My Apology To You: Please Pardon The Typos

Typos on side of Dept. of Corrections van

Your Pardon For My Typos

I owe you an apology. Yes. I do mean you.

Because you, dear reader, are still reading. And unless this is your very first JoyPrO post— and if it is, a big warm hug of a welcome to you—you’ve suffered your way through an unkind number of typos.

Once upon a time, I wrote “Be Freed From Perfectionism.” Alas, it seems I’m a wee bit too free. It’s not perfectionism that’s plaguing me.

Reader, I’ve treated you with less than my utmost respect. I’ve drug you through the mud of my sometimes sloppy and slapdash ways. I am guilty of overthinking and under-editing. And, if I’m a writer who cares for my readers—indeed, who has readers—that’s a lethal combination.

In short, you’ve endured far too many typos. You deserve better. So I humbly beg your pardon.

To Love Is To Proofread

Some of you are thinking exactly what I’d be thinking right about now. Namely, “The proof is in the pudding.” Because you know that the mark of true repentance is turning from error.

In other words, here now, real repentance means that I must proofread. It means that I must be more patient. I must wait to hit publish longer than it is comfortable to wait.

By the way, the end of all this proofreading and patience is love. And I don’t mean mostly the self-love that knows you’ll stop reading if I keep publishing sloppy posts. I mean the care for my readers that says, “Slow down. Don’t push “publish” until fresh eyes have checked it for typos.”

In other words, I’d best deny myself and wait awhile for your good, dear reader. Because if what I have to say has any encouragement at all, you’ll miss it. It’s just not worth it if you must wade through missing punctuation, misspelled words and fragmentary phrases. It’s just not loving. So I must deny myself and wait.

I love how counselor Ed Welch explains that connection: Self-denial is the just the means to the end. And the end is love. Self-control is the grace that allows us to say no to indulging ourselves for the sake of others. You could call it love…

That Would Be A Good Idea

Abigail, you need a proofreader.

That’s what my sister-writer-friend Kat texted after she read the post. And I was convicted in a painful minute on Saturday morning. She was right.

Within minutes, a wise, insightful friend who reads with a careful eye came to mind. I didn’t waste time.

Her reply?

Yes, I think that’s a good idea. And I’d be proud to help.

I won’t tell you her name in case you spot a mistake. But my proofreader friend is another one who has the precious gift that some of you have. You encourage and correct in one fell swoop. When you correct, it feels like love.

Because, like Lincoln said, he has the right to criticize who has the heart to help. And believe you me, Kat has a heart to help. She told me I needed a proofreader, then she gave up her next half hour to be that proofreader.

When uncaring souls calls out our faults, our souls deflate. I call that “dish and dash.” But criticism tethered to a helpful heart is how the world is changed.

Criticism tethered to a helpful heart is how the world is changed.

Christopher Abel

Back to you, reader: I ask your forgiveness and I promise to do better. You see, I am taking steps.

Listen In: Onward & Upward With Abigail Wallace

This has been a sort of DTR (Define The Relationship) post. DTR talks are dangerous. Sometimes couples and friends get too meta and that can get messy. But I hope this DTR has been less messy and more clarifying. I will do a better job proofreading, and in turn, I pray you will read with greater joy, and ease.

Because I want to serve my readers better. I want to write words that help build you up in your most holy faith as we become stronger, softer saints who embrace God’s sometimes uncomfortable grace. For the record, if there’s a question or topic you’d like to see me address, please send it my way. I want to scratch where you itch. Odds are, others itch there too.

One final note. A few readers have said they’d prefer to listen than to read. I get that. If you’re one of those readers, you’ll be happy to know that future posts will include a link to the brand new Onward & Upward With Abigail Wallace podcast, which for now, is simply me reading these posts.

I hope the podcast format helps you redeem your time. Plus, if typos sneak into a post, you won’t even know.

Enthusiasm without knowledge is no good; haste makes mistakes.

Proverbs 19:2, NLT