Writing a book is like having a baby. You conceive the idea, then nurture and pamper this creation through its development with gentle care. There are days when you want to pull out your hair, impatient for the process to be done and the day of delivery to arrive. And other days, you are so joyful of the progress and growth that you can hardly contain the excitement.
Then the day comes when it’s here, it’s complete. And more likely than not, it has taken more than nine months. Exuberance! This is your creation. You almost don’t want to let it go. Most writers feel like this – until the editors and proofreaders arrive. A lot of writers, particularly the newer ones, will say, “Oh I’ve read it through several times and I’ve done my own editing and proofreading. There are no mistakes. It’s good the way it is.” They don’t want anyone tampering with their perfect creation.
Regardless whether it is a letter, a blog or a book, you know what you want to write. So when you read what you’ve written, you don’t necessarily see the words themselves, but rather your original thoughts as you see them in your head. Such is the case when spell check allows “red” instead of “read”, or the word “of” is omitted. The writer doesn’t always catch these small mistakes. Sometimes there is a lost connection on paper between point A and point B, but the writer may not see it because it’s there, in his head. He can visualize it quite easily. The editor and proofreader have no interest in changing your masterpiece, but rather ensure that the reader visualizes, from what is written, the same ideas and concepts that you have in your head. The editor checks for clarity and continuity from a reader’s point of view. The proofreader checks for misspelled and omitted words, as well as other often-missed errors. Once these steps are done, your baby is handed back to you, perfect as you remembered it, only now it’s cleaned up.