Yep. I opened up one of my short stories the other day, got about 5 words into it and…mini-vomit.
Why? Not because the story was bad, I actually like the story and am expanding it (10 k or so into a novella at this point). No, it was because of grammatical errors. A 5K short story–and I couldn’t make it past the first 5 words without making them.
The worst part? It was published like that. Yeah. Hence the vomiting. And…here’s the kicker…it was published in PRINT. Not an online ezine or anything that I could go back and tap the editor’s shoulder and say–“excuse me, can you please change xyz”.
I’m getting sick just thinking about it now. But ANYWAY…
I don’t even want to know how many more I made throughout the rest of the story. My stomach was not up to reading on to find out.
Now, I’ve been told I operate at a much higher level than the average bear when it comes to grammar etc. but A) I don’t believe that and B) unfortunately the readers of this story (which I hope are few and far between) likely operate at a higher level than I do, given the genre.
So…what’s my point? I dunno yet, hang in there and we’ll see where this goes…
Now I’m obsessed with finding errors in published material by others so that I can make myself feel better. Isn’t that horrible? Sure sign of a massive insecurity of mine, I’m sure. 😀
First example of my ugly insecurity at work: I received a letter from a publisher the other day containing a marketing proposal. In it was a very blatant typo/error. And guess what. I smiled. SMILED!!!
But then I frowned. Yep, not only am I a horrible person for seeking out other people’s errors to make myself feel better, but I can’t even stick to that. For one fleeting moment I felt better about myself, but then instantly I went to the negative again.
I immediately went to–How unprofessional! How could they let something like this leave their office! I must be working with the Jr. Jr. Jr. associate who is put in charge of stories by people who make grammatical errors (ME)!
I should have been forgiving and thought “oh, look at that…not everyone is perfect”. But alas, I wasn’t.
Second example of my ugly insecurity at work: I was reading a technical book the other day (something on the craft of writing) and noticed a spelling error. And once again, a brief smile (because I realized that I am not alone) but then instantly to the–“WFT! Now I don’t know if I should trust this book” moment.
Something is seriously wrong with me. *headdesk*
What it really boils down to is that I am mad at myself and this is how I’m processing the anger. This is how bad it sucks to be a perfectionist. Not because you are perfect. But because of how bleeding hard you are on yourself when you’re not…