A few weeks ago, I spoke at the 2018 National Conference of Editors Canada in Saskatoon. Judging by the very positive feedback I received, my presentation – “Navigating the Freelance Life from Woe to Go” – definitely struck a chord with the crowd who attended my session.
I also had the opportunity to introduce Yvette Nolan, whose presentation titled “Whose Voice Is It, Anyway” reminded me to be mindful of the power and responsibility we have as editors, writers and human beings in serving the story and the storyteller.
There were many great sessions and a wide variety of topics over the two days of the conference, and even if some of these weren’t my area of expertise, there was still something of interest to be had.
For example, I accidentally followed Melva McLean into Trilby Henderson and Amber Rowein’s session “Partnering for Success Bridging Diverse Roles in an Agile Workplace”. I quickly realised my definition of “agile” was not anywhere close to what they were talking about – until I found a connection between their topic and what my brother Steve does for farmers in Australia.
My only regret is my session wasn’t recorded. Silly me. If only I’d double checked early enough, I would have been able to set something else up when there was still time. Note to self: I alone am responsible for recording my presentations and speeches. If it wasn’t for James Harbeck who sat in on my session and snapped a few photos when “the light was just right”, I wouldn’t have any photographic evidence that I was even there. Thanks for that, James.
Thanks also to my friend Melva McLean for encouraging me to apply to be a speaker.
And thanks to everyone at Editors Canada for organising a fabulous event. It was an excellent opportunity for freelancers like me, who spend a lot of time by ourselves editing in our offices, to connect with others in our fields and beyond. And I thoroughly enjoyed being back on the national stage for the second time to share my experiences, observations and ideas about the freelance life.
Finally, thanks to Yann Martel, author of “Life of Pi”, who reminded us that for many of our clients, editing can be “a shocking experience”, especially if every page comes back with some edit or comment on it. However, his final message – that his books are “much better and much clearer, thanks to you as editors” – made us all a little prouder of the work we do.
If you want to attend or present at next year’s conference in Halifax, keep an eye on the Editors Canada website. Personally, I highly recommend doing both.