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Proofing Your Way To Perfection

September 13th, 2019

First, thanks to Tracey for last week’s honest blog post. I found the fact that she was so analytical about her shortcomings very refreshing and I think there’s a lot to be learned from her experience.

As you probably know, in addition to writing courses we also do a Proofreading and Copy Editing Course. People often think that a proofreading course is mainly for those who want to set up in business using these skills, but we find that’s far from the only reason why students enrol with us.  Many of them are already studying one of our creative writing courses and they decide that being able to proofread professionally will help them to ensure that work they send out to publishers and editors is error free.

Many writers are bursting with ideas but they are less confident about getting those ideas down on paper using correct grammar, spelling and punctuation. A proofreading course gives you the opportunity to brush up on skills you learned at school (and may have forgotten!) and can also show how the language and its use is evolving.

But probably the most important thing that it does for a writer is to get them to actually ‘read’ their work.  A proofreading course gets you to be meticulous in looking at your work – and when you’re doing this you don’t just spot the obvious errors but you also pick up on  repetition, ambiguity, sentences that are a little too long and inconsistencies. It teaches you to be analytical and thorough in how you check your work – something that will always give you an advantage over the writer who sends in a sloppy manuscript, riddled with errors.

And while we’re talking about checking your work carefully, make sure you don’t give yourself a headache! People who work for long periods on the screen need to take steps to avoid it. So what can you do?

If you wear glasses, consider glare-resistant lenses – and give your eyes regular breaks by getting up from your desk. Stretch your legs and move around.  Go out for a walk; get some exercise and fresh air.

Watch your intake of caffeine, nicotine and alcohol, plus make sure you drink enough water. Dehydrated brain cells hurt!

Stress and anxiety can cause headaches too, so try to relax. Take a break if necessary and practice conscious breathing until you can feel your muscles relaxing. Lack of sleep can make you feel frazzled, so try to get into regular sleep patterns that provide you with the amount you personally need to write well.

That’s all from me for this week. I’ll now take my own advice – get up, stretch my legs and get a glass of water. So until next time…

Author: Diana Nadin

 

 

 

 

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