that crop up, those little details that need to be checked that make you sit up in the middle of the night and say “Oh no, how could I have forgotten that!”

For example, I emailed my niece, Melissa Bauer, to ask if I could use her name for a story of hers from the Fourth of July about a friend’s cat. When she responded, she told me it wasn’t a cat, but a dog. I was sure it was a cat! So now I’m worried about other things that I didn’t remember correctly, or mixed up with something else. Writing is hard!

My friend Barb said someone she had worked with referred to publishing as a series of time bombs just waiting to go off. The only way to minimize the errors is to develop a system that works for you. Keep a list of questions, and then check them off when they have been confirmed.

The worst error I ever made happened years ago when I referred to a lady, which was part of her official title, without the “d.” I know, isn’t that awful? In my own defense, I had three other people review it for errors. No one caught it. We were horrified, but everyone knew it had gone through all the channels correctly. It was just one of those things. Writers should work hard to keep those errors at a minimum, but don’t dwell on them too much! When they happen, correct them and move on.

Talk to you soon,



  1. great advice Mary! keep up the frequent blog posts please. very informative

  2. Thank you for your lovely comment! I'm trying to post a couple times a week. Please continue checking out my blog, and let me know what information you find most helpful.

    thanks again,