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I'm a copywriter not a proofreader!

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Anything related to matters of the mind

lilredwriter

New Contributor
Apr 23, 2018
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So, I just need to get this off my chest and see if there is anyone else out there who understands. I know there are lots of different kinds of writers out there. I have worked with writers who also happen to be great proofreaders and really enjoy it. Not me. I HATE PROOFREADING. I'm also terrible at it. It's not that I don't know how to spell. It's that I have ADHD and focusing for long periods of time without interruption is next to impossible. I also suffer from noise sensitivity (selective hearing disorder), so if I'm in the middle of proofreading and someone starts talking loudly near me or eating carrots, all bets are off. However, it seems that at every job I'd had, I'm lumped into a proofreader role on top of my writing and content strategist role.

I have an advanced degree and 20 years of experience. I don't mean to sound arrogant -- I'm just NOT a PROOFREADER. It's a very special skill that I just don't posses. I admire people who have it. But it is not what I went to school for or worked so hard in my career to do. I realize there are things in every job you don't like but I am not good at proofreading. My mind wonders and I can't stay focused. I re-read the same lines over and over again. I am an idea person. I move fast. It stresses me out to be handed a proofreading job that I'm responsible for not messing up. It's become a huge problem in my current job. I was recently forced to proof a technical manual on electrical grids. Something I can't even wrap my head around. I don't care about it at all and it took me forever to get through it. I got a lot of pressure to speed up the process and when I tried to share that proofreading really isn't my thing, I got blank stares and felt like my job might be on the line. I have never professed to be good at proofreading -- but it is always implied because I'm a writer. I'm at my wit's end. Has anyone dealt with this and how did you handle it?
 
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Lex DeVille

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So, I just need to get this off my chest and see if there is anyone else out there who understands. I know there are lots of different kinds of writers out there. I have worked with writers who also happen to be great proofreaders and really enjoy it. Not me. I HATE PROOFREADING. I'm also terrible at it. It's not that I don't know how to spell. It's that I have ADHD and focusing for long periods of time without interruption is next to impossible. I also suffer from noise sensitivity (selective hearing disorder), so if I'm in the middle of proofreading and someone starts talking loudly near me or eating carrots, all bets are off. However, it seems that at every job I'd had, I'm lumped into a proofreader role on top of my writing and content strategist role.

I have an advanced degree and 20 years of experience. I don't mean to sound arrogant -- I'm just NOT a PROOFREADER. It's a very special skill that I just don't posses. I admire people who have it. But it is not what I went to school for or worked so hard in my career to do. I realize there are things in every job you don't like but I am not good at proofreading. My mind wonders and I can't stay focused. I re-read the same lines over and over again. I am an idea person. I move fast. It stresses me out to be handed a proofreading job that I'm responsible for not messing up. It's become a huge problem in my current job. I was recently forced to proof a technical manual on electrical grids. Something I can't even wrap my head around. I don't care about it at all and it took me forever to get through it. I got a lot of pressure to speed up the process and when I tried to share that proofreading really isn't my thing, I got blank stares and felt like my job might be on the line. I have never professed to be good at proofreading -- but it is always implied because I'm a writer. I'm at my wit's end. Has anyone dealt with this and how did you handle it?

Have you considered working for yourself? :rofl:

I proofread all my copy. Sometimes clients ask me to review their copy for copy edits, but usually not specifically for proofreading. That's one good thing about freelance. I can say NO to anything I don't want to do, and only do the stuff I do want to do. At a traditional job bullshit comes with the territory unless you have the leverage to be indispensable. But degrees and years of experience aren't leverage.

I feel for you. Jobs suck. What are you doing to change it?
 
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Late Bloomer

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it seems that at every job I'd had, I'm lumped into a proofreader role on top of my writing and content strategist role.

I agree with Lex. As a freelancer you can make clear that you are strong in some things, and not trying to sell yourself as an expert in other things.

Also, as a freelancer, you can bump up your rates and delivery time enough so that you can outsource proofreading before you turn your work over to your client.
 

MikeC

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I can't imagine writing copy without editing the hell out of it. To me it all comes down to the end goal. Sales are fragile.

I learned this lesson when I was writing daily emails for a client. Every time I emailed he doubled his sales (or more). Except once. That day, the email got 0 sales.

The only difference is... I forgot to make the link a hyperlink.

So no one could click on it. Didn't matter that the entire link was written out for them. They could've copied + pasted easily. But they didn't. So we didn't make any sales. And I didn't make any commission.

You can lose a sale over a poorly written sentence that snaps the reader back to reality. You can definitely lose a sale over misspelt words. People are grammar nazis and a misspelling takes away from your credibility, which is so damn hard to build in the first place.

I will say I've written some pieces very quickly that did well. It's rare. And even then I'll tidy it up. Copywriting is serious. The client can run an ad that costs a lot of money. If they get no results, it's all just a big waste, isn't it.
 
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