Saturday, August 16, 2008

Off Again...and the Unfortunate Effects of Transcription

In the spirit of the goals I mentioned yesterday, I'm off to take a real vacation, complete with relational time, for the next 10 days before school starts. I'm taking a little bit of fiction editing and my journal with me, but I'm leaving most of my writing life behind. I'm not going to stop myself from doodling out ideas for new or current creative projects, but the place I'm going is unrelated to any current project, which is a good thing.

One thing I'm hoping this vacation will do for me is to re-set my editorial eye. See, I've been transcribing and/or analyzing transcripts for a good chunk of the summer. This job has taught me that if one wants to keep one's editorial and proofreading senses carefully in check, one must not spend much time transcribing and analyzing literal transcripts of audio files.

I discovered this effect when noticing, a week after I'd handed it in, that the paper I turned in for my summer independent study was rife with editorial errors my proofreading eye would have caught much sooner before said transcription work. I didn't have a huge amount of time to do a final proofread of that paper, but before this summer, I never would have left this many errors in it. When I went back to it a few days later, the English MA self within me recoiled in agony.

It makes sense, when I think about it--the act of transcription forces your eye to check for accuracy, not sentence structure and grammar, and the act of non-conversational-analytic transcription analysis further trains your eye to actually skim past the grammatical errors. So it's a good thing I'm taking a 10-day break from transcripts.

Anyway, I scheduled posts while I'm gone so I wouldn't feel too tempted to post--working ahead isn't usually a bad thing, especially when it contributes to the guilt-free-ness of time off. ;) The posts should pop up approximately every other day. I'm sure I'll be checking for comments occasionally, and filling in the blank days with extra posts if I really get inspired.

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