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Posted on: Thursday, 16 July 2009 by Rajiv Popat

Honest confession: I am not exactly a rock star when it comes to spelling.

To be honest; I suck at spellings and I make random typos all the time.

The very idea of writing a post without a decent spell-checker makes me cringe.

Why?

Because I hate typos; specially when I am the one who is making them.

Spell-checker for me are a profoundly important.

I consider spell-checkers to be an invaluable tool for both amateur and veteran writers.

Having said that; anyone who writes; knows that spell-checkers are far from perfect. Which is probably why; every post I write; goes through more than one round of editing followed by a huge deal of proof reading. Typically; the branding; formatting; editing and proof reading of each post on this blog takes as much time as the process of writing the post itself takes.

While all veteran bloggers will tell you that spell-checking and proof reading everything you post; meticulously; is hugely important; after a point of time in your life when ideas start torturing you till you set them on a concrete post you begin to wonder just how much effort should you be putting into proof reading of each post when the same time could have been used writing about new ideas that will not let you go till you turn them into a fresh posts.

Long story short; publishing a post is pretty similar to shipping software. You have to walk the fine line between quality and shipping. Of-course your posts are shitty; but if they sit on your hard-disk gathering dust waiting to become perfect 'one day' they are worse than shitty.

Penelope Trunk describes this much more articulately than me in her post on typos while writing blog posts. She explains:

Will everyone please shut up about the typos on blogs? Show me someone who is blogging every day and also complains about someone's typos. Just try. See? You can't. Because anyone who is trying to come up with fresh ideas, and convey them in an intelligent, organized way, on a daily basis, has way too many things on their plate to complain about other peoples' typos.

Penelope's argument against spending time on spell-checks and countless rounds of proof reading stands around five simple pillars:

  1. Spellchecker isn't perfect.
  2. Spelling has nothing to do with intelligence.
  3. You don't have unlimited time, so spend it on ideas, not hyphens.
  4. Perfectionism is a disease.
  5. Use the comments section for what matters: Intelligent discourse (not parsing grammar).

If you are someone who posts using a WYSIWYG editor and doesn't even bother finding a decent blog writing tool; the discussion on Penelope's post or this post is clearly not for you.

On the other hand if you are someone who spends a huge deal of time worrying about typos on his blog posts and does multiple rounds of proof reading followed by editing; I would highly recommend Penelope's Post on this topic.

It is worth a read.

Shipping regularly; whether it is in your project, code or blog-posts; is a rewarding and fun filled exercise.

Much more rewarding than constantly worrying about perfection and playing it safe by writing less and writing perfect.

Remember; 'Don't-Worry. Be-Crappy'.

Put a decent bit of effort behind editing, proof reading and spell-checks; but don't be obsessed with these.

After all; your participation and contribution is much more important.

Besides; once you have shipped; you can always Rinse and Repeat.

If you have posts sitting on your hard-disk gathering dust because you are going to 'make-them-better', proof reader them, or spell-check them 'someday'; may I suggest; dear reader; that you ask yourself if they represent an idea worth sharing; and if the answer is yes; consider posting them out.

Not doing so can make your blog safe-and-boring.

Then continue to fix your posts as you move forward.

I do it all the time; and if people complain about their RSS Readers showing an old post as un-read when I fix it later it's easy to blame it all on Pops.

On a side note dear reader; if you find a typo on this post or anywhere on this blog; please do continue leave me a generous comment or email just like some of you have done in the past. I assure you; that the typos will be fixed and you will be thanked sincerely.

After-all; I hate typos; as much as you do.

Honest.