Sunday, April 16, 2017

Paying Attention to Detail

For many years, I have been meeting friends and clients for coffee at a local shop that is convenient to my house. We sit there for an hour or an hour and a half discussing manuscripts, or in the case of my friends, chit-chatting about this and that. For at least a decade, I have texted, emailed, or verbally requested people to meet me at Timothy's World of Coffee. Yet I just realized last week that there is no such location.

To my great surprise, I looked up the coffee shop online to confirm their hours only to discover that the name of the restaurant is Timothy's World Coffee. Aside from feeling momentarily embarrassed, I was stunned. How could I have sat in that coffee shop for ten years looking at the name on the wall or passing by in my car with Timothy's World Coffee glaring back at me so blatantly? What happened? How did I miss that?

I believe that my mind just filled in the blank. I had always thought that it was Timothy's World of Coffee, and so I saw what I wanted to see. I saw what I expected to see. It took me more than ten years to see what actually was.

This is just a cautionary warning for writers to find other ways to proofread your material. You don't have to have someone else do it, but make sure that you are alert and that your mind is open to the possibility that you could have made a mistake that you aren't aware of. Also, double check. Ask Siri or Alexa. They know everything. Google it. Don't assume that you know what you think you know. Sometimes our mind can play tricks on us.

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