There’s a thing about being a writer called, “You can never make any mistakes ever without people losing their minds.”
When you consider yourself a writer, people love to point out the errors you make. They love to call you out on every missed comma or misspelled word, and they feel SO good when they beat you in Scrabble (secret: I am horrible at spelling and I lose Scrabble almost every single time). When you are known for being talented with the written word, people can’t help but be twice as shocked to see you making the same errors they see other people make every day.
For a while, I would get a little embarrassed every time I didn’t catch a typo or a misspelled word in a status or comment on Facebook. It was worse when I didn’t catch similar mistakes on my blog (this is before my old website crashed, mind you). I knew people had a higher expectation of me as a writer, so it felt like I couldn’t even make the simplest mistakes without getting patronized hardcore.
Admittedly, I totally get it. I mentioned earlier, I do judge people on their grammar (even if I don’t consider myself a grammar nazi), ESPECIALLY other writers. However, I also understand that everyone effs up every once in a while.
So after coming to terms with the fact that I was going to make mistakes, and with the fact that other people were going to think it was a WAY bigger deal every time I did make mistakes, I stopped caring.
The fact of the matter is, people are always going to look for a reason to judge you, whether or not they’re any better at the topic in question than you are. If you are a writer, people are going to look for a reason to devalue that.
(Of course, there is a big difference than accidentally misspelling a word and consistently getting simple grammar rules wrong–if you do that, I have nothing to say to you on this matter. You’re on your own.)
But if you make simple mistakes every so often, just go with the flow. That’s what I do now. If I catch my own mistakes somewhere I can’t correct them (and even on Facebook, I rarely “edit” the post and instead poke fun at myself in further comments), I just let it slide off my back. If I find mistakes on my blog, I edit them as soon as I see them.
Sometimes I don’t see them, and that’s where I need help from my readers and judgers. I actually really like it when people point out mistakes I make. It gives me an opportunity to correct them and turn my website into a clean, professional place to learn about writing.
And let’s face it–when we’re editing our own, we often skip over mistakes because we know what we meant. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve found simple mistakes that I totally missed because I knew what was supposed to be there and my brain filled in the cracks. It’s only after the sixth or seventh read through, or after a friend points it out to me, that I finally see it. Oops.
I’m not perfect. I make mistakes.
And I suck at spelling and Scrabble. Like, really, truly suck.