Can You Raed Tihs? Why Tihs Stduy Is Improtnat for Wirtres

canyoureadthisYou’ve probably seen this image floating around Facebook. That’s where I saw it. Were you able to read it? I didn’t even stumble over the words.  Amazing, right? Well, as the text indicates, as long as the first and last letters of a word are correct, the mind can still process the word.

It made me realize that if we can still read misspelled words then we can read sentences with redundant or even missing words as if there were no errors. Our mind just overlooks them or fills in the blank.

Why is this important for writers? No matter how many times you read your own manuscript, you will miss something. Not only because you can practically recite every sentence from memory but because it is human nature.

I’ve been letting my manuscript stew so that I can do a final edit with “fresh eyes” before sending it out for others to review {Yikes!}. The last time I read it I came across a duplicate word and thought, “OMG! How long has that been there?” Dozens of reviews and I never even noticed it.

I was reminded of the time I was sitting at my laptop, rubbing my chin, contemplating some piece of my story when…wait, “What is that?” I felt something underneath my chin and went to the mirror to inspect. “Oh hell, it is attached!” Yep, a chin hair! And it was about an inch long! I was horrified!

Of course I plucked it right away but the point is sometimes we don’t see what others may. Oh, and I want to send a special shout out to my husband and friends who let me walk around with an inch-long chin hair for GOD KNOWS HOW LONG! This just goes to show that family and friends don’t make good reviewers either! They love you, chin hairs and all 🙂

So, if you’re thinking of sending a manuscript to an agent or self-publishing but haven’t had another person review your work yet, don’t do it! Find someone, better yet, several people (beta readers, critique partners), and have them review it. Believe me, it’s much better than putting your best face out there only to discover it is marked by a pesky little chin hair or two or three…