(815) 503-0286 matt@matthewlbrennan.com

First, a moment of honesty. Yesterday while posting on Facebook about my newly redesigned website, I made a typo. “If” showed up as just the letter “f”. Now, before I noticed the mistake, I quickly hit publish.

Someone had already commented on the post. But because I want everything to look professional, I deleted and reposted, fixing the error. (For whatever reason, the Facebook editing feature did not appear to be an option.) Deleting does also remove the comment when you do this. Such are the hazards of instant publishing. It can happen to anyone. I was able to get the same person to comment again, and quickly correct the problem, so all ended up well.

I use this as an example of why it is crucial to double check your work as a writer. Even a one letter typo can convey a catastrophic meaning, depending on the word. (I got lucky that way in my example.) Using the wrong version of a word can also stick out sorely.

It used to be that for just about any type of publication, your work had to run through the eyes of an editor. Obviously, with the instant nature of social media, that all has changed.

Just because you finish what you have to say and the publish button is at the bottom of the page, does not mean that you should hit it right away. If it’s a longer piece, sometimes walking away or doing something else for five minutes to clear your head can help immensely.

Then, when you come back to your work, you should probably look it over at least twice. It also never hurts to ask someone else to review your work as well. That outside eye can only make your writing better.

The point is to check your work, and check again before you hit publish. Once you notice a mistake and delete the post, tweet, or comment, people have already seen it. Just because the tools are there for instant results, does not mean you need to be in a rush.

If the project is larger, sometimes hiring a freelance writer or copy editor to look at your work may save you from grammar and spelling errors.

Matt Brennan is a Chicago-area marketing writer and copy editor. He is also the author of Write Right-Sell Now.