All of us proofread. We are quick to point out mistakes on social media, on street signs, and on posters. Autocorrect is either our worst enemy or our greatest ally, depending on the outcome. Here are 6 things to keep in mind the next time you are proofreading.
- Take Your Time
Don’t race to get to the period. Think about what you are trying to say. Is this the best way to say it? Is the punctuation correct? Would your spelling get you an A+ if this were a test?
- Rewrite if Necessary
I get it. Sometimes you don’t want to look at the words one more time. But if you know that the current edition isn’t good enough for publication, DON’T PUBLISH IT. This brings us to our next point.
- Take A Break
Your brain gets tired too. It won’t work if you try to proofread when you can’t focus. Listen to yourself and take a break. Watch the bird building a nest outside your window, get some water, or take a walk. Give your brain a chance to breathe.
- Get Back to Work
Finish what you are doing. You don’t want to send off something that’s half-baked. Think about the last time someone served you half-cooked food. Ew.
- Send It Off
Don’t let proofreading turn into a procrastination technique. Make it as good as you possibly can, and then send it off. Mission accomplished!
6. NEVER SEND ANYTHING WHEN ANGRY
If you are angry, give yourself time to cool off. It is not a good idea to send off something when you have anger clouding your judgment. Use your proofreading time to see whether or not you have allowed your emotions to create a potential fiasco. If you have, rewrite!
Sometimes you need an extra set of eyes. I offer proofreading assistance for those of you who would rather focus on something more important. Go ahead and reach out for a free consultation on my contact page. Until then, apply these 6 tips for a better finished product.