There is nothing like the panic that strikes you when you think something is submitted and complete and then you receive an email saying “Incomplete”. Sheer panic. Especially when five weeks have passed and it could be one of the biggest breaks of your career.
I submitted an application for a fellowship at a major studio that I am truly, wildly hoping to be accepted for. I still have a month until they start reaching out to the hopefuls, and I received that terrifying email last night. Two sentences that dangled on a previous page of their legal document needed to be included, and I had missed them. I didn’t need to initial or sign by them, but they needed to be included none the less. Pushing that send button was one of the most tense moments in my writing career so far. There were so many components to be gathered and I had reviewed each item multiple, multiple times, so I was horrified that something went amiss.
I have no words of wisdom to offer today. I’m not sure if this is an omen or if there is some lesson to be learned. Actually, strike that. I think the lesson is that sometimes you are so invested in something that you may fail to see the smallest of errors. That’s why having as many people read your work before sending it out into the world is so important; to catch typos, grammatical errors, dangling sentences, etc. Stepping away from a project for a short time may help you regain some perspective, that is of course unless you’re on some deadline, to which I suggest finding an amazing proofreader you can really rely on!
Too often I see errors on legitimate (magazine, informational, newsworthy) sites and even writer’s pages that make me cringe that people are not taking the time or necessary steps to provide accurate information. The “information age” and the speed at which people expect information to be processed and delivered is making for sloppy work. Everyone needs to take a breather (and not rely on autocorrect).
I apologize for the little rant. I’m still a little shaken from that email. And now I will send out the good vibes — Hope everyone is having a great week!