Does my proofreading routine sound borderline OCD?

13 replies
OK, I have a confession to make. I can't update my blog very often because I have very high standards of what I write. After I finish writing an article, I'll proofread it from start to finish. If I catch any errors or decide to make any changes (to make my writing clearer) then I'll have to read it from start to finish all over again.

In other words, I only hit the "publish" button if I read from start to finish and end up not making a single change.

For a ~1000 word article, I often end up spending a minimum of 2-3 hours just on the proofreading routine I described above before I end up reading my article from start to finish without making a single change (and being able to satisfactorily hit "publish".)
#borderline #ocd #proofreading #routine #sound
  • Profile picture of the author James Baker
    I used to feel have a similar problem. always checking to see what I can make better. It may be hard to have someone else write your articles, But I have had some success with drawing up an outline and outsourcing my article writing. Just an idea
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  • Profile picture of the author godinu
    If you are spending 2+ hours proofreading something so brief, yes, you definitely have some kind of mental blockage going on. You should be able to skim through in a matter of minutes. If your writing flows, it flows. If not, just tweak as needed. Sometimes it helps to step away from a project from a day or two to read it again with fresh eyes.
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    • Profile picture of the author shaunybb
      That's ok there is nothing wrong with being 100% satisfied its a good practice!
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      • Profile picture of the author Kay King
        The more slowly you read - the more changes you will make.

        I do think it's a problem that you need to find a way to deal with. It slows you down - makes you spend much longer on one task that need be - takes up time when you could be doing other things. It also feeds itself and will get worse if you don't find ways to limit the time spend.

        Learn to "skim proofread" - that is reading very quickly in order to find any run-on sentences, typos, etc. It's something I had to master and it does work.

        Nothing will ever be perfect - no matter how much time you spend. Chances are if you make a lot of changes the article you end up with may not be as good as the article you originally wrote as you may edit out the spontaneity.

        Set a timer if you have to - but read through your finished article quickly to see if the structure/info makes sense - clean up any minor errors. Don't' allow yourself to stop and debate over a sentence or a phrase. You are looking only for ERRORS - not for places where you can rewrite endlessly.
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  • Profile picture of the author Key Seek
    No, that is normal if something is well written. I do at least 3 revisions.




    Originally Posted by ragnarkar View Post

    OK, I have a confession to make. I can't update my blog very often because I have very high standards of what I write. After I finish writing an article, I'll proofread it from start to finish. If I catch any errors or decide to make any changes (to make my writing clearer) then I'll have to read it from start to finish all over again.

    In other words, I only hit the "publish" button if I read from start to finish and end up not making a single change.

    For a ~1000 word article, I often end up spending a minimum of 2-3 hours just on the proofreading routine I described above before I end up reading my article from start to finish without making a single change (and being able to satisfactorily hit "publish".)
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  • Profile picture of the author JerryKuzma
    Hey, a quick word of advice. A very knowledgeable writer has said:

    "Publish now, polish later."

    Try to get a version out there.....resist the temptation to over-analyze your work...just so that you can get it out there.

    Then, go back and polish it when you get a chance.

    2-3 hours is a big chunk of time to spend.....and only a small fraction of your readers will notice the difference anyway (sad, but true).

    So, get a version out there, and then polish at a later date. You will have more impact that way.

    Have a brilliant day,
    Jerry k
    Perissos Media
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    • Profile picture of the author Shana Walters
      Keep in mind that content on your laptop can do anything to move your business forward.
      Only by posting your content on a blog, video, book, etc. can it actually do something for your business like making money.
      If making money is your end goal.

      Best Regards,
      Shana Jahsinta Walters.
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      Write until my fingers fall off. LOL!!!
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  • Profile picture of the author Sgt Kraut
    I am always telling myself that 80% is a high enough quality. Fixing the remaining 20% would cost too much time in proportion. Another idea would be to outsource proofreading and let it be the headache of someone else.
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    • Profile picture of the author Alex II
      Don't get it right - get it out!

      It's a blog. It won't matter if you misspelled something or one sentence doesn't make sense.

      Not sure about the exact numbers here, but I've read that most people only read your headlines anyways. The longer the article the higher that percentage.

      Do yourself a favour and just get it out there. And if you must proofread that long edit the post after it's published.

      What do you prefer: To get to read one perfect article a week from your favorite blogger or multiple that contain a few spelling errors?
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  • Profile picture of the author @tjr
    It depends. Can you directly attribute a $ amount to your business for the blog posts in question? If so, are these posts making enough to warrant a few hours of editing time each?

    Don't follow philosophy that may not work for you personally. Follow the money.
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  • Profile picture of the author Steve B
    Originally Posted by ragnarkar View Post

    For a ~1000 word article, I often end up spending a minimum of 2-3 hours just on the proofreading routine

    Houston, we have a problem. . .

    Yes, you are obsessive about this.

    Think about it: how much are you paid for those 2-3 hours of proofreading work? Most likely . . . nothing. Is that an efficient use of your time?

    Congratulations for wanting to provide the very best content possible.

    Shame on you for wasting hours on something that gives no return.

    Pay a outsourced proofreader a small amount to do that chore. You have much better ways to spend your time.

    Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author netmrktr
    Write it once and give it a quick scan. Think about what you could be doing with those 2 hours!

    Time is money!
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  • Profile picture of the author Randall Magwood
    As long as it makes you money, keep doing what you're doing. If it doesn't make you money.... do paid advertising (if you arent already doing it).
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