Copyeditors often work under the “no news is good news” principle. We complete our step in the publication process, hand the content along for review or layout, and turn to the next urgent edit in our pile. We may even worry when we see a response from a client about a project we finished pop up in our inbox—Did we miss something? Did our marks not make sense? We don’t look for praise; our function is to make clients’ lives easier and keep the work flowing smoothly.
So it was an exceptional treat to be invited to a special viewing of an exhibit we had worked on for the National Museum of the American Indian. Editors, lighting designers, carpet installers, and the many other people who contributed to the “Americans” exhibit were invited to the museum before public hours to see the result of our hard work.
Just getting the invitation from the Smithsonian was a thrill, and helped me see my work in a new light. My focus is all words, and frankly I’m a better editor when I don’t wonder about the big picture. It was a revelation to see the words I had so carefully examined in PDFs and Word documents that look like this:
… turned into a museum exhibit that looks like this!
Attending the event led to another revelation. I stopped for a moment and thought about being not just an editor but a contributor, helping bring a project to fruition. After the curators addressed the group and thanked us all, I took in the knockout exhibit with a crowd of other contributors and our friends and families. I could appreciate how things I hadn’t considered before—the placement of images, the lighting, even the choice of typeface—added to the overall effect. And that made me appreciate the work the TalentMEDIA editing team does even more. We craft the words and sentences that our clients can transform to get their message out, sometimes in spectacular ways!