I’ve been freelance editing for most of my career: part time in the early years and full time since 2012.
In the beginning years of full time freelancing I would fill my calendar with as much work as possible because you’d never know where the next project was coming from. I didn’t want to turn down any opportunity. By doing this, the courses and conferences that I wanted to take always got pushed aside. My mandate at the time was “paid work is more important.” Over the years I came to the realization that developing my craft and to push myself to become a better editor was actually very important and I now had to invest in myself and my career.
2015: The Year of Professional Development
I decided that 2015 was my year of professional development. The first thing on my list was the Editor’s Retreat put on by Future Media Concepts. Every year they pick a warm location for a 5-day editor intensive. I’ve been dreaming of attending for the past 6 years so I took the plunge and applied. I was accepted to attend which meant a week in Daytona Beach, Florida to focus on my editing (and get a little sun).
I was nervous in the lead up to the retreat but also very excited. I was ready to learn as much as I possibly could with my peers from all over the world. My plan was to attend as many classes as I could and be a sponge.
They offer a retreat warm up where you can take an extra course on a more specific topic. I chose to do the Davinci Resolve Training with Patrick Inhofer. It was a fantastic course but just the tip of the iceberg when it came to colour correction. I was inspired to learn more! Luckily I won a full license of resolve and Patrick’s training program so I am now set up to learn more. Such a valuable take away from the retreat.
For the rest of the retreat I took in lots of valuable sessions and was filling my head with so much new information I didn’t know if I was going to have enough space for it all. It was all so inspiring. It was a week that reminded me why I love being an editor. Why I love telling stories and how I am so lucky to be where I am in my career.
I think the most valuable take away from the retreat were the people I met. To spend a week with so many like-minded people. They got me. We shared so many similar stories – from the struggles of freelance, unpaid invoices and how to deal with the people asking for free work to the technical issues and the always changing technology. Connecting with all these editors from all over the world was something I couldn’t put a price tag on. It was invaluable.
I have to say a big thank you to the team at FMC who work so hard every year to offer all of us such a valuable experience. If you have ever thought of taking some time to expand your editing world, you must check out the editor’s retreat: http://www.editorsretreat.com/.