Why does it take an editor to find a word that you overuse? Once she points it out, it smacks me in the face. It is as though it slips through my manuscript in camouflage, sneaky and ubiquitous. Always there, but never seen.

My last manuscript had approximately 400 unnecessary “that’s” in it. Four hundred would seem obvious. But no. I didn’t notice that I added “that” after verbs when I didn’t need it.  Correction: I didn’t notice I added “that” when I didn’t need it. When I had to tediously remove all those extraneous ‘thats”, I became aware of them.

I’d feel as if this was a learning experience, but I am truly afraid I will develop a difference blind spot for the next book. With 26 published books out there, I have had that experience. Every new book, a new mistake. Unfortunately, there seems to be no limit to mistakes. I still am optimistic that I am reducing the probably of error. At least the probably of committing the same ones.

Does anyone else have this humbling experience? Every time you learn to spot an error, another sneaks in?

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