My relationship with mistakes in Writing

Photo by RODNAE Productions

I make mistakes every day, in every field. With my writing, sometimes, yes. We all do, I hope. But then, we also learn and move forward to rectifying those.

For a period of time, we do stop doing the same mistakes. But with the respective passage having passed, we forget what was the mistake all about and start doing mistakes again.

I don’t know whether you have managed to grab a single thing that I want to depict, but it happens to me a lot, in the field of my writing, yes.

Maybe sometimes, I become so sure, saying, “this kind of mistake will not happen to me again!”, that I completely ignore the mishap and place the incident among one of the most needless memories, telling my brain, “You don’t need to remember that. I have got this.”

My brain, being faithful, would erase that particular case from my hard drive (also known as the brain).

You all might be thinking, “why is this chap babbling so loud?” Well, I am frustrated. And as far as I am concerned, there is no place better than this platform where I can release my exasperation. In all truth, writing empowers me, and that’s you are seeing this piece.

Making mistakes is nothing new to me. But it always makes me angry at myself, more distinctly at my negligence. I believe that the case is the same for you as well. We are all humans, we are friends with mistakes; so, how could we avoid them? It is a rhetorical attempt: We can’t. Being the ghost on my shoulder, it will be part of my voyage. Well then, welcome, Mr. Ghost!

If my mother sends me to the supermarket and asks for me to bring three apples and two oranges. And then, if I buy three apples and return home without buying any oranges, there remains an option, an alternative, always. Before entering the house or even after telling my mother about my brief loss of memory, I could always pick up my cycle and go back to the store to buy the two oranges.

If I end up sending someone a message that I wasn’t intending to send, I could always delete that (unless I am using Twitter Direct Message, where you cannot delete the sent messages). So, there is an option for escaping the situation too.

If I say someone something that I shouldn’t say, I could always tell him/her that I am sorry. There is an escape route. Though, I believe that you should never hurt someone’s sentiments by hurling slurs. It doesn’t feel or look good. And even if you mistakenly do, you should plead for his/her forgiveness wholeheartedly.

But, there is always an escape route in the cases mentioned above. It is not the same with professional writing. I am 21 and have been writing professionally since I was 17 or 18. I have made a tremendous amount of mistakes over these years and still have not learned to cope with them. Yet, on the other hand, I also don’t know how to avoid them. And that’s the most amusing thing here.

I am not okay with making mistakes in writing. I cannot stand even a minor mistake in my writing, let that be a grammatical one or a spelling error or another kind of typo. Now, let me tell you how mistakes in writing make me feel ashamed.

If you do professional writing for a particular website, you are well aware of the term, “editors”. I have had some during these years. Having worked under them, I have learned many things, a lot about making mistakes in writing. After I joined Fansided’s Red Devil Armada, I had an editor named Ben. He advised me not to lose my head around the typos. According to him, it happens. I do feel the same sometimes. It happens. But doesn't feeling that make us a bit ignorant? I am more inclined towards saying, “yes.”

Writing pieces, especially breaking news, is no joke, you know. You have to be so quick with your data collection, choosing the headline, writing the body, and proofreading the draft. Mistakes are bound to happen.

I feel guilty whenever I make mistakes with the sentences or grammar or spelling. It still makes me sick. When you work under an editor, you should not be worried too much about making minor solecism. They will have your back, as they have mine. And I am always thankful to them for that.

But if I become an editor one day, what will be the scenario then? Will I be making the same mistakes back then as well? The thoughts of that make me scared. I know it is a lengthy process, from being an amateur to an expert. And it will take time. But it could also be a process of becoming an expert at making mistakes in every piece. I am vibing a negative sense, no? I don’t want to be a pessimist, but this is a matter that requires the attention of a writer like me.

Am I the only one worried about this? I have seen grown writers making mistakes in their pieces. I would just ignore them, saying it is avoidable. Do my readers do the same for me? But I don’t want them to categorise me as an error-prone writer.

There is a distinct difference between a writer who write articles poorly and a writer being error-prone. The writer, who writes articles poorly, often doesn’t not fact-check. I used to do a lot of mistakes on that front during my initial days as a professional writer.

But then, I came to understand that if you are to grab the attention of your reader, you need to put the correct facts, the unknown ones that would make them utter, “Oh, that’s something new I have read.”

When writing my features, I always try to add something that is unusual to tempt the reader to go through a piece. But mistakes in writing have always been my number one enemy and will remain the same, I don’t know, for how long.

By Jyotirmoy Halder

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Jyotirmoy Halder

Jyotirmoy Halder

Hey, this is Jyotirmoy Halder, hoping to distract your thoughts and test your patience every Sunday here on “The Sunday Hazard”.