Monday, May 5, 2014

Abstract Thoughts: Union Meetings Are So Much Fun

Wisdom of an Inner Editor
If you've been reading this blog, or following Renee on Twitter, or have spoken to her at all in the last few months, you'll know that Renee recently attended a writing conference. We haven't been to one of those in years and she was, understandably, very excited.

What you may not realize, unless you pause to think about it, is that any gathering of writers is also a gathering of abstracts. We Inner Editors, as well as the Muses and Idea Salesmen and even the Critics, love it when writers get together, because we get the chance to sit down with our peers as well. And there's nothing quite so entertaining, in my opinion, as a boardroom full of Inner Editors.

What?!? A boardroom full of Inner Editors? *shudder* Jeeze, IE, don't talk about things like that. You'll give our writing readers nightmares for months.

Idea, I know you sometimes cannot resist offering your opinion, but I believe this is my blog post. I'll thank you to hold your remarks until your own post next week.

Where was I? Oh, yes, I was telling you how happy I was to attend a union meeting in person. The Inner Editors' Union has gone largely digital in recent years, and we don't get together as often as we used to. It was nice.

Don't get me wrong. My coworkers are fine imaginary people and we have a very strong working relationship. But the Muse has, at best, a rudimentary understand of what I do, and the Idea Salesman is often more interested in looking at the bottom line than my opinions on how to get there. Sometimes it's good to discuss things, rationally and logically, with a fellow Inner Editor or three instead.

I can be myself with them. They're my people. They get me.

Renee and I also attended some good workshops on honing voice, a multi-step revision process, and tightening prose. Those are few of my favorite topics and the writers who presented them work with excellent Inner Editors. I was practically giddy at getting the opportunity to hear them speak.

If I were the type to be giddy, that is. Which I'm not. And even if I were (I'm not) I certainly wouldn't indulge in that kind of behavior at a professional conference while surrounded by my colleagues and mentors.

I gather the Idea Salesman also enjoyed himself. He attended several panels and workshops with Renee about the publication process which he's done nothing but ramble on and on about since. He also encouraged her to do a good bit of "networking", which I feel would be better termed "gushing like a crazed teenage fangirl", but he seemed to think it was important.

And the Muse certainly enjoyed herself, which is to be expected. She and all the other Muses swapped story ideas and traded characters back and forth like baseball cards. Plus there were all the writers themselves. A crowd of any kind is always good for her, but for an abstract made up of creative energy, a crowd filled with other artistic types is like being immersed in an all-you-can-eat buffet.

She soaked it all in and kept whispering in Renee's ear. Every time there was a longish break in the schedule, they pulled out the netbook and clacked away at the keyboard. Netting 3500 words in a couple of days, especially since there were very busy days to begin with, is good work for our writer.

Sadly, Spring Fling only comes once every two years, so it'll be 2016 before we're back there again. But there are plenty of other opportunities. Now that we know it works so well for us, I'm sure we'll be looking for a few more conferences to attend in the meantime.

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