I work with words all the time. I have to be careful not to gloss over my writing. If I do, I risk missing typos and worse.
Even with a clear focus, it’s bad enough. Your focus is on conveying meaning more than it is on uncovering typos.
But there’s hope. When you edit your work, go through several runs at the text. First, read for overall flow. Second, read for clarity. Third, read for typos. This should be your minimum editing route.
Editing for different reasons each time helps you to focus on the particular task at hand. These tasks require thinking processes that do not gel with each other. If you tackle them all at the same time, it’s like ineffective multitasking.
Read out loud and look at each word, no matter how trivial. When you read with purpose, you’ll trip over sentences that clearly need reworking. When you look at each word, the mistakes stand out.
There’s another magic trick that’s easy and effective. Change font!
Yes, simply change the look of your text so it looks new to you.
Copy and paste your text into another document…You don’t want to mess about with your sparkly live document now, do you?
Then change the font. It doesn’t matter which font you choose, so long as you can read it. As you read through the draft, you’ll notice new things (both good and bad) as your brain is tricked into thinking it’s looking at a new document.
Try with different fonts until you find one that’s a good combination of readable and accessible for you to review. After a few uses, you may want to find a new font so you don’t get too familiar with any particular typeface. Once you’re used to it, you won’t be so effective when reviewing your draft.
My own method is to use a few good fonts and rotate their use. That way, I can use the same fonts and not get too familiar with them. I can even throw a curveball and use a completely different font on a particularly challenging piece of text. Anything to get me focused where it counts.
Which fonts would you recommend?