Lessons in the Garden

Published on 16 April 2023 at 20:13

What do my garden pictures have to do with writing and proofreading? I'm a perfectionist, and while this is an essential trait for a proofreader, my desire for perfection didn't do any favors for my garden.

The first picture is from last year—wasn't it pretty? Although much time and effort were invested in nightly pulling the little weeds, the garden produced almost no veggies. Fast forward to this spring season, when life has had me on the go without time to weed and prepare the soil. In mid-April, we are enjoying gorgeous, warm sunny days in North Texas; my garden sits unweeded and unprepared and, ultimately, unplanted. An unplanted plot of ground does not bode well for a bountiful summer garden; perfectionism and not weeds threatening to strangle my garden.

Last night after my husband and I wrapped up date night by buying a few seedlings, I grabbed a shovel and planted the seedlings directly in the middle of this overgrown, weedy garden. Later I can spend an afternoon weeding around the tomato, red pepper, and yellow squash plants, but, ultimately, these vegetables don't need perfect soil to establish roots and grow.

The written word is different—while my seedlings can grow amid weeds, your writing must be polished and perfected before it meets the world. No second chances; no opportunity to weed out errors after you've hit send on an email, published your report, distributed the personnel manual, or posted the blog. First impressions matter.

You write; I polish. Weed-free writing will make a solid impression every time.

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