What to Do When Your Eyes Are Tired from More than 15 Years of Professional Proofreading
Me: “Hey, Brain, it’s time to proofread!”
My Brain: “We don’t want to.”
Me: “But, Brain, this article isn’t complete until we proof it.”
My Brain: “Our eyes are tired.”
Me: “There might be a mistake I want to correct, or I might find ways to make the text even better.”
My Brain: “We want to eat chocolate chips.”
Me: “Braaain. I’m losing my patience.”
My Brain: “Fine, that wasn’t entirely true. We want to eat cinnamon rolls.”
I’ve proofread a lot on a regular basis over the last 15 years.
And no matter how tired my eyes may be on any given day, every article we publish on Copyblogger gets a dedicated proofreading session.
All content deserves to be reviewed by a bright-eyed-and-bushy-tailed proofreader invigorated by catching errors.
While my eyes are no longer bright and my tail is no longer bushy, I do have a technique that helps reenergize the proofreading process.
Change your speaking voice
When you proofread your text out loud — either from the beginning of your article to the end or from the end to the beginning, like I do — don’t use your speaking voice.
Choose surprising sounds:
- Whispering (Where are my ASMR peeps at?)
- High tones
- Low tones
- An unexpected accent
- Billie Eilish
The change will temporarily distract you from the chocolate-chip-and-cinnamon-roll cravings, and help you remain present to carefully perform the task at hand.
It’s sort of a mindfulness practice
Rather than proofreading too quickly (because you want to rush through this step), you’re forced to slow down.
You take the time to hear the words as you read them in your unusual voice and focus on noticing any type of mistake, whether it’s:
- A missing word,
- An extra word,
- A misspelling,
- A punctuation blunder, or
- A grammar goof.
Try this method the next time it’s time to proofread and Your Brain would much rather do something else.
A way to confidently conquer your to-do list
And then there are all of those other content marketing tasks you need to complete in addition to proofreading.
Make sure you’re doing them well with our Content Confidence Checklist.
It’s a framework that lets you check off the most important elements of good content, so you know you’re producing your best work. Because even when we know what to do, we have to remember to do it … every time.
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