I have some problems with my poor attention to detail. I’ve known this roughly forever. It shows up in a variety of ways.
Apparently I was either born with or developed early my ability not to see things like a messy house, or car, or tottering stack of papers until suddenly I do. I’m often surprised and even though I recognize the mess as mine feel surprised by it when I do spot it.
Although I learned to varnish the brightwork (woodwork) on boats, it required mastering a certain focus that doesn’t come to me easily. And I’ve not found a way to transfer that focus to other situations.
This lack of attention to detail also shows up in my writing. Those of you who’ve followed me for a long time know I’m prone to typos. I often don’t see them, although I find them easier to spot on my desktop monitor than on my so-called smartphone.
Dictating changes, but doesn’t eliminate the errors
I watch my men friends type on that tiny mythical keyboard with some amazing accuracy that my smaller fingers just can’t seem to get.
I’ve switched mostly to dictating texts, but the ‘auto correct’ feature does me in over and over again. For me it’s much more of an ‘auto mistake’ maker than not. Yes, I almost always go back and read what I have dictated, often spending more time editing than it took to say it. And that’s assuming I don’t hit the send button by mistake before I’m finished! Even assuming I think I’ve edited the text correctly I’m often dismayed to discover I’ve gotten a name wrong, or a phrase has been translated to something I don’t even recognize.
Recently I’ve been slowing down a bit to see if that helps. Sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn’t. If I’m tired or hungry I’m better off not texting at all.
And yes, I do exhibit some of these characteristics when editing my own writing, which is why I’d never ever hang out my shingle as a copy editor.
All this angst has increase by a tiny bit my attention to detail. May my next smartphone have a keyboard with bigger keys!
Write well and often,
Image by: Jayson Hinrichsen