Hello. My name is Cheyenne, and I am a Proofreader.
Whether it’s a Facebook status or a legal document, I am proofreading it in my head, and I am seeing things I don’t like. The reason I suspect it may be an issue is that I am not perfect, and to suggest improvement for other imperfect people despite that knowledge means I might be a bit of an ass. But I can’t help it! Spelling, word use, punctuation, sentence structure — I am basically a walking, talking red pen. In my defense, however, I edit with a purple pen, so I’m basically a saint. That hasn’t stopped some of my coworkers from groaning involuntarily when a document is put up on the common display during a meeting. It must be that twinkle in my eye that tells them what’s coming.
To be fair, I’m a writer. It’s the only thing I always am. My most common defense when someone claims not to have understood me is, “Words are all I have.” Because, well, it’s the truth. Of everything I have to my name, my words are not contingent upon my income, my location, or my company. When we write about death, don’t we always lend one last epic collection of words to a character’s dying breath? For all the life we breathe into them, and even knowing they aren’t real, we know the first and last thing we ever have the potential to have is our words.
SO LET ME PROOFREAD THEM SO THEY’LL LOOK EVEN BETTER OKAY
As a writer, do you suffer from a compulsion to edit? Do the grammar mistakes of others make your skin crawl? When it comes to your own work, do you find you are more critical than you might trust another writer to be?
The second week of December is upon us. Shake the Dust Off.