January 12, 2010

I make mistakes...

Years ago, I published a story (not by me) that incorrectly listed Nirvana as the band responsible for Closer. I know, I know. How could I? I received an angry email from a record store employee, and on the reprint, I fixed the error.

Every so often, I have to say, I get paralyzed by potential errors. Pulling the trigger—saying “this is good enough"—can be difficult. Just the other day, I received a bad review for one of my Kindles—but the review was more about the formatting than the story. I went back in and saw that some of the older files were embedded with odd symbols and glitches. This review helped me immensely. I have re-uploaded all of the files. (With Kindles and PDFs there is often the ability to fix a glitch. Another positive aspect of e-book publishing as opposed to old-fashioned print.)

The thing is that you know—I mean, you really and truly know—there are going to be mistakes in a book. There are always mistakes. But I have realized something—well, I knew it before—but I remembered this little factoid: Everyone makes mistakes. You have no idea how many times I've received second submissions (or even thirds) when writers catch typos and errors in their stories. "Delete that first file, please" is a phrase I've heard over and over, from even the most professional writers.

Which is why at some point you need to get over your fears, stop proofing, and just press PLAY.


P.S. This post was edited for quality control. But it is 4:48 in the fucking a.m. so go easy on me.


Erobintica said...

Absolutely love that quote! Why haven't I seen that before - want want want.

Oh, and you're awesome Alison - no particular reason - I'm just in a good mood today.


Alison Tyler said...

Thanks so much, E!

I'll take a hit off your good mood... ahhhh.


Jo said...

What Erobintica said about the quote! I maybe need to modify it and wallpaper my own head with it.

Emerald said...

I really relate to this, and wow, I was blown away by that quote.

Another one of my favorite quotes: "Perfectionism is self-abuse of the highest order." -Anne Wilson Shaef

Thanks AT! Be well.