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Gaiman’s Law, Typos, and Pain

Neil Gaiman’s law- being that no matter how much a book is proofread, upon opening a printed copy for the first time, the first thing you’ll see is a typo.

I wasn’t sure I believed in Gaiman’s law until I submitted a short story to a competition the other day. I reread it a hundred times. My husband read it. Our dogs read it. Everything was perfect, clandestine even. Yet when I opened the website where the story is posted, what did I find?

She arranged the plants under the awning so they might attempt passersby to enter and purchase their fine wares.

How is it possible?

How are they so resilient to detection when they need to be pruned, yet so obvious when it’s all too late?

I know there will be at least three errors in this blog post alone. Here I am typing, thinking I’m being coherent. And yet….and yet when I hit Publish BAM!

My typos when I see them in the published product

It’s not the worst typo I could have made. I read somewhere that a romance writer accidentally wrote a character “shitted on the pavement” when they were supposed to have shifted. In another book some time ago, I read a recipe that called for “freshly ground black people.”

In retrospect, it wasn’t the worst typo I could have made. Nonetheless, it’s embarrassing.

It’s a blemish on my writing.

It’s like my own work is calling out; proclaiming to all the world that I don’t know what I’m doing.

I mean….I don’t know what I’m doing but it doesn’t have to call me out like that.

I’m just an amateur trying to make my way in the world. Can’t you make yourself known so I can fix you?

Does anyone else struggle with this? I can start us a support group.

4 thoughts on “Gaiman’s Law, Typos, and Pain”

  1. You are so right! It’s almost painful for me to read something after I’ve hit publish because I know there will be an imperfection somewhere. May I suggest the Perfectly Unperfect (purposely not imperfect) as a name for our support group?

    Liked by 1 person

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