Proofreading is difficult, especially when you’re doing it with your own work. There are a lot of things working against you when you proofread. The ultimate goal is to keep a perfect balance between proofing and creativity. If you lose this balance, you might end up with a piece of work that has too many mistakes or one that is too stiff. A realistic goal would be to make sure that your article has no grammatical errors and that it can easily be understood.
There are a few tasks that should be accomplished while proofreading. They typically include the following:
- Editing out all grammar and punctuation errors.
- Making sure that the ideas you were trying to put on paper were written down clearly.
- Reading your text to find any parts that disturb the sequence.
- Slowly checking every part of your manuscript.
- Being disciplined during the process.
- Proofreading more than once.
Proofreading mistakes you might be making
Two of the biggest faults you might be making as the writer can be disrupting your manuscript. Proofing must be done while avoiding these mistakes. Otherwise, your final manuscript would still have errors or unwanted sentences that you don’t want to include.
The first proofreading mistake would be to keep your manuscript completely to yourself. It is important to have someone else check out your manuscript since you may be missing out on things that other people might notice but you would generally ignore. Allow others to help in the process of proofreading so that you can have more eyes and perspectives looking at your work.
You might also be making the mistake of being too emotionally attached to your work. If this is true, you might be distracted by your feelings. This can lead to subjectivity and the inability to concentrate on your work. It can make it harder for you to get rid of parts that do not improve your work simply because you feel sentimental towards your writing.
Finally, you might accidentally skip over some things because you are operating with what you perceive you have written as opposed to what you have actually written. You might assume that you have written something in certain ways, even if they were not.
Some proofreading myths
Remember that there is no such thing as perfect. If you keep proofreading because you are waiting for perfection, you will probably never finish. Stay away from stopping just to edit something out because it might make you dislike your story. Also, remember that loving your writing is first and foremost, and being or too serious can make you unhappy about your work.