I am participating in 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes 2019 (all of my submissions can be found here).
Today’s prompt is: FIRST
You would think I would learn. After pretty much a lifetime of being everyone’s proofreader — and now having a job as a bona fide editor — I should put the final proofing touches on a document rather than assuming I can say to someone, “I still have to do my final proofing but here’s the idea.”
I know this is a bit cryptic, but hopefully you get the picture. I sent a document to someone in my work world this week because they wanted to get a general sense of it before providing their piece. I sent it, with the caveat of “I still have to do a final proofing, but here’s the draft.”
Of course the other individual did exactly what I probably would have done — sent it back with the cyber-equivalent of red proofing marks. That individual was 100% right, but it was embarrassing.
The back-and-forth also introduced a question that person had that opened up a small can of worms. It was resolved, but not without a few more emails and a bit of angst on my part.
I didn’t think I had time to proofread first, but I spent three times as much effort to do damage control because I shared the document before it was really ready.
I imagine part of the point here is that no one is perfect, that it did get handled, that we can paralyze ourselves with the fear of something not being right to the point that we don’t get our jobs done. Of course that point is valid too.
I just know I learned my lesson about this specific situation. I have to put a bow on it before I send what I’ve written. Otherwise, the gift gets a little banged up in the “mail.”