The 2019 Editors' Association of Canada Conference
Does that blog post title sound a bit dry? I meant to do that in order to contrast the seeming dryness of those words with the reality of the conference; it was one of the most fun weekends of my career. My gawd, the seafood! The learning! Above all, the camaraderie and the laughter.
So much laughter that one of our cohort laughed her way into a splitting headache. I was sorry to hear about that, but when I saw her the next day, she seemed better.
I found my gang. I have close friendships with several editors who were not attending, and I knew three or four people before going out to Halifax. I came home knowing those ones (and many more) a lot better.
I learned that I’m doing the right things with my editing life, but that I need to do more of it and faster. I’m cool with that. I have a lot of energy and a lot of ideas. What I don’t have is a lot of time, so I’m thinking of ways to make my work more efficient. Working smarter, not harder (she said, using a cliché she particularly dislikes).
These ideas (partly brought on by many conversations at the conference) include an online course on self-editing which I’m in the process of developing and which will hopefully be available on my website within a month or two. If you think you might be interested in that, you can join my mailing list and you’ll be the first to hear about it. I’m spare with the emails I send out as I know we all get way too many of them.
[ASIDE: I’ve been trying till who laid the rails to get myself off various mailing lists from property management companies in Vietnam who really want me to invest in their properties, which might be hotels. Or they might be condos. Or perhaps brothels. There’s no real way to tell. I used to unsubscribe, but then I decided to enjoy them and read them to my husband. I don’t read Vietnamese, so I simply say the words phonetically and show him the pictures, and he says, “We should buy that!” Me: “I know!”]
I will not bombard you with condo offers from Vietnam, or condo offers anywhere really. I occasionally have an editing offer I share with my mailing list, but I won’t annoy you.
Conferences are excellent because they often result in an entire table full of people saying, “That’s a great idea!” when you mention you want to write and sell a course on editing your own work.
They’re also excellent if they’re in a city you love but don’t get to spend much time in. In this case, Halifax was the setting. I decided not to stay in the conference hotel: partly because of price but also because I am an Airbnb gal from way back, and will always choose that option if I can.
This Leaning Tower of Halifax (seriously, the whole apartment listed to the west) was one of the best Airbnbs I’ve stayed in. It was a block from the conference hotel, and far enough away that I felt I had a place to escape when things became intense. I find conferences intense generally as I’m going from one session to another, lining up in between in women’s washrooms that were clearly designed by men (you know what I’m talking about), and the gregariousness and friendliness of the conference people and staff, but also of the Haligonians. Halifax is one of the friendliest cities I’ve ever visited. My one regret was that my husband couldn’t join me.
I would call myself a gregarious introvert: fun and “on” when the occasion calls for it, but my true recharge takes place when I’m alone. So I found myself here a couple of times.
It’s difficult to quantify the number of things I learned at this event. I suspect a lot of it will sink in now that I’m home, and working to put into practise the ideas and suggestions and advice I collected there. I can tell you one thing for sure: Editors Are RILLY Fun. This is a good representative photo of the entire wonderful weekend:
Following up on my post about getting out of the house once in a while to see friends instead of being too much of a hermit, I think it’s equally important to spend time with people who do what you do: people who care about the work we all do, and who are not in a competition. There’s enough work to go around, and the best lesson I learned from all this (although I knew it already to some extent) is that editors are a generous bunch.
I’d like to sleep for three days, but it’s back to work for me. I wish you all a lovely week.