Happens to the best of us, I suppose. You spend hours, days, putting together a decent post or story or whatever — heck, you invest your heart in the stoopid thing. Carefully choosing words, worrying over the punctuation, thinking, pondering, revising, thinking some more. Finally, at long last, tadaaaaaaaaaaah. You did it. You’re finished.
Hold on there, sport. Proofreading, remember? Personally, I hate proofing. It’s mind-numbing and a jarring eye-opener. You see, the proofing stage is where the glee and pride turn to bewilderment and disappointment. You created a masterpiece; where’s the masterpiece? This isn’t it, this is a mess. Your heart tumbles into your shoes and confidence swirls down the drain. How that happens so fast is baffling. How I completely misjudge is the real mystery.
Wishful thinking. That’s what I put it down to. You know, wishful thinking is really just a nice way of saying delusional, isn’t it? Well, duh. Writers are. We couldn’t survive without deluding ourselves. Name a profession where there’s more rejection, more second-guessing. Everyone’s a critic, everyone’s an expert. Especially you, you’re the harshest judge of your work.
So what can you do? Me, I walk away. I can’t bear to look any longer. Sometimes I’m so disgusted I throw it out in a fit of despair. All that work and effort down the toilet. Or urinal, as the case may be. (I love these transitions from out of the blue.)
Aren’t they an absolute trip? The urinals? Imagine walking into the men’s room and seeing one of these attached to the wall. You’d forget why you came, wouldn’t you?
Good thing I’m a girl. I’d flush everything I wrote, boosh, just for the fun of it. You’ll find the Clown at Universal City Walk in Osaka, Japan by Richard Adams; the French Horns are at Bell Inn in Sussex, England from Jordan Zurlino.
I really hope you get a chance to see these. Because, oh God, it’s time to proof …
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