It’s true, I am the creator of neat sheets—just only AFTER I’ve pressed that publish button. And even then my polished copy still looks a lot like Sweeney Todd had at it.
This is a story of reconstructive surgery—the blogging kind. On any given day you’ll open up your WordPress account and find bloggers from around the world, each of whom have written sheets and sheets of clean polished copy. All to be examined by you, the reader.
But before that can happen there’s a process called… editing.
Before every blogger publishes something, they go about sewing up their original draft. They do this by making a few new word incisions here, and a couple of sentence resections there.
Everyone except me, that is.
The skillful blogger will remove misspelled words, poor punctuation, bad grammar, and replace each with grammatically working parts. This they do, all BEFORE they press the publish button.
But not me…oh no.
Most bloggers will not submit their poetry, daily drama, photo essays, or humor until their writing has undergone an extensive amount of x-ray like proof-reading. This is likely followed by a little fact-checking before they prescribe some well tested, and time honored grammatical remedies.
And this whole operation is scheduled and completed on time, so that the readers can get on with their daily lives. Again, all BEFORE… they press that publish button. How do they do it?
These bloggers are skillfully trained pros at what they do. Some have even attended four year universities and demonstrated their education by dissecting their post, BEFORE submitting it for public viewing.
They may even have served an internship writing copy for some big name magazine or newspaper. Some may even have gained some valuable experience in private practice—working on a novel or short story.
And then there’s me…
“The Butcher of WordPress” way too skilled in the art of skewering the English language to even be mentioned in the same breath as the a fore mentioned group of SKILLED PEOPLE.
You see, in my case, the entire act of cutting and slicing away of diseased copy from any post, has become something of an arduous never-ending task. Akin to a surgeon who faces malpractice suits at the drop of a pair of Metzenbaum scissors.
However, this does not exonerate WordPress and their administrators either—including their chief of staff.
They too, are guilty of some atrocious cases of malpractice themselves. They might even be bigger quacks than myself. Why one routine examination of their numerous platform changes could tell you that.
Yet… am I a qualified and successful writing specialist, worthy of being included on the WordPress staff of writers?
Qualified? Are you kidding? I barely graduated Pre-Read! The only residency I’ve ever done was Post OP (Post Operation on a article after pressing Publish). There, I’m an expert in private practice as I perpetually correct every post I write—but unfortunately…AFTER I’ve pressed the publish button.
Meaning: none of my posts are ever finished.
In fact, many of my articles (try all of them) fall prey to reconstructive surgery LONG AFTER I’ve pressed the publish (PANIC) button. Making changes in my text, totally visible to readers.
LIKE SCAR TISSUE—you can’t miss them!
Am I proud of this kind of corrective writing surgery? Sometimes, but I do confess, it often looks like I’m still stitching the piece together after agonizing over the original post… for all of three minutes.
But you must remember, when you leave a scalpel in the body of your work (or post as the case may be), you should still try to go back and perform surgery and correct your mistakes. Yes, it may prove to be a little uncomfortable for the patient—sort of like, performing major surgery without anesthesia—but you may avoid that writing malpractice claim.
This may explain to my readers (patients all) why my posts, and their appearance, seem to evolve like poor Meg Ryan’s face has over the years.
It’s like getting schooled in the art of editing… and yet it still looks bad!
Naturally, this whole post will likely rewrite itself in about a week. Why this sentence alone is proof of that—since I added it just this morning, along with numerous other changes.
So, if in a week you come back to take another stab at reading this gobbledygook—if you are into that kind of torture—you might just discover a whole new post.
The clean up blogger of neat sheet? Uh… well sure… AFTER I’ve made thousands of corrections AFTER pressing the publish button—thus sending the post out uncleaned and unpolished into the blogosphere.
Why, I’d even bet there’s some joker out there right now muttering to himself about how this post still looks grammatically wrong. As always, that mutterer knows best.
That’s because… I’m STILL revising this post even as we speak, and might continue to do so right on up until the end of time!
Haha, I like the wit in this post. I’m like you, I try to make sure my posts are the best but occasionally need to go back and clean them up.
But take heart Vin, it could be worse. You could feel compelled to do it on every post—like I do! 😀
Seems to me you have edited your post very well! But then, how would I know, I’m not an editor and often have to go into my published post to fix mistakes that I failed to catch.:D
Thank you Joy for those kind words. If only I had you as my editor. That would be a lot less work I’d personally have to do. 😀
LOL! I honestly don’t know if I’m any good at it anymore. You might fire me as soon as you hired me! haha!
Not to worry, Joy. It was one of those non-paying positions anyway. The kind of position I’m notorious for here at, In my Cluttered Attic’s offices. My employees (all none of them…now) had always felt that they should get paid for the kind of stuff I turn out on my blog. Can you believe that? I can’t imagine where they ever got that idea from? I mean, like this was some kind of big city WordPress blog or something. I mean… gee-whiz. You’d have to get discovered by WordPress to make money and recognition like that! 😀
That was rude of them! Imagine them wanting to be paid! Hopefully, you will soon start raking in the money from your blog on WP and then you can take over their company. 😀 😀
Until that day…WORK YOU DOGS, OR YOU’LL CONTINUE TO GET NOTHING AND LIKE IT! 😀
Hahahaha! Are you talking to the WordPress people???
Nothing is more frightening than that publish button. (speaking of which, I just typed publish butter – yeah, you’ve gotta watch out for publish butter…) I always look forward to your posts.
LOL Publish butter! Well at least it wasn’t publish margarine. Thank you Jan. :O)
LOL! Corrective writing surgery! How much does that job pay? We are all guilty of the malpractice Paul. ~Elle
Not enough Elle, I can assure you. With us all being guilty this could turn into a class action suit! 😀
Every once in a while I notice that a barnacle has grown on one of my posts. It couldn’t possibly have been there when I wrote it……
Of course not, Kate. It certainly sounds fishy to me. :@)
Poor Meg Ryan. lol. Keep doing what you do, Paul. It works. ☺
Thank you, Van. Now if only I could find an editor for my work—who is willing to work for free! They’ll never have to worry about having enough work to do, that’s for sure.
Paul, I find myself re-editing posts after “Publish” because of stray spaces left between words and punctuation ALL the time. Obsessed with appearance. If someone CSI’d my entries they’d be hard-“pressed” to not find multiple WordPress scalpel marks on just about every post. I do most of my “carving” post-post!
LOL You do most of your carving post-post! That’s a good one Bruce. 😀
You always crack me up! I hit publish and then go back and edit more haha! Love it!!
Many thanks, Lynn. Given the responses I’m getting, I am beginning to think I’m not an isolated case anymore. I couldn’t be in better company, though. :O)
We’re exactly the same! I make so many corrections after I press the Panic button.
And you know Paul, after I do press that panic button, I can’t stop doing it. It’s no wonder I’m in a perpetual state of panic! 😀
Haha…. I wonder what edited version of this post I read… lol! But believe me, even after all the pre-surgeries I am often finding things after publishing and edit them. Panic button…. perfect….lol!!!
I mean it’s so true, Erika. I go and re-read everything, make the corrections—or at least I thought I did—and then press publish (thinking everything looks great). Only to find, to my horror, after reading the version I just published—that it’s riddled with error after error. Then I break out into a sweat…and I haven’t been on a treadmill in months! So, either I am having a heart-attack, or I’m running around in a blind panic thinking everyone who reads the post feels I’m illiterate. And who could blame em! 😀
I see you panicking in front of your computer and desperately rushing back to your post! Do you have Grammarly? It helps at least to find the most obvious errors.
But I really understand. Thank God it doesn’t happen too often anymore but if I see that I forgot something or find an error I am like you… breaking out in sweat and trying to fix it as fast as possible! At least I have the excuse that English is not my first language 😃
Erika, there are those who would say… that it’s not mine either! I probably should get Grammarly, but I’ve been using granny to help with the editing of my posts. But I find that she’s simply awful at grammar, too. I guess I should have fired her years ago, but I simply didn’t have the heart to tell her—that I’ve been paying her in Monopoly money all these years. She can’t tell the difference anyway, but I can’t wait to see what happens when she tries to go put it all in the bank. That moment alone might be worth another poorly edited post!
Gosh…. you have me bursting, Paul! That came totally unexpected. I am laughing tears!!!! I can’t get that picture out of my head you implanted… lol!!!
LOL…I love it when I can do that to some poor unsuspecting soul. And poor granny won’t see it coming either. 😀
I completely understand!!! When I sometimes read back my posts I am horrified by the number of spelling mistakes and the likes I overlooked…I am truly happy with all the ‘likes’ I receive anyways…so in the end it might not matter at all. phew…just like I always enjoy to read your posts! Cheers to imperfections! Have a great weekend, Johanna
And boy am I imperfect, Johanna! Another one of my flaws seems to be not typing words that connect a sentence together. Oh I think the word while I’m typing, but apparently I didn’t TYPE the word at all. Then later—when I go and re-read it—I discover me speak Indian real good! Or at least that’s how it sounds when I go back and read the text. Me heap big word skipper. 😀
Couldn’t help but crack up when you hit the line – The Butcher of WordPress.
😀 Thank you GP. I was rather proud of that line myself. Sweeney Todd has nothing on me. 😀
Writers are crazy people, never satisfied with their end result and always finding another word or phrase that should be changed. Sometimes it’s fun to realize you’re not a writer, put down the surgical tools and enjoy the work of your machete. As you can tell by my posts, life is infinitely more fun that way…:)
You’re so right, George. I do need to stop worrying so much and accept that I am a writer—as insane an idea as sounds. Where’s my machete? 😀
I go over my blogs so much before publication that I either end up practically starting over again. Sometimes editing is quick and easy. Sometimes I get so tired of looking at the post that I put the post aside until the next day. But editing can really makeva difference.
Oops, I didn’t proofread! Omit the either. Lol
Oh dear god, it’s contagious. I’m rubbing off on you! 😀
Yep, you went and messed me up! It’s all your fault. Lol
So sorry, Joyful. I guess your attorney’s will soon be in contact with my attorney’s. Yet another editing malpractice suit coming my way.
And in my case, Joyful, editing might have helped my readers—you’ll note that I used the word, might—in deciphering what code I was using at the time when I first wrote the thing—way back in 1894! Oh the re-writes! 😀
You must really love blogging. Lol
Or I’m a beggar for punishment! 😀
I’ve found that clicking that “Publish” button reveals previously invisible errors.
YES! Something that was spelled just fine, somehow the letters move around. I always think they are playing that car game, Chinese Fire drill. (at each stop sign, they get out and run around the car and end up in different spots) just to mess with me.
Sandi, I tell ya, there are gremlins in every post. However, I’ve always thought the letters were just playing their version of musical chairs with me. 😀
You know, Mike, this is one hell of a magicians trick we’re dealing with here—and it’s spreading! 😀
You have a lot of roles. Either you are a master of multi-task or have a multiple personality disorder? I haven’t quite figured it out… truly awesome, or truly crazy. Awesomely crazy, perhaps? And that’s why you are the butcher. When you are slicing and dicing, are you leaving a big mess on the floor? I’m sure your wife would not be pleased.
Sandi, as you know, it takes lots of guts to attempt doing the kind of posts I do. My wife has to hire a forensic clean-up crew, given the mess I leave after editing surgery. The floor always looks like alphabet soup when I’m done. As you can guess, being the wife wife of an alphabet surgeon is not an easy one.
Well, I’m sure a “wife-wife” already pulls double duty… hence why she is called wife twice. So she gets extra Xs and Os of the alphabet soup.
LOLLOLLOLLOL!!!!! Looks like my editing skills need to extend to my comments sections, too! How did that one ever get by me? Pulling “double-duty” I loved that! Not sure my wife will, though. But, like you suggested, perhaps a few extra X’s and O’s will make her feel better. Hell, I’ll even throw in a few extra W’s I’s F’s and E’s for good measure. 😀
well, be careful with that, because you might send the wrong message…like you have some extra w I v e s …on the side.
With all the constant editing I do who has time? 😀
Well, the wive(s) plural – have to deal with ALL the other stuff of the world, since all you do is edit.
Your so right, Sandi. But someone has to edit, and since you—and the wives—do all the other stuff, that leaves poor old me with the burden of editing. But that’s okay, I’m not complaining, as I understand we all have to do our part. 😀
I love the feature that shows you how many times you’ve revised a post. It’s almost as if it’s there to mock you.
When I see that I’ve revised a post 12 times — sometimes AFTER it’s been published — it’s like WordPress is saying, “Couldn’t quite get it right the first time, huh buddy? Ah, shucks. Better luck next time.”
I need to find a way to fudge the number so that it appears I’ve edited a post only two times — or three at most.
Allen, I just knew it. I’d swear I heard that WordPress editor mocking me more than once. It even used that very phrase, “Couldn’t get it right the first time, huh buddy?” And all this time I thought I was just hearing voices in my head. Well now I have proof it’s not all in my head! I think that psychiatrist of mine has just been taking me for a ride!
I think all those voices we’ve been hearing is from the lynch mob upset about the new WordPress editor. You can see a line of torches and pitchforks parading toward WordPress Headquarters, while nervous software engineers clean their Coke-bottle glasses and peer through the blinds.
LOL…KILL THE MONSTERS!!! 😀
And all along, I’ve been reading your posts too soon. That explains a lot.
I’m so sorry Scott. I kept wanting to put up a warning sign that said “A better version of this post might be found on this blog in about 12 months.” but I ran out of space—and letters! 😀
Haha… I often find mistakes after publishing my posts and swiftly switch to the ‘edit’ mode.. 😀
I think blogging is all about spontaneity and, a couple of mistakes here and there are always welcome 😛 Totally enjoyed reading this witty piece…
Thank you, Mani. I agree with you. I feel blogging is like story telling. When you’re in that moment, you feel like you have to get it all down right then and there, or you might forget a particular thought, or word. And we all know how hard it is to retrieve epiphanies—it could change the whole feel of what you were writing at that time.
Exactly! I agree with you completely… 🙂
Careful Paul, your OCD is showing. By the sounds of it we all have OCD. I particularly like the comments that talked about the Publish button rearranging things and the list of revisions because I can so relate.
Stephanae, I think the blogging editing process thingy is probably so grueling, maybe we should share it with other bloggers—even if they don’t want us too! No, no! I think it’s only fair. 😀
You don’t have to convince me. I’m total agreement.
Oh my god m so thankful to find you😂😂 m one of those “after” publish types !! The small punches of hilarity😂😂 they’re great ! U never fail to make me smile 😅😂 rather laugh !
And responses like yours, Aayusi, are the kind that put smiles on my face. Thank you for that. :o)
I am neither of the bloggers you mentioned unfortunately. I just write and leave for fellow bloggers to have great time in reading and wondering about my skill set as a writer. They needn’t go as far as my poetry books even.
Anyways, It was fun reading it 🙂 Hope to explore more this weekend.
Well, all the same, I am delighted. Thank you, Euphie. :o)
So, do your slaughtered, unused words end up in narsty meat pies at the shop downstairs, Paul?
Uh, perhaps. One can’t say for sure—without using some of me unused words. 😀
I fall in between both worlds – a double check, quick edit and the post! Only if something is glaringly wrong will I bother to re-edit, usually when I’ve forgotten to add the all important negative in a sentence or such. Over the year I’ve found some who kindly point out my mistakes! Fun post hitting home. 😀
Thank you, Annika. I suspected there might be a few of us who deal with this nagging problem. It is reassuring to know I’m not alone. Hoping you’re having a great weekend. :O)
This is so funny because it’s so true! I usually edit my posts 25 or so times. Then hit publish and find more errors. My errors are usually made because of the last edit. Last night I checked my stats and re-read my post and there it was…another error. No one shouted me out in the comments, which was very kind, but it was embarrassing. We’ve all been there, Paul. So funny!
Thank you for that, Barb. I’ve been fortunate—so far—to not have anyone point out my errors in grammar. Well, there was little Brian—age 5—from Billings, Montana who pointed out that I spelled the word cold with a K (as in Kold). But i can handle it. YOUR SHOELACES ARE STILL UNTIED, BRIAN! WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THAT MISTER SMARTY PANTS? 😀
I myself am quite gifted at hitting “publish” just as my eyes fall to glaring errors… of course, that is post-click. Ah, the editing never stops! It was nice to hear from you, and thanks for stopping by my blog!
Yes, I find my editing process always seems to be an ongoing thing. Your post on Ireland was very enjoyable. :o)
LOL…I hate it when WordPress causes me to miss a typo or misspelled word.
Isn’t it the worst! LOL. Thank you, Robert.