Last night, the huge story that I was working on last week for my college newspaper came out online. Naturally, the first thing I did was read it, only to find 3 grammatical errors.
This may not sound like a big deal to most of you, but to me, it was major.
3 errors? Yes, 3 entire errors.
I was so upset, my blood inside my whole body was literally heating up and wanting to spill out.
If I sound overly dramatic, it’s because indeed I was acting that way, but it’s because that was the first time I’ve ever seen any of my published work flawed.
As many of you reading this blog who struggle with eating disorders of your own already know, one of the major characteristics that make us such good candidates for eating disorders is the constant need to be perfect.
We all tend to be on the perfectionist side of the spectrum, and that’s where our Ed’s get to us. They tell us that in order to achieve perfection, we need to lose that last pound, or work off that last calorie.
Needless to say, my point is, that I am exactly that perfectionist person.
So when I saw those errors, it literally ate away at me . It was the same feeling I had when I failed my writing test for NBC.
Anyway, I was up until 3 in the morning so upset over it, only to wake up at 630 a.m. to find that I had made one more mistake in the story.
I interviewed someone who had gone through a traumatic event in 2010, yet when I referenced to that event in the article, I wrote 2006. Don’t ask me why I wrote 2006, because I clearly knew it was 2010, for whatever reason, I just did.
So the balanced and not black and white part of me would have thought this through. But I wasn’t balanced this morning. I was black and white-the gray was totally not there.
So, what did I do? I e-mailed the guy who I made the mistake about, asking him if he wanted me to correct the date. Then I decided, that of course, he would want me to fix it, so I sent another e-mail saying I would.
A short 30 minutes later,my editor made the change online and it was all fixed.
It was nothing for her to fix. Even she said it was such a minor error and not to worry about it.
But I was worried. I would be worried until I heard back from the guy that it was OK.
So, now I was on my fifth e-mail to this guy in the span of an hour, saying that the error is now fixed.
Had I waited and went to my editor first, he wouldn’t even have known there was an initial mistake.
Anyway, I waited all day for his answer.
All day I was anxious. All day everyone told me it was no big deal, and most people said they didn’t even notice the grammatical errors. But I didn’t care. It wasn’t a perfect story now and it bothered me.
As I was sitting in class falling asleep due to not sleeping because of all my anxiety last night, I got an e-mail back from that guy.
This is what it said:
Thank you very much! I appreciate you going through all this effort. Its a great article. I showed it to my boss and he thought it was great!”