Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Yes, The Internet Does Count

I read two very similar blog posts last week: this one from Janet Reid, and this one from The Rejectionist.

Both make the point that it's important for writers to take care over their writing: to use the words they mean to and not ones which sound the same; and to check their work carefully before submitting.

I'd add that writers should extend these habits to include all written work they make public. And yes, that includes emails, tweets, and comments on message-boards and blogs, because those online comments are tied to our names. They stay around for a very long time and just supposing that an editor or an agent types our names in to Google, do we really want them to discover that we're often sloppy and careless with our words?

13 comments:

Helena Halme said...

I very much agree with this. Yesterday I posted a quick blog about how cold it was in my office, only to find the title,<a href ="http://helenahalme.blogspot.com/2010/01/frozen-brain.html> Frozen Brain </a>, comes up as one of the top ten Google searches for that expression. Just proves you're always visible on the internet in ways and places you'd never imagine.

Helena Halme said...

Apologies, here's the correct link.

Captain Black said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Captain Black said...

To further illustrate Jane's point: you should also know that even if you delete posts, articles and comments; they're still out there, mistakes and all. E-mail, RSS and other feed systems will ensure that your raw, unedited, error-strewn text will reach plenty of people and some of them may matter to you!

Correct before the fact, not after the fact.

Charlie said...

I believe professionalism should be paramount at every stage of a writer’s career. It should not matter if you’re a NYT bestseller or just beginning the querying stage. Aside from good grammar, manners go a long way - not to mention making Mom proud!

The Voice said...

I believe in professionalism and would hate it for someone to read something not fitting high standards. I believe in it so much I basically killed two of my books that were published by Publish America so they could be corrected. I wrote a post about it on my blog-Writing Your ego to Hell. I learned a lot. http://wade-inpublishing.blogspot.com/2010/01/writing-your-ego-to-hell.html

Donna Hosie said...

I double/triple check everything these days - including internet comments - after I submitted an essay to my degree course tutor that stated Charles Darwin was a naturist, instead of a naturalist!

She still uses that example in her class to this day, and I continue to die of shame!

Christine Coleman said...

I'm fine when it comes to writing a word document, and can usually spot any careless errors before letting the text loose, but I often click the send button before I've had a chance to read through what I've written.

I've also noticed that I'm making more errors in transposing letters in certain words - eg 'hte'(the) bale (able) form (from) - It's more to do with my poor typing skills - I'm incredibly slow, considering I've written five novels (and the final versions are error-free.)

I'll just have to take more care! (At least with my blog, I can go back and edit it if I notice that I've made a mistake!)

Kerry Ashwin said...

When I blog I often compose in a word document and then when it is fault free I cut and paste. I find this an almost fool proof way to get quality although if I blog on the run some slops slip through. That edit button is great.

Jenny Woolf said...

Mm, the internet has many advantages but preserving daft comments and impulsive comments, isn't one of them!

Derek said...

As the saying goes: measure twice and cut once.

Whirlochre said...

Wish I'd never blogged about ladyboys, but there you go.

No doubt my gravestone will slot neatly into some horrifically ubermedia-friendly port once I'm gone, but for the moment, I may err.

1st time here, but it feels kind of comfy.

Sam Albion said...

I don't care- search and shame me, baby, by all means, but shucks- someone is googling your old posts? They're probably stalkers. Or unemployed.