Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘proofreading’

Le crayon rougeIt’s been a week of riding the rails, but not trains. . . roller coasters.

I’ve been studying for my new, hoped-for profession, and have been jack-rabbiting between euphoric leaps of über-confidence and bone-crushing impacts of complete despair. The fact is, even though I know how to edit and proofread, I still have much to learn–it’s why I’m shooting for a junior position and not expecting to swan into a job as an editor.

The massive amount of information I’ve been ingesting–reading, studying, taking tests to improve my skills and technique–has set my brain on fire. Sleep comes only with assistance, and lasts only until about 4 A.M., when my brain wakes up again, my inner vision spattered with blood-red proofreader marks and my heart hammering in panic. I try to clear my eyes, blinking away excerpts from the Chicago Manual of Style and swatting at ill-formed sentences hanging in the air above my head.

Worse, it’s affected my waking life.

No longer can I walk down the street, take the bus, or read the paper in peace. Now, every written word is a challenge, a test, and here’s the worst part:

There are mistakes everywhere.

I can’t not see them, now. Grammatical errors, spelling errors, then vs. than, rogue apostrophes and quote marks. Every-frakking-where.

Monday, I watched a training video for work. Not having audio, I turned on the closed-captioning. It took me half again as long to complete the damned thing because I spent so much time mentally correcting the errors in the text as it scrolled past.

I presume that professionals either become inured to the effects of these mistakes, or learn how to switch it off. For me, though, right now, it’s a constant barrage of misshapen sentences, Caliban-content cavorting around me, just beyond the reach of my red pencil, taunting me, testing me.

Some days, some hours, I know I can do this job and love it, too, but when that roller-coaster tips over the edge and I see just how deep the chasm is, it’s petrifying.

k

Typewriter

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: