Insecure Writers Pet Peeves

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

August 2 Question: What are your pet peeves when reading/writing/editing?

This is my August post for IWSG. The question is: What are your pet peeves when reading/writing/editing?
This probably does not qualify as a peeve because it is something that irks me about my own writing.  It is that it is difficult to catch all my own writing errors even when I recheck my posts,(several times), for errors. Many times I will catch them after I have published my post. Yikes. Some people, who have read my blog since the beginning, may be surprised to hear me say this. I did step into some controversy once when I said I thought it was wrong for other writers to point out writing errors to bloggers. You might think this is because I was making errors and resented others pointing them out. It was in response to other bloggers mentioning they had been criticized. There is a big part of me that does not like it when I think others are being bullied and so I reacted. I recently read a post by Kimberly Coyle on The Write Life, How To Effectively Give and Receive Constructive Feedback as a Writer.  and the author pointed out is it better not to focus on grammatical errors,

“Remember you are critiquing the overall craft, not mechanics like punctuation and misspellings.

You’re not reading as a copyeditor, but as a fellow writer looking at the bigger picture. When you hyper-focus on the minutia, it helps the writer improve as a practitioner, but not as an artist.”-Kimberly Coyle

I would agree that especially when writers are starting out it is better not to nit pick their writing unless you are asked to edit. I have been a Beta reader a few times. The first time I did it I was pretty insensitive in a remark I made about a character. It is a learning process to be able to give a critique. I am still learning and hope that in the Beta reading I have done since there is improvement.  Another point from Kimberly’s post:

“If a critique doesn’t resonate with you in any way, you’re not compelled to make the recommended changes. You decide how far and how many of the changes will make their way into your work.Trust your instincts. You, the writer, have the final say.”

This is something I know I would struggle with because I am a new writer. This is where the art comes in too because when you are creating it may not be recognized or accepted. We do have to have the final say about our own work.

In regards to first point about catching my own errors, it makes me aware of the necessity of a good editor if I were to publish a short story or book. I have noticed, in recent years, more errors in published books and articles. I have read this is due to publishers cutting back on live editors for spell check type editing. It is annoying to find errors in published articles and books.


Featured image of Woman from Pompeii fresco via Wikimedia.

 

14 thoughts on “Insecure Writers Pet Peeves

  1. Morgan

    I dislike it when I do not catch my own errors also. Thank goodness, we have the ability to go in and edit posts.
    I do not point out others errors, especially grammatical or misspellings. I’m not there to be their editor, I am there to read their content. I can overlook others errors, just not my own.

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  2. lgkeltner

    I can’t stand it when I find errors in my published posts. I think that happens to everyone. I’m not about to judge someone for making the same kinds of mistakes I do.
    I agree that you shouldn’t focus on grammar and spelling errors unless you’re asked to edit. There’s far more to look at in a piece of writing than that.

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    1. Deborah Drucker Post author

      I am hearing many writers saying this is one of their peeves too in the comments and in other posts for IWSG. I guess we need to not let it get us so upset when we find our own errors. 🙂

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  3. Olga Godim

    I think errors are inevitable. We are all human. But you can always edit your posts as soon as you see a problem. That’s what I do, even after I published it.
    You raise another interesting question – about beta reading and critique. Some people are much better beta readers than others. Sometimes, I would ask someone to critique my story, get back their comments, and scratch my head. Where did they see what they complain about? I didn’t write it. I didn’t even think of it.
    It takes skills and tact to be a good beta reader. I’m still learning to be one. But despite my occasional disagreements with my beta readers, I found that every critique I ever received, even if I mostly reject it, has something I could use to improve my story: a little detail, a tiny suggestion. It’s up to me to find those golden kernels and utilize them. No critique has ever been totally wasteful, and most are helpful, to different degrees. I’m grateful to all my beta readers.

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    1. Deborah Drucker Post author

      Yes I have corrected my comments if I can for typos and sometimes I correct others because I know their mistake was unintended. But then lately I have not done that, corrected others, because most times with the typos we know what the person intended to say and we all make these crazy typos. 🙂

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  4. J.S. Pailly

    I try to give people the benefit of the doubt when they criticize my work. Yes, it can come across as rude sometimes, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t good intentions behind it. It’s hard to convey good intentions in a comment thread or an email.

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  5. Yolanda Renee

    I agree, I wish more folks would see the art of the story vs the few errors that make it through numerous edits and proofs. But many seem to find it almost unforgivable. At book signings I’ve had people say they can’t wait to find all the mistakes – it’s their thing I guess.

    I love knowing, because when it comes to my own writing, I’m blind. So please point it out, but if I find something elsewhere, I prefer an email message rather than a public comment. I know how embarrassing it can be. When I first joined the WEP – when it was still RFW – the critiques pointed out many a mistake and I welcomed it. Some I hadn’t even realized as a rule, (I’m definitely grammar lacking) and as a new writer I was learning. Always a good thing! But damn that embarrassment doesn’t go away!
    But I edit, fix, and say thank you!

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    1. Deborah Drucker Post author

      It is crazy that books are getting published with errors. There must be a change in the editing services because this did not happen in past times. I think you are very thoughtful to email someone about an error instead of putting it in the comments. I have seen errors in posts in online newspapers like The Washington Post. I think this must be due to a cut back in editing services. I am on the fence about grammar rules being pointed out. Really that is the purpose of a good editor. You certainly are doing very well with your writing now! Thank you, Renee. 🙂

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