I’m on the verge of finalizing a manuscript, and while I’d previously written on the benefits of a professional edit, I chose to stick with my original plan, and keep my financial investment to a minimum (at least for my first entry into the world of self-publishing). A part of me fears a copy edit would result in my manuscript returning with more red on the page than white; my non-traditional style crucified beyond redemption. ‘What do you mean that’s a comma splice? If that’s a comma splice, everything I’ve ever written is a comma splice.’
A proofread however, a line-by-line edit to catch those misplaced words, homonyms and spelling inconsistencies, I felt confident I could handle. I have experience editing documents in my alternate realm (the real world), so the decision was simple.
Off I went, paragraph by paragraph, chapter by chapter, focused and determined.
After two thorough proofreads, my 70,000-word manifesto was ready to move on. CreateSpace and Kindle here I come; the magic about to happen.
Until something within, some indescribable gut feeling, convinced me to hold off for one final edit—just in case. As meticulous as I can be, as thorough as I am, it is possible—I missed something.
So I held off.
A week later, I embarked upon another time-consuming, painfully laborious proofread.
How can that be?
Oh, it be baby—it be.
My confidence shaken, I embraced humility, made the corrections, and set the manuscript aside—again.
A week later during the follow-up proofread, I found an additional—six errors.
I began to doubt reality.
How could I have missed six errors on four previous proofreads?
But I had.
I regrouped, revised, and felt confident I’d nailed it. Come the next proofread, I’d be at zero errors; done.
But zero never materialized, eclipsed by—fifteen.
I suspected sabotage at this point.
It was unfathomable. Did someone switch files on me? Is this perhaps a sinister plot to drive the writer insane?
None of the above.
Thirty-seven errors—and counting.
Which led me to realize.
Proofreading one’s own work is indeed a mug’s game.
And I’m that mug.
Will I consider out-sourcing in the future?
Is it Epoct or Epcot?
Until next time,