Sunday, April 10, 2011 | By: Karen Bishop

Excellence in Writing

Letter E, ba1969, sxc.hu
We demand excellence in our writing, in everything we do that is writerly. Some of us take it one step further, going so far as to rewrite a simple grocery list or note because it's not perfect. It doesn't matter no one cares, we care and some of us are just that...well, committed to excellence. Ok, so some of us are anal, there I said it. Happy now?

The writerly will edit, edit and edit some more in order to achieve perfection in our works of art, down to the smallest jobs, giving it our all. We're determined to excel and ban those pesky typos, awkward words or sentences and passive writing to the realms of darkness never to be seen again. Reading everything forward, backward and upside down, we edit our writing.

Having gotten our work of art perfect, we proudly submit it to whatever venue it was created for. We're assured the person first reading it, whether it's an editor or the public, will praise us for our excellence. We sit back to bask in the glory due us for all our hard work. Tragedy strikes in an instant. We groan, moan and rant over the rewrite pointing out a teeny tiny error or two. We facepalm and exclaim, "OMG!" at the typo or awkwardness of a sentence that's now live to the public.

How does this happen? Writerly equals excellence in all things with nary a mistake seen in our writing. Well, the bottom line is we're all human. No matter how much we edit and reread, sometimes things slip by us, and even manage to slip by an editor perusing our work before it goes live. You can choose to let it horrify, or you can choose to laugh about it. The laughing sometimes is done on your way to write an email asking for a correction to something, but laughter it should be. Maybe along with a facepalm sometimes.

4 comments:

Tamara McRill said...

Totally guilty of rewriting shopping lists! Really love this post. We should strive for, even demand, excellence and error-free work. But when it doesn't happen (I can count on one hand the amount of articles I've written and didn't decide too late that something could have been changed)we need to laugh it off and get it fixed if we can.

Theresa Wiza said...

Yes, I do too. And I categorize my shopping list according to the sections of the supermarket, placing some items in Dairy, some in Fruits and Veggies, etc. With my blogs, I edit, re-edit, and then edit again. I can't even send an email without editing it. So imagine how horrified I am when I find a mistake after I click SEND. Mortifying. All because expect excellence from ourselves. http://myheartblogstoyou.blogspot.com/

KarenG said...

That's what I like about blogging, I could care less about punctuation or any of that. Altho I won't let a misspelled word get by me if I can help it.

Derek Odom said...

Wonderful post. I had to laugh near the end because I can't count the times that I have edited and re-edited something, sent it off and, WHAT? OMG how did I miss *that*? Not fun...