Why You Should Alert A Writer To A Spelling Mistake

by - April 21, 2016

It had been a good day. I felt positive. I'd checked a lot of to-do's off my list at work, plus I was wearing one of those outfits that make me feel fancier than I am on the inside and, you know, that just perks a girl up, being all mysterious and whatnot.

tell a writer when they make a mistake


I was happy.

Then I came home and before I even got through my first sentence, my husband was all, "you've got something in your teeth."

And I was like WHAT? How long has that been there? And doesn't anybody care about me at all? And what in the world kind of good does it do to be all fancy if you're not being fancy at all—if you're just a big old fashioned loser in a pretty dress?

[Editor's note: Alanna didn't actually say anything like that, she's not completely crazy.]

I picked an almond skin from between my lateral incisor and my canine {or vampire tooth, as we Rusnak's like to call it} and tried to remember how long before home time it had been when I poured that little pile of trail mix into the bowl on my desk. And who did I talk to between work and home? And now, in light of all that, who was I no longer friends with...?

I couldn't remember. I hope they all had a good laugh.

I do have a point. I promise.

Just as friends need to tell friends when they have an almond skin stuck in their teeth, so do reader friends need to tell writer friends when they have spelling or grammar mistakes stuck in their writing.

Do you see?

It's only the polite thing to do. If you do it politely.

We writers, we're like turtles. If you poke us with a stick, we'll go into hiding. You've got to be gentle. When your friend has lipstick on her teeth, you don't yell across the room {I hope!} you pull her aside and discreetly whisper so as not to embarrass her. The same formula applies.

Don't fill up a writers website comment box with grammatical corrections. Comment areas, especially on blogs, are places where you're invited into the conversation—respect that by adding your opinion about whatever was posted but save the corrections for a more subtle revelation. Be discrete but don't be shy. Send a private message, email, text—something that will bring attention to the error without posting a red flag and bringing it to the attention of everyone else, too.

My online presence is one of the vehicles I use to present my voice as a writer. It's incredibly important to me that I do that well but no matter the time and effort I put into self-editing, mistakes get through and that kills me!

I'm so thankful to have a group of fellow writer's, friends, and readers who aren't afraid to tell me when I mess up. Their fresh eyes mean I'm able to make quick edits, getting myself back to my fancy-on-the-outside writerly self; who, if I may be so bold, is positively fabulous!

Or will be. Someday.

I guess, ultimately, this is a thank you letter. To all you beauties who aren't afraid to speak into my work. Because that means you care. That means you're in this with me. And it's nice to know you've got a team you can count on!


You May Also Like


I love comments and I appreciate, consider and read each one. I welcome your thoughts, whether you're in agreement or not; however, this website is a happy place and I will remove any comment that I believe to be inappropriate, malicious or spam like.

Thanks for visiting!

© Alanna Rusnak