When You Send Out Gibberish
During the last five years, I've written over 1200 entries in The Writing Life. Besides continuing to expand my reach with these entries, I've arranged for readers to receive my writings via email and almost 500 people receive the information through this tool. If you want to subscribe, go to my blog then scroll down and in the right hand sidebar, you can subscribe.
I subscribe to my own writings and each day I look at the email. Imagine my horror when I opened the one for today and it was pure computer gibberish (see the screen shot to see part of what I'm talking about). It was pages of weird stuff which made zero sense.
Because of my work as an acquisitions editor at a New York publisher, Morgan James, I don't have a lot of time for writing these entries. For yesterday's entry, I worked hard at crafting some insight about the publishing world search for excellence. I added links to additional information and (here's my mistake), I included one of my personal photos from my recent trip to Seattle.
For some reason, I could not get the photo uploaded into my blog. I tried resizing it and then I realized that I could copy and paste it into the site. That worked on the actual site, but not on the email version. That email version was entirely garbled and nothing came through to the reader.
The minute I saw the errors, I went into a “fix it” mode. I went to the site where I sent the emails to my readers and arranged to resend this single post—right away. I received the corrected entry in my email. Whew.
I have several lessons from this experience:
1. Every writer makes mistakes. The important skill in my view is to own that mistake then work to resolve it as soon as possible.
2. I handle my own technical issues. I'll admit it is a pain some times and not everything gets done quickly because my focus is elsewhere. Yet there is no one to blame for mistakes or inaction except myself. I know all about outsourcing and how I can hire others—yet I also understand the speed and value of doing something myself (besides the cost savings). I own a number of websites. If something isn't working right or handled properly, it falls back on my own responsibility to correct. I accept that responsibility.
What action steps are you taking if you make a communication mistake? Do you shrug it or work to resolve it right away? These skills are important in the writing community and I hope my transparency helps you.