A Reminder to Always Proofread Before You Post
I tend to think of myself as a good writer. And why shouldn’t I? After all, I am paid to edit and write things for others, I do well in school, and I am on an academic journal. However, no matter how good of a writer you may be (or think you are), it is essential to proofread. With platforms like Medium, it can be tempting to publish quickly without proofreading or after only a very cursory read through, but we must resist that temptation. We cannot trust autocorrect to catch all of our errors for us and we certainly cannot trust our first draft to be perfect or that we will catch any errors with a quick skim through.
I recently had a very humbling experience with this very topic. I was reading through a post of mine that has been up for awhile (“Making Money on the Go”) and I was quite embarrassed to find that there were some serious errors. I don’t mean a few typos or missing commas, I had a couple incomplete or nonsensical sentences. I was shocked. I thought I proofread the post. Obviously, I wasn’t very thorough and opted to publish too quickly instead of making sure the post was ready. This was a mistake. I have been promoting that post on social media pretty heavily. Think of all the potential readers I turned away with my errors. Those errors may have also prevented the post from being distributed in Medium’s topics. These setbacks could have easily been avoided had I simply put the post aside until I had time to better proofread it.
Bottom line, I learned my lesson about carefully proofreading my content. When in doubt, take some time and proofread it later if you don’t think you can do it properly right now. There are few drawbacks to not publishing right away (especially if that means you will be able to better proofread and will therefore publish a better piece), but there are many drawbacks to publishing sloppy work. No matter how good of a writer you may be, no first draft is perfect. Proofreading is vital. I though I had already learned that lesson, but I apparently hadn’t. I certainly do now!