I just sent in the final piece of material supplementing the first MS evaluation I’ve completed for the new company I’m freelancing for, an e-mail meant for the editorial staff alone summarizing my experience with the manuscript.
In which I misspelled the author’s name.
And this after countless warnings and admonitions in the piles of manuals and documentation I waded through that impress upon reviewers the need to be as professional as possible and as correct as possible, because authors don’t like it when you criticize their writing and make mistakes in you own. Which is perfectly reasonable.
I misspelled the author’s name.
I saw it just as my finger left the send button and couldn’t catch the message in time. I immediately resent it with the correct spelling and a brief note that I’d sent a draft by accident. And it was a staff-only e-mail, not something that was going to the author, thank the gods. But still. What a horrendous way to begin my working relationship with them.
This does nothing for the squirrels in my stomach and skull that are scrabbling away, wondering if I pulled it off all right. I only received three negative pieces of criticism on my test evaluation, but still, you know me; my inner editor is having a field day. In fact, it’s the one whipping the squirrels into a bloodthirsty frenzy. Because a real author is going to get my thirty-one page evaluation, and have to read it and digest it and see someone’s real-live opinion of what s/he has written, and I know what working through an editorial memo of a tech read is like. The point of editing is to show the author how s/he could make things better.
I have to let it go. It’s done. I wouldn’t have been hired if they hadn’t thought I could do it professionally enough.