Admitting Mistakes


I know it’s shocking, but we’re not perfect.

I’ll give you time to ponder that. No rush. I know it’s a lot to take in………………

Okay, now that you’re sitting down and the paper bag is gone from your nose and mouth, and oxygen is once again flowing to your brain, let’s examine this radical concept.

I have noticed that most writers, even those without perfectionist tendencies in other areas, tend to be perfectionists in their writing. The problem is, writing is subjective. Even grammar, to some degree, is subjective, especially in fiction. If you don’t believe me, try running multiple grammar checks on your document, not just the one in the program you use for writing. There will be differing recommendations on things as simple as comma placement. And don’t even get me started on story. How can a story ever be perfect? It’s from your head!

Then there’s the seemingly endless tedium of editing. At some point we are either unwilling or unable to do more. Once we’re more experienced, that’s usually enough. But early in our publishing journey, that might mean that we leave mistakes. By the time I published Solomon’s Throne, my first novel, I was so sick of the whole thing that I just wanted it gone. I thought I’d editing so long that the thing must be perfect… Only it wasn’t. In fact, it was embarrassingly not. I published a new edition, with the corrections, a few months after it’s original publication.

I’m back to that again, this time with Undaunted Love. I hadn’t sold many of this book for some reason – it had good reviews and even good word-of-mouth. But after my completely insane 50,000+ download promotion recently, I’ve been selling them at a pretty good clip. And now I’m aware of the typos and misspellings. I doubt there are more than 2 dozen, but that’s way too many! So I’m scheduled to have the book reformatted next week, and republish it.

On the one hand, that’s a hard thing to admit. I also don’t really want to revisit old stuff when I’m supposed to be working on new stuff. But on the other hand, I HATE knowing those mistakes are there, and hate when a reviewer points it out and is disappointed. Thankfully, self publishing makes this kind of fix SO easy.

So that’s my admission… I’m not perfect. (Yes, I did drag y’all into my shame…) But I’ve made a step towards admitting it, which is always good. Right?!




Filed under Publishing, Self publishing, Writing

3 responses to “Admitting Mistakes

  1. Love this lighthearted post. I came because of the title, but your books sound very interesting. I actually have a wonderful editor who puts a monthly review of an ebook on my site. It’s a way more in depth essay than just a plot breakdown – usually taking an aspect of writing that stands out in the book and providing an analysis that is useful for other writers. Have a look if this sounds like the sort of thing you’d consider. The only requirement is that you are brave enough!! There are two so far under ‘The Editor’s Perspective’ tab on my blog to give you an idea of what I mean! Your humility here made me think you’d be up for a guinea pig role!! 😉

    • haha, thanks! I’m going to be traveling basically today through Oct 2 (crazy, I know). But I’ll email this to myself and look at it in October. I may be brave then… haha! Thanks for reading!

  2. Hi Jennings. Good advice as usual.
    I’ve had good reviews (in the main) for my books but one – Thin Ice – hasn’t got so much praise. I thought it was a good book but this one (shame on me, I know) hadn’t been professionally edited.
    I’m now working through it again with the help of two different editing programmes and – guess what? – yes, typos and punctuation errors that should have been spotted first time round. Plus some clumsy grammar that, while not wrong, could have been expressed much more clearly.
    No, I’m not perfect either but I’m working on it! New version of Thin Ice to be released soon…

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