Typo blog“Typos wake you up?” my blogger friend Chris (A Neo-Renaissance Writer) asked me in the comments yesterday.

Chris’ posts are always well written. It doesn’t surprise me at all to hear that typos don’t wake him up at night. As for me, well… And I’m not saying it happens all the time, but it does happen. And when it does, it’s more like a nagging feeling that something’s wrong. That’s what does the waking. And every time, my eyes spring open and I immediately and instinctually know exactly where to look.

I pick up that particular piece of writing, whether on paper or computer or [gulp] already posted. And there’s the mistake, plain as day, and wrong as wrong can be. Sometimes it’s truly a typo, like the one I found this week in Ten Pitfalls, where a parenthesis was in the wrong spot. So I [growled at myself and] fixed it. I later thought of that fix when I read a funny Blogging Tips article this week that said bloggers shouldn’t hesitate to correct their already-posted work. Upon reading this, my first thought was, “People are afraid to fix their work?” My second thought was, “Yay! I’m not alone in finding stupid mistakes!” (Incidentally, wouldn’t you just love to find the chat room filled with writers lamenting their typos? Imagine, “Bill, get off the ledge already! It was one parenthesis. It’s not like it was both!” But to the writer, it’s truly the end of the world. I may have to write a short story about that chat room.)

More often, though, I’m not yanked from sleep by a mere typographical error as much as from some wording that could be made better. We’re talking infinitely better. Here’s the written sound bite to my hunt and discovery of crappy writing:

Okay, where are you… Oh! Oh no. No, no, no, no…. I wrote this? Aw, jeez, really?!? What the, aw, so rookie! [Deep breath.] Okay. It’s okay, it’s okay. I can fix this. [Wide-eyed, lip-biting, lots of Delete key, retyping, Upload, deep breath.] I can’t believe nobody said anything. I can’t believe the grammar police haven’t revoked my writer permit yet. Man, that sucked.

And then I head back to bed, wondering how to write about a world with grammar police and permits for writers. As my head hits the pillow, for a moment I let myself wonder what other bad writing is out there with my name on it. And perhaps I should dwell on that, but really, I trust in the system—the system being that the subconscious part of my brain will alert Conscious Me about any and all written befuddlement, even through no fault of my own. Yes, there are bugs in my subconscious brain app, the biggest one being that it rarely alerts me before I hit the “post” button. But I am amazed how well it works after the fact, time and again.

Alas, in a perfect world, my writing would come out mint every time. But some days, I’m just a mortal with a pen. Thanks for hanging out with me anyway.

for Chris

Jody Brown is the author of Upside Down Kingdom, and is a multi-blogger, poet, and traveler. Her current writing projects, including her daily blog endeavor, #Project365, can be found at JodyBrown.com/writing