Minutiae, My Specialty

I was having a hard time titling this post because my mind blanked. I was going to title it “minutiae is my specialty,” but then I remembered that “minutiae” is a plural noun. “Minutiae are my specialty” made it sound like I was trying too hard (like those annoying people who insist on using proper grammar in every aspect of their speech), so I took advantage of one of the myriad uses of the comma.

Anyway, before I get too sidetracked while explaining my crazy thought process… the point of this post is that editing matters. If you think skipping editing in your quest for publication is OK and you can rely on readers to find errors after you’ve put your work out in the public eye, think again.* You cannot always catch your own errors, and if you do, you often catch them too late. (I’m sure you’ve had those terrible, stomach-dropping moments when you realized that you sent an email with a mistake in it just seconds after you actually hit “Send.” And as Murphy’s Law would dictate, it was most likely a very important email.)

Formatting minutiae matter, too. If you’ve ever picked up a self-published book and noticed funky line spacing, margins that are just a bit too wide, or copy that’s littered with extra keyboard spaces, then you probably won’t trust the author to tell you a good story as much as you would if she had paid attention to the formatting. Oh, it’s just an extra space. It doesn’t matter, the author might say. Nobody will notice. That kind of thinking is dangerous because it leads to dismissing so many of those little things that they gang up and overtake the work, making it appear sloppy.

However, the great big caveat is that perfection is nonexistent. In your own work, picking at the minutiae (or having someone else do it) is important, but it is equally important not to get too bogged down in it and know when to let go. As writers (and editors), this is a fine line to tread.

*And believe me, they will find errors after you’ve published… and they will never let you forget them. Best to edit before publication.

Notebook Review: Written in the Stars

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Starry, starry notebook: 6/27/16 to 8/26/16

I got this notebook (made by C.R. Gibson) from the clearance bin at Cato, which is not the type of store you’d go to if you wanted to buy stationery, but I had some money remaining on a gift card and didn’t want to buy another ludicrously overpriced top, so I chose something more practical: a notebook.

The band around the front is for holding pens, folded sheets of paper, and even a cell phone or small tablet, so that was a nice feature, although I could not find a way to take the band off without destroying the notebook. Speaking of destroying the notebook, it more or less destroyed itself because the spiral binding was not properly attached, so the back cover was halfway hanging off. After fixing it several times and having it break each time, I eventually gave up. That’s what you get when you buy something from the clearance bin, I suppose.🙂

The pages are lined, which is always nice, and the same star pattern on the front cover was repeated on the margins of the pages. However, the margins and lines were fairly wide, so I was able to write about four pages per day in the notebook, whereas with most notebooks I only write about one page per day. So I filled the pages in about two months.

Would I recommend this notebook? Not really, unless you’d find the cell phone holder band useful and if you’re very attached to spiral binding.

The Thursday Three #28

  1. I don’t know why I feel compelled to apologize for talking about my faith on my own blog, so I won’t apologize. But I will warn my readers that many of my posts in the upcoming months may deal with religious or spiritual matters, so if you don’t care for that or if my faith is not your cup of tea, you now know to scroll very quickly past my posts when they appear in your reader.🙂
  2. The spirit of Mother Teresa has been following me around lately. It seems like everywhere I go, I hear about her, probably because she is going to be canonized as a saint on September 4 this year. Definitely a cause for celebration! My current favorite quote from her: “I’m just a little pencil in His hand.”
  3. Sometimes when you’re going through life at breakneck speed in a frenzied rush to meet whatever deadlines the world imposes on you, you no longer truly see anything in the real world. This past weekend, I was fortunate enough to look at the shrubs in front of my house and notice this little guy (no longer than 2 inches, tail included):

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