Saturday, August 04, 2012

Proofreading and Shoes

my new shoes

Are you like me? Do you wait until you've sent an e-mail to proof it?

That's fine if it's a friendly e-mail, but business is different. Especially if you spell your literary agent's name Ruben instead of Rubin, and in the same e-mail ask if he'd like to take a peak at what you're working on.

Why is it so hard simply to print out an e-mail and proof it? Because it takes an extra 60 seconds, that's why!

A note is one thing. Manuscripts are another. Here's something I've recently taken to heart: When you're writing a story--Anne Lamott says this--don't worry about wasting paper. Print like crazy. If you're really worried about all the trees you're killing by the tons of paper you're using, she suggests sending a check to the Sierra Club.

It helps so much to see something you've typed onto the screen printed out on paper.

But here's a spectacular thing I recently learned on my own: If I write something in my studio and print it out, it really helps me to be able to read it with fresh eyes if I go into another room. If I take it into another room and sit in a different chair. The light will be different too.

Of course it's best if you can put the story away for six months and then pull it out and read it. But if you don't have that luxury, going into another room and sitting in a different chair under a different light can help a lot. And if you have a new pair of shoes you can change into, that accelerates the process.