I am Such a Stinking Idiot. I Swear!

I’ve submitted two works in hopes of publication.  Last Winter Red was accepted, and will be published in December.  Yay!  But what was the other one?

The first writing I ever submitted was early this year.  It was a 2,000 word short-story for a magazine.

This magazine is very well-respected, and takes submissions until the end of January.  They choose the best out of the submissions to publish at different times during the year.

Their requirements were very clear.  It needed to be about a dog, the dog could not talk, and it had to be polished and ready for publication.

Hello, let me introduce myself.

I am an idiot

Well, heck, I had a story about a dog!  I ran it through some betas, worked it until I wanted to spit, and submitted it.

I never heard back from them.  Not a squeak.  And I can’t even say they didn’t get it, because I have a tracking number.  They got it.

I guess it’s okay that they didn’t respond.  They said they would only notify those who were chosen.

Anyway… I stewed over it for a while.  Why wasn’t mine good enough?

I read the magazine, and my story beginning might not have been a fit for their readers, but the ending sure was.  A story is a journey, right?  I just figured my beginning may have been the problem, and moved on.

A few months ago, my writers group announced that they would be publishing an anthology, and asked all members to consider submitting.  I thought about this 2,000 word story.  The chances that I would send it out to any other magazine were slim.

Soo….. I opened up my final submitted version, and gave it a read for the first time in four months.

My eyes widened after reading the second line.  No!  It can’t be!  I scanned back to the beginning, and started over.

Yes.  It can be.  Right there …  In the second stinking line.


How the heck many times did I proofread this?  How many betas did I go through?  How much time expended?

A Typo.  Not just a typo.  A BIG BLARING TYPO!  So much for “Polished and ready for publication”.

Hello, let me introduce myself.  I am an idiot.  They probably never even read past the second line.

Yep, it’s me.  I am an idiot. Feel free to smack me. Ugh!


60 responses to “I am Such a Stinking Idiot. I Swear!

  1. Groans. I hate that feeling! That happened to me with a synopsis I sent out this summer. I still cringe when I think about it.

  2. The exact same thing happened to me recently. So annoying. I also ran mine past several beta readers. When I opened the document after letting it sit for a month that typo was glaring at me, underlined in green by grammar program. How in the world could I have missed that? I felt like a total idiot.

  3. It’s a fact that at least one typo exists in every piece of writing. It exists so that the writing gods, of whom there are too many to mention, do not become jealous and throw their wrath down upon us.
    So, congratulations … you shall live to write another day!

  4. typos are like ants at a picnic! As soon as you think you’ve got them all, more turn up!

  5. I can’t understand how these errors hide. I know what you mean and when I find one, I feel someone ELSE must have put it there.

  6. I know you feel like crap for missing something so obvious, but it makes me feel good that someone who is as perfect as you are, could do something as dumb as I am. 😛

    • HA! I guess that’s somewhat why I wrote this… You guys all know I am neurotic by now… and this stupidity slipped by me. So yes, It can happen even to the nuttiest of us.

  7. Julie Catherine

    I definitely feel your pain, Jennifer. Coming back with fresher eyes after letting your work rest is always helpful for this. Even when I post my poetry on my blog, I still let it “rest” overnight, or at least for a few hours. Another great way to catch errors is to read every sentence from the end to the beginning – it makes you pay attention to what is really there, not just what you think you’re reading. Also, reading your work out loud will usually help those pesky wrong words jump out so you can fix them. And you’re not an idiot, either … a perfectionist, yes; and even if that’s a real pain sometimes, I’d rather be a perfectionist. (I’m a perfectionist too – but when I do something really stupid, I say, “I am SUCH a door knob!” LOL!)

    … this too shall pass …. (((Hugs))) Julie 🙂 xox

  8. Oh…not an idiot. Human and capable of errors.

  9. LOL! I know how this goes! Kudos on getting Last Winter Red published though!!!

  10. Robert Gregory

    LOL….Man, I’m not a published writer but am definitely a perfectionist. I have a story I’m working on, and have read the first chapter countless times (So many times, mind you, I have literally lost count!). It wasn’t until I posted a portion of it to my blog as a Six Sentence Sunday entry that I FINALLY noticed not a typo, but a whole word that made no sense whatsoever! LOL…It was not what I had meant to type and how I missed it, along with about five other readers that never questioned it, is beyond me! So, hey, everyone’s an idiot at one time or another. 🙂

  11. Oh man! Bummer. I hate it when that happens, but it does. I think typos breed when we’re not looking. I swear some of mine were NOT there to begin with and appeared later. That’s my story and I’m sticking with it.

  12. No, you’re simply human. 🙂 I’ve read countless novels and reference books where typos made it past the author, agent, editor, and even rounds of copy editors/proof readers when they still existed. Maybe it would’ve been better if the typo had been near the end of the story and they were already hooked. But you’re most certainly not an idiot.

  13. I actually had mine published, proofread by me, my writer’s group, editor and the final proofer and STILL had typos, which someone so kindly pointed out to me. That just goes to prove, they happen, no matter how hard you try to find them all. 🙂

  14. Don’t beat yourself up. It is tough to edit your own stuff.

    I write for the magazine I edit and I, too, find the occasional typo in the finished product. It happens to everyone.

    In other words, we’re all idiots.

  15. Carrie Rubin

    I went through my manuscript so many times as did two different editors, and yet I still found a couple tiny errors when doing the final Errata. It’s amazing, but the same error can slip by the eyes time after time. But you are most definitely not an idiot! 🙂

  16. I’ve totally been there too! Jennifer, hang in there.

  17. Catherine Johnson

    I’ve done that in a query letter, the pain will fade 😉

  18. I feel your pain and embarrassment!

  19. That happened to me with something I subbed as well! From the title I thought you’d done something REALLY bad like include a TALKING dog 🙂 An agent – I can’t remember her name – had a blog post where there was an “l” missing from “public.” Typos happen to the best of us!

  20. I did that recently. *epic facepalm* He was wearing PANTS, not PAINTS. Wearing paints has a whole different, kinkier feel to it that didn’t fit the rest of the story.


    I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve done the same damn thing — today!!

    Thank you, thank you for this post.

    • Let’s start a club. Idiots are us. 🙂

      • Sounds good to me. We should create a really swanky avatar that we can add (like the copyright symbol) to everything that we write or post as a disclaimer: “I know I’m pontificating. But don’t let the dumb-ass typos fool you! I really am brilliant and well-versed, dammit!!!”

        It could be the next big movement among writers. We could charge a nickel for membership dues, and probably be able to fund our own self-publishing empire with it.

        I’m only slightly jesting.

  22. It seems like no matter how many times you check, there can still be a stray typo. I sent off a query letter last week and checked it over and over before hitting the send button. It was a new version that hadn’t been sent to anyone else. Later I looked at it again, and there was a typo (also in the second line). Ugh, but how did I not see that? In my case I was lucky and the lit agent didn’t hold it against me. He still asked for my full the same day, but I’m horribly embarrassed by it. We’ll just have to wait and see what he thinks of my manuscript. Despite my many checks and beta readers, I’m sure there are typos in there too, but I did my best to clean them up.

  23. the typo, not the manuscript….=)

  24. out the window with a rock tied to it!

  25. Ah, it happens. In fact typossometimes slip in duringvtge editing process.