Words and More Words

By: deanna on March 18th, 2009

I often wonder how many words I’ve written about the Woodson Art Museum since I began working here in September 1977.

What do I write or help edit? Here’s a short list: letters (every imaginable type), grant applications (ditto), events calendar and invitation copy, exhibition descriptions, newsletter stories, newspaper and magazine articles, press releases (too many to count!), catalogues, website blurbs, staff memos, handbooks, e-mails galore, blogs, innumerable lists, WHAT’S LEFT???

Shortly after my Woodson arrival, I took a writing refresher course with instructor Jim Force. One statement he made is imbedded in my mind: “Every time you sit down to write you have the opportunity to make a difference for your organization.”

When I sit before a blank white Word screen on my monitor and the writing muse appears to have left the building, I think about Jim’s words and then launch into the task at hand.

Is it easy? Not usually. Is it letter perfect? Rarely. Is it work? Definitely. (I don’t trust people who say writing is fun!) Am I subject to editing? Everyone at the Woodson Art Museum is subject to editing. A favorite mantra is from Oscar Wilde: “In the morning I put a comma in and in the afternoon I take it out.”

The way I write (computer vs. pencil and paper) or submit materials (hard copy vs. online) has certainly changed – but the need to write has not. Fortunately, the Woodson’s exhibition schedule, additions to the collection, new education programs, and the need to continually seek funding mean that my subject matter is seldom the same.

Have I made a difference for the Woodson Art Museum? I want to believe I have – but that doesn’t ensure a cure for “blank-screen syndrome”!

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