Monday, August 10, 2015

Always Do Your Best

Back when I worked in the corporate world, I noticed something that wasn't very pleasant. You could do your job perfectly day in and day out, without any comment or feedback from your superiors or peers. But screw up once, and suddenly everyone noticed.

And it's the same way with writing. You may write a brilliant novel full of joy, pathos, philosophy, feeling, and adventure. But everyone's going to notice the one typo on page 347. (Which is why editing is so important.)

One thing I hate is picking up one of my published novels and finding an error such as a typo. I hate just a little less finding a sentence I could have written better.

That is why you need to always practice your craft. In everything you do, write it the best you can. Even if it's a Facebook update, write it well. I cringe when I see people who call themselves writers making stupid mistakes in Facebook posts or Twitter updates. How can you write a novel when you don't bother with the difference between "to" and "too"?

Now, I'm the typo king. So I have lots of people proofread my work, including myself (but I'm also a lousy proofreader because I see the word I think should be there).

We all want to write and write well. But if you let small mistakes slip by, it will undermine your credibility and, in some cases, simply make people reject your work. Perfection is impossible, but do your best. Always do your best. Even if you make a mistake, you know you did your best and you don't have to feel guilty about being lazy.

If you truly care about your craft, and your craft is writing, then do you best in all things you write. Write it well, make sure you use proper grammar and punctuation.

And please, remember the difference between "to" and "too."

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