I see dead copy. I see dead copy everywhere …

I see writing errors everywhere I go. I go crazy when I see signs that misspell, even on purpose. And although I know it’s an attention-grabbing device when used on purpose, it still gets my goat.

When you’re a perfectionist Virgo like me, it just makes you crazy sometimes.

I also go crazy when I see ads with misspellings. Don’t get me started when I see typos in newspapers. That really drives me up the wall, because I know papers employ people who know better. But when you’re pressed for time, like I know reporters and copyeditors are, things just get missed. I have been in that boat.

My copyediting impulse helps me, though, as a writer. I think I’ve produced articles error-free at least a few times (they were published as is, by a pretty good newspaper). I can’t tell you how much that helped my self-esteem! 

No matter how much you want to write error-free, it still sometimes happens that things get missed. People tend to read over their words, substituing the proper spellings or punctuation in their minds, instead of seeing what’s on the page. That’s why writers, even professional writers who write every day, have their work edited by someone they trust.

Luckily, I’ve been able to make some money doing just that. And I love every crazy moment of it.

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About Heather Dewey Pettet, Writer/Crafter

I am a writer, editor, artist and crafter, as well as a mom. I have done community journalism as well as written on my personal experiences. I have been writing professionally since 2000. I have covered community events and news, been a freelance copyeditor, and written on my experiences as a breast cancer survivor. I am also a mom to a great boy who happens to have autism.
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