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Colin Devroe

Reverse Engineer. Blogger.

Taking another look at my writing procedure

September 11, 2008

Or, lack thereof. In May 2004 I wrote down my procedure for making sure my email correspondance made sense, didn’t have any spelling or grammar errors, and generally got my point across.

In January of 2005 I quipped that sending email at 4:00am after working all day probably wasn’t the best time to write anything important.

I still try to live by these principles, but sometimes I slip up, especially when I’m typing on my iPhone. Whether it be an email, text message, or a post to Brightkite I find myself making small mistakes that I think I could eliminate if I just slow down a little.

Here is a good, or rather bad, example of what I’m talking about. It is a newsletter from a venue in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania called the Sherman Theatre letting me know what is going on there.

It takes a speical, I mean special person to spell a word wrong in two different places. But I’m just as guilty of this as anyone. Two examples from this morning: my note about cast iron pans (hastily typed on my iPhone), and mymisspelling of Billie Jean (no excuse).

True, it is impossible to go through life without making these types of errors and I will not be losing any sleep over them. But mistakes like this don’t have to happen often.

Which is why I’m now going to change my procedure a little by adding the word ‘slowly’ to a one of the steps in my writing procedure.

  1. Quickly type.
  2. Read.
  3. Edit to make ideas coherent and fit with the overall theme.
  4. Slowly re-read and check spelling and grammar.
  5. Publish.

By doing #4 slowly I’m able to eliminate a few steps of the steps I was putting into practice in 2004. Now, I need to use this procedure on this very post so if you’ll excuse me…