Tag Archives: vision

Visually Impaired: overlooking the obvious

This morning DH woke up with his contacts in.  They’re not the extended wear type and his eyes felt like they were glued shut.  He must have been so tired that he cashed out without finishing his normal routine.

This type of impairment happens to me when I look at a manuscript too long.  Or, conversely, when I’m so excited about getting something out.  I overlook the obvious.  Just an FYI, being visually impaired is not a good way to make a great first impression.

SOME MISTAKES I’VE MADE/HEARD

  1. Misspellings.  I recently sent a manuscript to one of my good buddies (thanks, Layinda) to read.  While it was pretty clean, I was embarrassed beyond words to find that I had used hear instead of here.  Sheesh, even my third grader knows the difference.  I guess my contacts were gummed up on that one.
  2. Typos.  Big time.  My big issue seems to be adding two e’s instead of two l’s or vice-versa.  For instance, feel becomes fell and sell becomes seel.  I do it so often, I hardly notice it anymore.  When I do a rewrite, my brain makes the adjustments so my fingers don’t have to.  This common mistake is not a stellar way to impress an agent.
  3. Forgetting a signature.  Back in the day when I snailed my mss, I found myself sending off a letter sans my Hancock.  Of course, this could have been my imagination (and I’ll never know for sure), but I feared I did it and would fret until I got my rejections.  Do they reject you because you forgot who you were? 
  4. Even worse, I’ve heard, is forgetting all personal info.  Can you imagine an agent receiving a wonderful manuscript only to have no one to extend an offer to?  With spam filters, it is highly plausible that a reply won’t make it home.  And if it’s snailed, you’re doomed.
  5. Commas.  Yep.  When I read and reread, I tend to slip commas in where they’re not needed and take them out where they should reside.  My brain starts playing tricks on me and I start pausing in strange places.  Readers almost need a code book to decipher my intentions when I do this.

The only sure-fire way I know to minimize the impact of visual impairment is to set our writing aside.  When we think it’s done, we should sleep on it.  When we’ve worked long and hard and revised numerous times, we need to let a fresh set of eyes take a peek. 

And never send out anything when you’re tired.  Ever.  Something sent at two in the morning usually doesn’t get read any sooner than the query popped off at 8:30pm–two and a half days later.  As far as I know, agents do not sleep on their desks waiting for the ding of “you’ve got the most awesomest mail ever, get up right now and read it” to pull them from their slumbers.  Sleep and a cup of coffee can make all the difference in how you see your work.  I guarantee it will impact how an agent does.

I’m sure there are tons of other horror stories out there about overlooking the obvious.  If so, let us know.  We don’t want to make those same mistakes.  Likewise, share your words of wisdom on how you keep your vision clear and crisp.

Sending virtual contact solution~