I recently started watching the Netflix documentary series Abstract: The Art of Design, and I am enthralled. Each episode in the series focuses on a designer who is innovative in their field – costuming, bio-architecture, toys, even typesetting (I haven’t gotten to that last one yet, but I suspect it will be relevant to my interests). I started with the episode on interior design because I’ve often wanted to learn more about what makes a room feel comfortable rather than cold and bare or cluttered and claustrophobic. I was even more inspired than I expected to be, and I was surprised by how many of the insights also apply to my editing practice.
CW: death of an extended family member; death of a pet
This post took me a long time to write, and the thoughts in it are still a little unpolished, but it felt good to finally get it out of my drafts folder. Each person’s grief is unique, and we’ve all had more than our share of losses over the past few years. I don’t pretend that my losses are bigger than anyone else’s or give me special insight, but I’m sharing my thoughts in case someone finds them helpful.
Distractibility is a symptom of grief for which I was unprepared. The ability to focus on the nuances of the text in front of us is something that we editors pride ourselves on – and rely on to make a living – and it can be destabilizing to lose that ability, even for a day.
In 2016, I was a wide-eyed newcomer at the Society for Editors and Proofreaders annual conference. In 2017, I was a nervous lightning-talker. By 2018, I was delivering a one-hour session at the annual conference and helping out with the inaugural Toronto mini-conference. And now, in 2019, I’ve found myself speaking again at the annual conference and co-organizing the Toronto mini-conference. My SfEP conference-going history can best be summed up by the phrase: “Well, that escalated quickly.”