The Final Edit

By: Matt Foss on December 11th, 2013

Woodson Art Museum Director Kathy Foley is an outstanding writer.
With great command of the English language and years of experience writing just about every document imaginable in the non-profit, corporate, and museum world, she knows how to write effectively for any audience. She’s the only person I know whose personal hero is Kate Turabian. There’s only one problem . . . she dreads a blank page.

I am the poor schlub who provides her with a first draft.
Knowing my work, no matter how incompetent or brilliant, will get sliced, diced, twisted, turned, reorganized, and repurposed is unnerving. As someone with strong writing credentials, I take pride in my prose. While I agree someone always should give your writing a “once over” – editing mistakes and offering a critique – it’s heartbreaking when only ten percent or so of the original text makes it into the finished product.

Although I found this annoying at first, I now embrace it.
Over time, I realized that while I write the first, second, third, and perhaps even fourth drafts, the edits Kathy makes during each step gradually turn it into a work of her own. This is appropriate, because her name is attached to the finished product. (Remember, I am just a schlub.) While a grant application or article might contain some of my ideas and words, it has to be in her voice and meet her standards when the Woodson Art Museum either submits or publishes the work. Now that I understand the process, I welcome the challenge and can’t wait to get started.

P.S. This blog was edited by Kathy  :)

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