All writers need to proofread and edit to make the best error-free writing they can write. March 8 is considered National Proofreading Day and a great reminder to slow down and proofread our work. Everyone makes spelling errors, grammar mistakes and typos. Slowing down and rereading your work is essential in making it the best it can be.
Timeline of National Proofreading Day
- 17th century
Authors do their own proofreading or ask their friends to read and revise for them.
There was a minor error in a reprint of the King James Bible. The result was a massive lawsuit with damages paid to the publisher.
The short story, "Evermore," by Julian Barnes features a dictionary proofreader as the protagonist.
National Proofreading Day was created by Judy Beaver in honor of her mother, Flo, who loved correcting people.
Activities to celebrate National Proofreading Day
- Proofread all the things
An ideal way to celebrate National Proofreading Day is by making sure to proofread everything you write. Whether it is an email, a paper, a text, take the time to make a new habit and catch any mistakes. You will feel better that you provided your best and that your writing will be easy to understand.
- Proofread a friend's writing
You could also offer to proofread a friend or colleague’s work. Share your love of error-free writing with others. Doing this also shows your friends that you care about them.
- Study common spelling errors
National Proofreading Day is a great excuse to take a closer look at your writing. If there are certain words that you always need to look up or that you notice you make mistakes with frequently, take the time today to learn the correct spelling. By doing this, you will be able to improve your writing in the future. Take a look at commonly misspelled words as well to make sure your writing does not include these. It gives you a great excuse to improve and practice spelling things correctly.
Why National Proofreading Day is so Great
- Writing mistakes reflect badly on us.
Our words are a representation of ourselves. No matter whether you are writing an email to a friend, writing a resume or cover letter or filling out a dating profile, people will make snap judgments based on your writing mistakes. These silly mistakes make it seem like we do not care, are ignorant or just lazy. In case case, these mistakes reflect badly on us and people may make judgments before even engaging with you further.
- Fixing a mistake makes us feel good.
Proofreading and editing may not sound like fun, but they actually can be a good time. Finding and fixing mistakes makes us feel good because we know we are improving what we are trying to say. Print out your writing and use a red pen to circle errors and it will be even more satisfying.
- It is a great way to help a friend.
Proofreading is not only great for ourselves and our own writing, but you can help others as well. Many times we will miss errors in our own writing, so having a fresh set of eyes is essential in catching those additional errors. This assistance to a friend can make a huge difference in their writing and is a great way to be a good friend.
- Form a writing critique group.
If you enjoy writing essays, short stories or novels, seek out other writers such as yourself. You can form a small group to have peers that can critique and help you improve your work. Doing this can go a long way in helping all of you succeed as you try to progress your writing career. You could have meetings online or in-person depending on what people are comfortable with and are able to do. You could even provide snacks and have a fun time discussing writing with other writers.
Proofreading is important in making sure we are turning out our best work and that we are communicating clearly. So much can be done when you make sure to proofread your work. Celebrate National Proofreading Day by going over your writing more carefully and offering to help a friend. Have fun catching errors!