Clean Copy

Comments 164

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“The first draft of anything is shit.” – Ernest Hemingway

Because I’m me, stressing about what I’m going to write here has become close to a daily occurrence.

I just stand in the shower trying to think of different ideas.

Another Open Letter to Shitty Husbands? We’re about due.

Some random, embarrassing story from my past? Those are always fun.

Today? I have to apologize to you for all of the typos and poorly constructed sentences you come across here.

They embarrass me. And I’m sorry.

Virtually everything you read from me is my first draft. Sometimes I write from home. You get a cleaner product when I do.

But most of the time? I’m writing this at my desk at work. Squeezing two hours worth of work into one.

The results are poorly edited, hastily thrown together thoughts and words.

And because I’m hyper-sensitive to what people think of me, I wanted to try to explain why it happens.

I do my best to round up the typos and misspellings, but they inevitably slip through when I first hit ‘Publish.’ If you subscribe via email, that’s the version you get. The very first, shitty one with all the misspellings before I find them and fix them online.

The beauty of the Internet is that I can fix an error anytime I find one. It always hurt more when a mistake was printed in a newspaper story. That just stays there. A non-curable blemish. Of course, at the paper, I always had three, four or five sets of eyeballs on my work, so mistakes rarely were published.

Here? This? It’s just me. Just little old me brainstorming in real-time and hitting that Publish button before I have time to talk myself out of it.

But I need you to know that I care about this from a quality standpoint. That I pride myself on giving you predominantly mistake-free copy, because I know how amateur and non-credible the alternative feels.

But when I proofread my own work, my brain automatically inserts what I meant to write, so a lot of times I don’t immediately see the mistakes others do.

This fact of life means if you’re reading this in your email inbox or are among the first to see whatever I’ve posted next, you end up stumbling on my mistakes.

There were a lot of them in yesterday’s post before I fixed them. And I’m sorry. You deserve better.

Pride in my Work

Everyone wants to be good at something.

I’m not really good at anything.

I’m one of those jack-of-all-trade, master-of-none types.

I’m pretty terrible at some things, I guess. I’m not a good dancer. I’m a wretched singer. I’m a terrible bowler.

But I’m average to decent at the vast majority of things I do.

However, I’m not really great at anything.

Except maybe proofreading and editing. I might be “great” at that. I use the term great loosely here. There are editors out there who are true masters. They’re the ones that turn average writing like this into money-making publishing gold.

I’m not like them.

But in the grand scheme of people? I’m a strong proofreader and a decent editor. I pay attention to detail.

And I take pride in that. Being among the best at something. Even if it isn’t a particularly valuable skill. It’s my skill. It’s what I do.

I know the difference between ‘compliment’ and ‘complement.’

I notice when people spell advisor with an ‘e.’ Adviser is a perfectly acceptable word, too.

And a million other totally anal-retentive things I won’t bore you with.

Typos Ruin Everything

Usually it’s a missing word. The word “to” or “of.” Sometimes I’ll replace “it” with “if” because the T and F keys are next to one another.

Whatever mistake I make, I’m mortified when I find it. The worst one was on one of my busiest-ever traffic days.

At the urging of others, I shared this blog with some people I know in real life via Facebook. A handful of people that aren’t connected to my ex-wife.

The very first post they would have seen is my Hey Parents, You’re Doing It Wrong post. Just a few paragraphs in, I wrote the word “anecdote” when I had meant to say “antidote.” I didn’t notice it for a couple days. Ugh.

Everyone must have thought I was a stupid moron.

That kind of stuff pains me.

Because I do care about the little things. Because I think the little things are important.

The little things are the difference between As and Bs in school.

The little things over an entire career are the difference between a large retirement account and living off government aid.

The little things are the difference between successful marriages and failed ones.

The greatest advertising campaign in the world is shit if a typo slips through.

The Pulitzer Prize is not awarded to mistake-filled copy.

The bookstores don’t make a habit of displaying novels and self-help books and biographies full of spelling errors and horrible writing.

The Lessons of Editing

Editing is the worst. Writers don’t like to do it.

Yet, all the greats will tell you how important it is.

In cinema, they give Academy Awards for it.

It’s hard. It’s time-consuming.

It requires patience. Thoroughness. And always attention to those little things.

My life’s that way, too.

And I wonder if I wasn’t just rushing through, trying to squeeze in as much crap as possible all the time, how much higher the quality might be.

What if I mastered something?

Got in phenomenal physical condition?

Poured every ounce of energy I could into being the best father I could be?

What if I got financially disciplined?

Never let my laundry pile up?

Never let the kitchen floor get dirty?

Maximized my spiritual potential?

I think a lot of what ails me would go away. If I could just muster up the patience and discipline necessary to comb through the details of my life like I would a proofreading assignment.

And clean them up. Taking pride in it along the way.

Maybe everybody could do that.

Maybe we could all do bigger things if we spend more time focusing on the little things.

164 thoughts on “Clean Copy”

  1. First, I’m floored that you pump out these posts in an hour. No, Sir. You ARE a great writer!

    I, like you, am decent at a LOT of things, but I am not “great” at anything (decorating cookies is the closest I’ve gotten to greatness). I’m also a tortured proofreader (as you may remember). However, no matter how embarrassed I am about making mistakes or how much I wish all of my projects were perfect, I like doing ALL of them so much, and can’t imagine giving any of them up. In order to reach perfection at any of them, I would have to do just that.

    Maybe, through years of practising all of them, ironing out the details of each individual project, perhaps I’ll master all of them, someday?

    1. That’s nice of you to say. The “great writer” bit. Thank you.

      I’ll accept “good.” Greatness is reserved for greatness.

      I have a hard time putting energy into all the things in my life that deserve it. In time, I hope to figure out that balance.

      1. Matt, I’m a total nerd, and possibly a blog-“creeper”, but I totally got super excited when I saw how many comments you got on this post in the last day!! I hope you are enjoying it and not cringing, constantly!!!
        (And, Yes… I really did just say totally and super in the same sentence, proving my nerdiness.)

        1. Lot of new eyeballs now.

          Catch-22. I love the opportunity to connect with new people. And I hope some of them stick around to be part of this conversation we’re all having about being people.

          But I’m self-conscious. That’s no act. There are now more than twice as many people paying attention today as there were two days ago.

          None of them know the back story.

          Will they think I suck? A fraud? A no-talent hack?

          Will they think I whine too much? That it makes sense that she dumped me?

          At least a few will, maybe.

          And that’s okay.

          I just hope some are like you. You’ve gotten to know me in a way. By following the story and caring and commenting and being supportive.

          Just like this. Rooting for me. Being excited for me that I get to share this stuff with more people.

          Makes me smile, lady. I really appreciate your kindness and thoughtfulness.

          1. *blushing* So glad I could make you smile!

            Knowing people in this weird way, seeing people at their rawest (like you) or most lascivious (me), all because of the words we type/publish… It’s weird, but feels close, like friendship.

            If they don’t get you, or they think any of the awful things you presume people will think (which, 99 of out of 100 won’t), you’ll probably never know it, because only the people who feel that connection stay and comment. And I’m betting there plenty of those people who will become addicted to your words. (Like me, of course. <3)

            But, don't go and get a huge ego now that you're famous!! I'd hate to have to give up this addiction.

  2. I second the first comment. You may not know this but I work in media. I am not a writer, a layout person, a sub editor, designer. I am not a media talented person. I am the business person in the media world. So I think with my experience of non editorial, but industry’s knowledge I have gained, you are selling yourself short. Grammar and spelling is key, and to turn a draft into something that readers enjoy and can relate to is a gift.

    My last posting that I have just posted, was actually thanks to one of your posts. It got me thinking about something, and today I published it. Ivan

    1. I think this is the second time you’ve credited something you’ve read here as inspiration for a post.

      Massive compliment. Can’t thank you enough, sir.

  3. Phenomenal post and I can relate to every single word! I’m a copywriter in an in-house creative department. I concept, write, edit, and proofread every day. I also hate it when I make mistakes in my writing. Early in my career, I made a mistake that resulted in having to reprint thousands of brochures at a significant cost. But I didn’t get fired because the other 99% of the time I am known as eagle eyes. You know how some people claim to see glowing auras around others? I’m like that with typos…they practically glow like neon signs on menus, signs, ads. I see them everywhere. Heck, I can’t even text like normal people! No cute abbreviations or lax punctuation. My texts have the proper capitalization, grammar, spelling, and punctuation. It is the writer’s curse…and gift. I don’t think I’ve ever noticed a typo in your posts and I wouldn’t judge you if I did. You’re sharing your deepest thoughts, feelings, doubts, fears…in a stream if consciousness style. I say let it out and hit publish! Blame the typos on autocorrect. 😉

    1. The irony is that there may have been more typos in this post than any other. I must have fixed six or seven things.

      It was embarrassing.

      I wrote “I pay attention to deal,” intending to say “detail.”

      Jackass. Yeah. Real meticulous, Matt. Good work.

      However, thank you for reading. And I’m so glad you associate my writing with clean copy. Important to me.

  4. What always bothers me is that people pay more attention to the mistakes, then the content. I can read through, errors and all, and still get what your saying…To often people focus on what’s wrong…in writing and in life. Focus on the content and you will gain enlightenment.
    BTW I’m a horrible proofreader. As evident in almost all of my text messages. Fortunately I have great friends who can read what I’m saying, instead of what I just typed. 🙂 I like those friends the most.!

    1. Nobody likes the person who calls out the author for one mistake out of 1,200 words. No one has ever said anything to me. But yesterday’s post was LAUGHABLY bad until I fixed everything. #irony

  5. I don’t know why exactly, but the “Typos Ruin Everything” in boldface cracked me up. I feel like I should embroider and frame it, and then hang it above my computer.
    I have never noticed a typo on your blog. Ever. Guess my brain autocorrects too.
    I think it’s all good, Matt.
    Even the piled up laundry and dirty kitchen floor.
    Now go write another fantastic post!

    No pressure…..=)

  6. Your honesty is refreshing. A lot of what you wrote goes through my head. Especially the whole great at nothing bit. I can do a ton of crap, slightly better than half asses… but greatness alludes me. Sigh.

    1. I’m a big pile of average.

      But I try to look on the bright side. Because below average isn’t all that fun.

      You need only watch me wrap Christmas presents, or try to knock pins down at the bowling alley, or bake something not from a box to see below-averageness in action.

      Appreciate you stopping in. Thanks for saying hi.

      1. Ha ha! You’re most welcome. Actually you named two things I can do; bake from scratch and wrap a mean gift. Bowling, not so much.

  7. Your post really hit home with me. One of the reasons I don’t blog every day is that I take so long to edit my posts. Between trying to more accurately say what I want to say and catching all the bloopers, it can take hours. And I used to be a journalist so editing my work is crucial. We have a local forum, very popular, and it’s actually painful to see the errors fully-grown and supposedly educated people make in their posts. And those of us who know better keep our mouths shut so we won’t be flamed as “grammar nazis.” Good for you, standing up for those of us who try to get it right.

    1. I want to be clear that I only care about my work. I want what I create to be as clean as my brain and skill set allows.

      Other writers care less. My favorite writer in the world has odd sentence construction or some slight error in many of his posts.

      He’s still the best. (www.jamesaltucher.com)

      I don’t think people who make mistakes are bad writers or even bad editors. It just makes them human.

      And that’s a hard thing to be.

      I appreciate you reading and commenting very much. Thank you!

  8. Pingback: Maybe I’m Dumb | Must Be This Tall To Ride

  9. Near physical pain when I find a typo after clicking “publish.” I feel this way because I’m TOTALLY judging other people for their noun verb disagreements and tinier indiscretions. But it’s going to happen, and you encapsulated that embarrassed remorse over an it it’s failure very well.

  10. Great post. I agree with you on spelling and correct punctuation, yet I think we are a minority. Especially with the ‘twit’ language, it’s becoming harder to read the younger generations language!
    Congrats on gettin’ pressed!! =-)

  11. Very good piece. I am just happy to see another blogger, like me, who places such a strong value on editing. I often have to publish my first draft and I enjoy the fact that I can go back to correct any errors. As a university English and Education Instructor, Copy Editor, and academic journal Editor, I understand that we all will make mistakes in our writing. The pressure we put on ourselves to produce good products each time we write helps our writing to continue to progress. Keep up the excellent work!

    1. I really appreciate this. Very much. Thank you.

      To be clear, I don’t do much “editing.” That is to say, I don’t spend a lot of time rewriting and revising like I would some long-term project. But I care very much about misspellings, missing words, incomplete thoughts, etc.

      And a little piece of my soul dies every time I publish one. Which is damn near every day.

      Thank you for reading and writing, sir. I’m very grateful.

  12. Little details are so important. I agree though, the brain sees what it wants to see, particularly when the text remains on the screen. With hard copy I can catch the errors more easily. I am essentially a terrible writer though, I just happen to feel compelled to communicate my thoughts/opinions and one way to do this is with words. I spend way too long editing and still…the mistakes pass through. Although I believe in grace, I am driven to live my life so as to require as little of it as possible.

    1. I WANT to live that way.

      Requiring little grace. But I fail with a mortifying amount of frequency. This place is often my confessional.

      But I try hard. I do. And that’s how I sleep at night.

      Appreciate you reading and writing very much!

      1. now you’ve gone and gotten me curious. How exactly do you fail if you are indeed trying? Are you just one of those people who thinks they are failing all the time, a delusional failure, are you? Or do you just set the bar really low or really high? What is it? Or are you actually failing and giving it your best shot? If you are giving it your best shot, and continually missing the mark than I would wonder what in the hell is wrong here. I mean, you seem like an intelligent enough person. I really am just dying to know what you are doing wrong that you are not trying to do wrong. OK. This will be an unedited reply.

        1. I set the bar very high. And never quite reach it.

          Literally. Metaphorically.

          Makes me try harder.

          There’s probably a better way. But I am, inescapably, me.

  13. Hysterical verbalization of an eternal struggle…publish or read what I just wrote and re-read numerous times?? Too easy to mess up 😛

    Thoroughly enjoyed that post (first I’ve read).

    Kepp clackin’ away

    1. Thank you very much.

      I wasn’t very proud of this one. So, you can imagine my surprise when WordPress decided to share it. Although, if you knew me, you might say it’s typical.

      Irony is alive and well in my life. I’m so glad I have the ability to write it all down.

      Really appreciate you taking the time to comment. Hope there’s a next time.

    2. Respect is what I give you now. I admit i myself have terrible grammar but I do try to learn how to improve. Proof reading is horror to me. I just don’t know what to do. Grammar most times confuses me yet I still write. I guess, I’m hopping to improve my grammar with the joys of writing. It’s really great that you do your best to give quality work. 🙂

      Check out my blog if you have time: fathomofthemind.worpress.com

      1. My comments on editing apply to me and only me. I would never discourage someone from writing because they make mistakes or don’t know all the rules.

        Writing is about sharing thoughts with others. A little piece of you. With the world. And it’s a beautiful thing. And I’m so glad you do it.

        Thank you for reading and commenting. I appreciate it very much.

  14. Maybe it’s because you don’t have time to control and nit-pick everything about your life that you take such a sense of achievement with editing written words.

    I don’t know. I don’t really know you. So this is a guestimation. (I work with middle schoolers and people who act like middle schoolers, tell me that word isn’t real. I dare you.)

    But you seem like someone who can keep relative focus. Most people can. Maybe it’s because your life IS so crammed that these things take a back seat. I let dishes pile up. I let manuscripts sit idle. I let my cat’s food bowl go empty. I can stare at a book I should read without actually working up the gumption to read it. I can sit in the rocking chair and go over everything I need to do…then close my eyes and take a nap.

    I just started reading your blog and enjoyed the time spent procrastinating. Thank you. Now I have somethig else to blame on why my chore list is so long. I might even subscribe to your posts and make this a bad habit. =]

    Fare thee well.

    1. Excellent. I like you. Please stay and be part of it.

      Thank you for reading. And commenting. And understanding.

      I love all this human stuff. I mean, I hate it. But I love it.

  15. The typos in my Facebook updates are the cause of many facepalms. Conversely, my most cherished victories in proofreading often happen when I spot a misspelled name — a cardinal sin in my field. I remember telling the publisher that a U.S. senator’s name was spelled incorrectly on the front page just five minutes before sending it to the publisher. Humbly speaking, I should have been awarded a medal. 🙂

    1. But what a great story it would have been to hear what would have happened had you not caught it!

      Appreciate you sharing. Thank you for reading!

  16. Thank you for this. I am a writer who has spent the last ten years without writing. You reminded me of the good old days. I don’t mean I write nothing, but I have not touched a novel for about that long. I absolutely love the editting. I love the making of mistakes, because it is a process in writing. I know mistakes are a problem for some, but as long as you are making the mistakes, you are writing.

    1. I know what you mean. I hope you’ll get back to it.

      Twenty-six letters. And a handful of symbols. And if you punch them in just the write sequence, you make magic.

      It’s kind of amazing.

      Thank you for sharing and for reading. Hope you stick around.

  17. I enjoyed reading your post. To create something that another person finds enjoyment in/from/doing/reading means you are doing something right. 🙂

    1. Thank you. I don’t take for granted how blessed I am to have even one person read this stuff and like it.

      I appreciate you saying so!

    1. But minus the whole attracted-to-really-young-girls thing!

      Thank you for taking the time to read and comment!

  18. Haha, I’m guilty of the same. Sometimes I’m just so impatient to post my little warbles into the blogosphere that I don’t take that precious time to comb through them for errors. But in my thinking, that is the beauty of blogs – they’re more human and grassroots than traditional journalism, more immediate and real. They stuff up and make mistakes. They are not super models, but more humble girls-and-boys-next-door. That is their charm. So I wouldn’t feel too guilty for the occasional error at all. To err is human ~

  19. I spent 24 years of my life trying to figure out what the hell “Hors d’oeuvres” were when I came across them in writing/reading. In my head I was all…” K.. What the HELL are these “whores-da-vores” exactly?!?…” I had an equally humiliating moment of clarity when I learned that hyperbole wasn’t the ” hyper-bowl” I’d been calling it for years. No amount of editing could have saved me. But totally get the ” it pains me” of typos. 🙂

    1. “Jibe” vs. “jive.”

      “I’d just as soon” vs. “I’d just assume.”

      These are things I learned from newspaper editors after trying to publish the incorrect version.

      Embarrassing moments. But I’m so glad I learned.

      Appreciate your comment. Made me laugh.

  20. Replacing T with F while writing ‘it’ is one of my recent typos that I made while leaving a comment on a post. And now I can’t do anything about it! It’s like engraved in stone and will be there forever in my online social world!

    The other mistake that I commonly make is skipping entire word altogether. Apparently I think faster than I can type!

    Congrats on being freshly pressed. 🙂

    1. You know my pain. It’s always so nice when people understand.

      The captured-for-eternity comment typo. Those are always a real treat for us quasi-OCD types.

      Appreciate you reading and commenting. Thank you!

  21. I wish I could adequately express how much delight this post brought me. I’m one of those editors who awakens in the middle of the night with panicking thoughts like, “Did I omit the letter ‘l’ when I wrote the word ‘public?'” and then race out of bed and fire up my computer to double-check so I can go back to sleep (or fix it – ugh). I love how you write about pride in your work — I feel the same way about mine. I love how you appreciate the craft of good editing. Thanks for a terrific post, and if I made any typos here … well, I apologize, but I think you’d understand. (Wait? DId I remember the ‘l’ in “public?”)

    1. I really liked the get-out-of bed example.

      I’ve done that very thing.

      I’m the master of the send-group-email-to-bosses-with ridiculous-typo move.

      They must always think: “And this is our writer. Shit.”

      Thank you for saying hi. I appreciate it a ton.

  22. Reblogged this on Third Eye Editing and commented:
    Terrific, funny, heart-filled post about first drafts, the insecurities and strange obsessions of good writers and editors regarding pride in their work, our universal anxiety about proofreading snafus, and the joy of well-edited work. Check it out!

  23. Pingback: What This Guy Says … Uh, YES! | Third Eye Editing

    1. *giggles like an idiot*

      I hadn’t heard about this!

      I’m Catholic. Kind of a shitty one. But I care and try to be a good person and stuff.

      But sweet “Lesus,” THIS is funny.

      Thank you so much for sharing.

      Lesus. Hehe.

      1. Holy Dog, it’s a classic, isn’t it?

        I was torn between which terrible typo to share with you – this or my worst ever error as a subtitler/captioner. I subtitled the schmaltzy rom com “Sweet Home Alabama”. In the boy-and-girl-finally-get-together scene the dialogue went like this:

        A: Why would you want to marry me anyway?
        B: So I can kiss you whenever I like.

        I wrote, “So I can kill you whenever I like.”

        Oops.

        1. That’s the one with… is it Josh Lucas?… and Reese Witherspoon? I think I’ve actually seen that. The only thing I remember from the entire film is where Lucas (if that’s his name) was making glass art by drawing lightning strikes to the beach sand.

          That always felt… not science-y to me.

          I would have LOVED the movie had he threatened to kill her at the end, or at least spoke about how much having the opportunity would matter to him.

          I think you did a beautiful job. I think hearing-impaired folk would have loved it. But only to be let down in the end when she lived.

          This is a great story. Appreciate you sharing it.

  24. I hate and love spelling and grammar mistakes. I hate that people don’t take the time to reread what they’ve written (guilty as charged) and I love reading them because sometimes the mistakes are just so darn funny!

    So if one of your articles slips through with a mistake or two…I’ll be the one reading it and having a chuckle over it. Here’s hoping you’ll do the same for me.
    ~Debbie~
    *Also: Single, Divorced, Making Bad Decisions & Ranting In a Journal. *

    1. We’re destined to be pals, you and I.

      I have a couple friends that I ask to text or email if they ever spot a typo. They almost never do.

      And then people read bullshit.

      Thanks a lot, bad friends.

      🙂

      Appreciate you. Thanks in advance for the future copy edits and mocking jabs.

      1. You are so very welcome….I will take on the responsibility with the utmost care and consideration, in order to belittle you and make you feel like the worst writer….ever.
        (Just joking…had to tell you that because you don’t really know me and I had the worst sense of humor…ever). 😀

    1. I’ve fixed comments a couple times from people who made minor errors and hit “Reply” too fast.

      Can we both agree this is one of those times the typo should live in infamy?

      Please say yes.

  25. Love your writing as well as your perspective. You are a GREAT communicator, getting through to multiple people on multiple levels. Sometimes people downplay their gifts because they are natural and easy. So easy that it happens without much conscious thought. You seem like one of those people, full of greatness but so busy identifying it in others that you haven’t ever been awed by yourself.

    1. Sometimes people say something so nice and flattering that I really have no idea how to respond.

      This is one of those times.

      Thank you. It’s so nice to smile first thing in the morning.

  26. I too cringe hard when I see that I’ve missed a typo in my posts. I feel like someone will catch it and be like “Aha, I knew she was a phony writer all along.” I think it still boils down to a lack of confidence in stating I’m a writer so I fixate on the grammar and spelling instead. Take comfort in knowing you’re a good writer and this was a very entertaining and thought-provoking post for me.

    1. This is nice of you. Thank you for the kind words.

      And I totally know what you mean.

      “Oh, look at this dipshit. He wrote ‘an’ instead of ‘a’! He totally sucks!”

      I haven’t been heckled yet. But I’m increasing my odds every minute Freshly Pressed keeps that post on display.

      A good problem, I suppose. Thanks a lot for reading and commenting. Truly appreciate it.

  27. LOL.. too funny! Okay, And I love your blog description, since I too can (not so proudly) admit, I make bad decisions.

    1. Thank you. Not always funny. At least, not intentionally so. But I try VERY hard to be realistic and honest.

      So glad you visited. Thank you.

  28. I used to blog about 3 times a week, but I edit so extensively (while still missing something every single time) that I burned myself out on it. I haven’t posted in some time. It’s like no matter how hard I try or how often I reread something, there are still mistakes.

    1. I’ve been posting at what I believe is an unsustainable pace–pretty much daily for several weeks. I’ve never skipped more than one day since launching.

      Maybe it’s the old daily reporter in me. Maybe I’m addicted to the stress. Or maybe I never feel more myself than I do at the keyboard.

      Whatever it is, I do this a lot. Lot of words. Lot of mistakes.

      The never-ending quest for the perfect end product.

      Our writing. Our lives. Always cleaning up.

      Hopefully someday I’ll be able to make peace with the fact that it can never be perfect.

      Thank you for reading and commenting. I hope you get back on the keyboard soon.

  29. Love the brutal honesty and your self deprecating tone. And while it’s entertaining for me and your many readers, it does make me a bit sad for you. That’s right. Pity. Of course you can’t change now! It’s what your readers have come to expect. So keep doing it because you do it well. Because it’s reads so honestly.

    Anyways, I’m looking forward to reading some of your previous work as this is the first time I’ve come across your site.

    Cheers,

    1. Ha.

      Well, if you like self-deprecating material, you’ll have a field day with this place.

      Thank you for reading. For writing. And poking around in here. It’s the ultimate compliment and I’m still awestruck sometimes that people read this stuff.

  30. We tend to be harder on ourselves then necessary. I remember the old typewriters with ribbons and the need for white out. Now a days you just back space and correct. It is however the ideas which count and you are doing it well.

    1. Thank you so much.

      I’m just old enough to have learned to type on a typewriter in my high school typing class.

      Word processors are infinitely more pleasant to work on.

      Appreciate your comment and kindness!

  31. A best friend of mine is an editor, he has corrected text messages, emails, and my actual writing. Do I get annoyed? Yes. Do I learn something? Yes.
    But, why should I learn?? I have him 🙂
    However, most of the time I just blame Steve Jobs, talk-to-text, my accent, etc… (remember the Facebook post I nearly made? That was all Steve Jobs).
    If someone is going to be a total grammar Nazi, they can fuck off. There is a difference between trying to help someone learn good grammar and trying to appear superior.
    And, really, the majority of the time, the brain reads it the way that you meant it.
    That being said, if you make a really retarded mistake, I will make fun of you, but only because you’re my friend.

    1. Thank you!

      I just published a post with FOUR things I needed to correct.

      I always see it after punching that silly Publish button. It’s uncanny.

      Appreciate you reading and commenting very much!

    1. I don’t know that I hate the process as much as I hate when I let something slip.

      Nonetheless, I like that so many people understand.

      Thank you for reading and taking the time to say hi.

  32. Reblogged this on MostlyUhuru and commented:
    I have reblogged a fellow Freshly Pressed blogger, and I share his sentiments 100% SO many times I write in a manner of stream of (un)consciousness, then just click ‘Publish’, only to proofread a bit later. For those who receive my posts via email, which are always the first draft, sorry, you deserve better! With love X

  33. well, it is in small details that these bits matter but dont be tough o n you…happens to the best of us. can so relate to you.

    good luck and congratulations on being fp.

  34. What drives me crazy in my own writing is being on the third or fourth draft and still having mistakes when I turn in lab reports, essays, etc. It always counts for a grade, and beyond that I’d like to earn the respect of the people under whom I am learning. I level with you completely.

    1. Yeah. That’s getting into newspaper territory. All those people proofing. But, sometimes, something slips through.

      And that’s a bunch of smart people working together.

      Stands to reason I’d be the captain of the typo squad. I just wish I corrected them BEFORE publishing. Derp.

      Thank you for reading!

  35. People with editing skills make me feel so inadequate. It’s a special gift you have. Still, I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who notices mistakes only AFTER hitting the Publish button.

    1. Thirty-four words. Zero mistakes. Perfect delivery.

      You don’t need to be a strong editor when you nail it the first time.

      I really appreciate you taking time to read and comment. Thank you so much.

  36. Great post! Fun to read and can absolutely relate to it! I’m a new blogger and after rerunning over topics in my head all day managed to get out a few posts. Only to notice typos and spaces in strange places on rereading them! Edit->update! story of my life!
    Your post made my day 🙂

    1. Thank you very much!

      I think the metaphor really works for all facets of our lives.

      Edit. Update. Slightly better product.

      Appreciate you reading and commenting. Please do so again!

  37. I’m brand new to WordPress and am reading freshly pressed blogs. I read yours. Then I read a bunch more of your posts. I really don’t have much to say about editing – but I did have a strong visceral response to your blog in general.

    You are funny, and smart, and as real as it gets. This is the first blog that has inspired me without intimidating me. Thank you.

    Off topic- keep blogging and being you. You will be remarried within a year to someone who adores funny men, and children. Your ex-wife is an idiot. Carry on!

    1. It was so nice of you to take time to write this. And it’s something beyond flattering that you thought I stood out in a group of exceptional and talented people.

      This note made my day. I appreciate you reading, your kindness and encouragement. A lot. I hope you stick around.

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  39. PR person here! I’m so anal retentive about spelling. The worst is when you proofread an email 50 times before pressing ‘send’, then STILL checking it out in my Sent folder to find that I made an annoying typo. Why did it take pushing the ‘send’ button to find that typo when I looked over the draft 50 times? Bane of my existence. Good read!

  40. Excellent, excellent post!

    It’s rare to find someone who cares enough these days to go back and edit these types of things in their posts. I, and I’m sure many others, really appreciate it…

    1. Thank you. I JUST hit “Publish” on today’s post thinking it was perfectly clean. Found THREE mistakes on the read-through.

      And there’s the problem. Everyone getting an email will read that one. And I’ll look stupid. And I’ll deserve it for not being careful enough.

      It’s not a battle that can be won. But I’ll keep fighting hard.

      Really appreciate you reading and commenting. Thank you!

  41. Great post! I remember back in my business consulting days had a silly typo that spell-check of course missed. I meant to type “Self Simulate” (getting a pilot group to simulate an actionable item for their colleagues). Funny how no one wanted to “Self Stimulate” for their peers that day…LOL!

    1. Sort of gives a whole new meaning to “Stroking the Cortex.”

      Really appreciate you taking time to read and write. Thank you!

  42. Great post and very fun to read. I really appreciate how real you’re writing is. The funny thing is what caught me was the title. I’m fairly new with my blog and I wrote a post called “Yes The Little Things Are Important” about dating and relationships and thought it was about the same exact topic. I am so happy I read your post because you took the little things about all of life in general. I look forward to reading all of your other and future posts.

    1. Thank you so much for the kind comment and for taking time to poke around.

      Human relationships are the thing I care most about in the world. And yes. The little things.

      Taking nothing for granted. Gratitude. Unselfishness. Honesty.

      They’re the glue for those interested in making it long-term.

      I appreciate your time very much. Thank you, again.

  43. I like it. Gets me thinking. About the things in my life that need a little editing. Revision, maybe? I like any blog that gets me thinking, so thank you. Oh, and I had to look up antidote. I was pretty sure I knew what it meant, but I never use that word and I use anecdote/anecdotal a lot since I’m a teacher (anecdotal notes).

        1. Thank you very much. I’m forever insecure about what people think of it. And it’s always so nice to hear when someone likes it.

          I know you have a million things to do. And that you’d spend any free time at all reading something I wrote is an incredible honor.

          I don’t take it for granted. Thank you.

          1. Just a Little Background Noise

            I’m always looking for solid, effective prose to direct students too also. There can be a tendancy for too many to forego a touch of elegance in their craft. You avoid being sterile and it reads effortlessly. So you’re welcome

          2. Please don’t poison their minds with my immaturity!

            When I’m not whining about divorce or contemplating some questionable choice from my past, I’m usually writing things I pray no one I know in real life is reading.

            And some are. Miraculously, a few still speak to me.

          3. Just a Little Background Noise

            Hahaha, so you’ve noticed that while no one admits to enjoying a whine, it remains wildly popular!

    1. Yes! And a good one. Back in the newspaper days when we’d print out the dummy sheets and mark them with red pens, I always did this.

      My problem is more impatience than it is a lack of attention to detail. I should read through every post like it’s the last thing I’ll ever get to write and make sure I’m perfectly satisfied with the finished product.

      But I am forever me. Often in a hurry. Often impulsive. And of course, sometimes scared so I have to click the button before I talk myself out of it.

    1. Thank you so much for reading.

      I think that’s all life is. Finding mistakes. Fixing them. Trying to do better the next time.

      I appreciate you taking the time to comment.

  44. This post surely did resonate with me! Like you, I am a “master-of-none” type. But typos, and generally bad grammar/spelling really get me – mine as well as others. I’m in awe sometimes at the places I’ve caught misspellings – blogs, books, newspapers, websites. In reading a blog the other day, the poster used the word “your” when it should have been “you’re”. I thought it was just an oversight until I read on and saw it was consistently used throughout the post. Yes, it pains me. Man, I wish I could make some money correcting all those errors! Love “your” writing, Matt! Keep it up, I’ll be back!!!

  45. Pingback: The Lost Followers | Must Be This Tall To Ride

  46. Well done! I too have a near-visceral reaction when noticing my errors seconds after hitting “publish.” I’m pretty new to this blogging thing, and I also ponder my words in the shower then rush to rehash my ideas into something interesting in a short period of time. I always worry that I sound like an idiot. Or an ass. Thanks for the show of solidarity!

    1. This made me smile. It’s always so nice to hear (or read!) that other people feel the same things you do.

      Thank you for the note!

  47. Loved the article. Many years ago, I emailed a friend about a few pet peeves of mine, one of which was “type-os”.
    Totally embarrassed when I caught it and I still roll on the floor laughing when something, such as this blog post, brings it to mind.

    1. Thank you for taking the time to read it!

      If I was grammatically savvy enough, I’d probably have a stroke and die if I knew just how many writing rules I was breaking in every post.

      Because sometimes I intentionally do. Because I write silly, choppy sentences. Instead of using commas like a good boy.

      However, I’m sure all the times I’m trying to follow the rules, I’m failing miserably.

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  53. Why stress about writing here? Most of the invested readers are only looking for something to twist into support for their fallacies… plotting a kidnapping > grammatical errors

    1. Ha! Hi. You’re reading all kinds of old stuff.

      This is more than two years old. And at the time, I wrote EVERY DAY here, pretty much, and it was sort of my life’s focus.

      I was a total mess and I stressed about everything. Hopefully you can detect a tone difference between 2013 me, and today.

      That was such a wise, albeit cynical observation: “Most of the invested readers are only looking for something to twist into support for their fallacies.”

      I’m going to think about that one for a while.

      Tell you what. To compensate for my unnecessary fretting, I’ll spend a few hours today plotting a kidnapping.

      Equilibrium, and all that.

      (Edited to spell “equilibrium” correctly. Clean copy, indeed.)

      1. Reading between the lines…nope not my ex.
        He wouldn’t try and kidnap kids that he has never tried to contact. And he’d need to be married to Mother Theresa for any court to allow his opinion on children.
        Maybe my vehicle will not get BBQ’d again. Ooooh the suspense.

        1. Wait. What!?

          Don’t give me credit for cleverness that doesn’t exist. I was just having fun and joking that I’d plot a fake kidnapping instead of worrying about silly things like blogging.

          I was totally joking. Poorly, apparently.

          And now I don’t know what we’re talking about, but your stuff sounds kind of scary.

          “Someone” torched your car?

          1. Nah, no worries. I wasn’t giving you credit for anything. I think we were talking about orgasms…no, just me? Okay…The BBQ was a long time ago and I’m sure it was an accident. Don’t move to California (or Nevada). The dudes are not super bright…can’t even bbq right.

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