Why Hurting Can Help
About eighteen months after my book was published I was informed it contained a typo. Where it should have said reins it said reigns. Now, I’ll not lie to you (how could I – and why would I want to?) – I was gutted. And embarrassed. I’d missed it – and not through being illiterate or sloppy. My book was not perfect. That editors had missed it too, and readers (as far as I’m aware) was no comfort. It really stung.
And I told people about it, I mentioned it to author friends of mine. And most of them said don’t worry. It’s fine. Lots of books have typos. And although it’s not ideal, it’s not something that should cause anyone to give up writing.
And their warmth and their words helped. (It’s still something that irks me, but I’m over it.)
I received an email from a member of my writing group earlier. She’d had her first poem published and whoever had published it had made a mistake. It was formatted (cleverly) in a specific way and had ended up in the finished booklet wrong. Formatting out the window.
And I could see why she’d be upset. I know how much time she’d spent on it, and she wondered how it could have missed.
And I could tell her that I knew how she felt. And that, really, it was okay (the poem, to be fair, does look great even though it doesn’t look the same as she’d intended) and that people do make mistakes. And, I think, I cheered her up.
The most important thing is that it was published. Nothing should take the shine off that.