Sunday, 27 May 2012

Proof of the Importance of Proofing.

Again I lapse into a shoddy regime of largely ignoring the blogosphere, and for that I am sorry. I simply haven't written much lately, and this is largely due to my inherent laziness, for which a million apologies would scarcely cover (or alter my nature). Nonetheless I feel I have a little more solid reason. That of a self-inflicted embarrassment.

You may have read my post from January entitled 'A Free Scotland', one of my first attempts at a political piece, and one that I was not entirely unhappy with. It may demonstrate much of my ignorance, but is also a clear attempt at relieving some of the ignorance, an effort that should only be encouraged. In truth I wrote the piece in conjunction with my Journalism class at college, and was satisfied enough to offer it to an internet-based student-supplied magazine entitled 'Loud!'. They accept work from students across the UK, and I was more than a little bit pleased to hear that my article would run in the March edition.

Imagine my embarrassment, then, upon finding my piece in the published March issue only to find that I had made a myriad typing errors - little punctuations discrepancies, mostly - the very sort that I hate to read in other magazines, and lead me to rant against the incapabilities of the proofing team. Yet most annoyingly, I had made the largest error in misspelling the name of the principle subject, Alexander Salmond. It was terrible, and so I showed it to no one, despite happily telling friends previously that a piece of my work would be published (first time writers pride, as you do). Initially I planned to keep quiet about it. Whether I had believed my work would be proof-read by the editor of Loud! before printing is irrelevant, because really it all came down to me, and I realised this quite plainly. So after a while of wallowing in self-pity and believing my publishing career to be over, reduced to nothing but a one-time example of incompetency, I decided to get over it. I re-edited the piece, allowed it to be put forward as an assignment for my Journalism course, and republished it here on my blog. It is now more accurate, but still causes me a little embarrassment when I look over it from time to time. But really all this contributes to a greater message, one I had better get my lazy self to listen to more frequently; that of the importance of proofreading.

It's a simple concept, and I've done it for all other pieces of work in my 12 years of education thus far, which is why it was so surprising to me that I had made so many errors on that piece of writing. But at least it served to remind me that you cannot rely on others to ensure your writing is solidly put together, and talks sense - only you should be accountable, so I shall just own up to this.

Thus I re-emerge into blogging, hopefully with less shameful results. As the exam season finally declines, I hope to adhere to a more frequent writing regime over the summer. This may not happen, but I should at least promise that any pieces published will not refer to Scotland's First Minister Alexander 'Salmon'. I'm over that, capisce?

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