Close-up of a typewriter page. It sais "Allways chek four speling misteaks."

Once upon a time, there was a writer. He wrote a lot. In fact, it was his job to write, and he loved it.

There was only one problem: while the writer had many friends who were also writers, he also had a group of enemies that, no matter what he did, seemed to come after him.

He spent his days writing. He wrote in notebooks, on a typewriter, a computer and even something called a “smartphone.”

There were so many words, and he loved them all! Sometimes the words spoke to him at night. When he tried to sleep, they would whisper or even yell into his ears. He kept a notebook by the bed so he could write them down when they were too loud and he wanted to sleep.

Let’s get back to the writer and his enemies. The thing about these villains is that they were cleverly disguised as words that made perfect sense. The words danced around him, gave him back massages and held his hand. But, his enemies, they weren’t quite so friendly.

These mean villains looked like words and coherent sentences. Sometimes they wore trench coats or fake mustaches to look like words and sentences, but they were not. These nefarious creatures were called Typos.

“The writer tried to fight against them with tools like spell and grammar check. He would send his work to a friend to proofread. But the typos were so good at disguises. Sometimes they’d dress up in full couture gowns, and other times, leather jackets. Whatever it took to look like words.”

One day, the writer wrote an email to his boss. He tried extra hard to focus, practicing this thing his therapist called “mindfulness.” He was determined to listen to the words and not fall for those disingenuous Typos.

Finally, after 30 minutes of ruminating over his email, tirelessly checking to ensure that The Typos didn’t infiltrate his computer, he hit “send,” and breathed a sigh of relief.

But then, he got a nagging feeling. Something wasn’t right.

In the distance, he could hear the faint sound of maniacal laughter. The laughter grew louder and louder, until it was unbearable. He jolted in his chair and someone (or something) shouted in his ear: “HA!”

The writer screamed. He turned around and there it was: a Typo, laughing right in his face.

With haste , the writer went into his Gmail and looked at the “Sent” box. With dread, he opened the sent message to his boss, and there it was…a big glaring TYPO! The email read:

Hi John,

Thank you so much for the deadline extension.
I’m confident I can finish it before Ocktober 17th.


The writer’s face turned red with embarrassment, and then the shame transformed into rage. He jumped out of his chair holding a giant pink eraser and a bottle of Wite-Out. The writer shouted at the Typo:

“That’s it! You’re done!” The Typo ran as fast as it could away from the writer, cackling all the while..

“I want you out of my apartment and out of my LIFE!!” The writer shouted with desperation.

The Typo ran for its life. It knew it couldn’t withstand the eraser and the Wite-Out together. It had to get away.

It spotted an open window that led to a New York City alleyway. The Typo didn’t know what was out there, but it knew that it was done for if it stayed in the writer’s apartment.

The writer ran as fast as it could to catch the Typo, but it was too late. The Typo jumped out the window and into the alleyway, off to go terrorize another writer somewhere.

The writer took a deep breath and collapsed onto his soft green couch holding the Wite-Out and the eraser. The Typo was gone, but he knew that it would return..

There was only one thing left to do: He had to email his boss right away and apologize for what the Typo had done. He opened his laptop, which was laying next to him on the couch.

Hi John,

Apologies for that last email. I meant to say: I’ll be finished with the article by October 17th. Sorry about the typo.


It wasn’t the ideal scenario, but at least the Typo hadn’t beaten him entirely. He knew what it did, and he’d corrected it. Feeling relieved, he opened his laptop to check his email. There was one unread message.

Oh look, he thought, John replied! He opened the email and there it was:

Hello Andy,

No worries about the typo. They happen to the best of us.

Your quite welcome.



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By Sarah Fader

Sarah Fader is the co-founder of Stigma Fighters, a nonprofit organization that encourages individuals with mental illness to share their personal stories. She has been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Psychology Today, The Huffington Post, and more. She has a podcast too!

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