More than 350 copy editors and people interested in editing gathered Thursday morning, April 12, to kick off the 2012 national conference of the American Copy Editors Society.
ACES President Teresa Schmedding offered a compelling reason to make the most of the next three days — it’s your career and it’s time for you to grab the tools you need and make the most of it.
Following is the text of Schmedding’s opening address:
“In today’s digital era and lightning-fast communication history was 5 seconds ago. The future is 5 seconds from now.
“If we sit there, quietly waiting for someone to come hold our hand and lead us down a new road, then our future is headed toward a dead end. We need to grab a machete (though preferably a digital one on an indestructible smartphone) and start carving our future down paths that no one has envisioned.
“You know, as ACES members, you are in your new job now. And we, at ACES, are bringing you programming in this conference to ensure you – and quality editing – don’t become “so yesterday.”
“The reality is, no one, except maybe your mom, dad or banker, cares more about your career than you do. And more than we do.
“Don’t be a passive partner in it. In fact, don’t be a partner at all. Be the boss of your career. Define what you want it to be, chart your path to get there – and by god, go get it. Don’t wait to be invited, cajoled, bribed or begged.
“It’s up to you. This training is here for the taking. The experts of our industry are here to ask questions. To trade business cards with (or buy a drink and bend their ear).
“My first ACES conference in Portland is where I started writing my future. I hope this one will be where you not only start writing your future, but you also start living it.
“What you learn here and how you take it back home can change our industry and your career now. Times of chaos are great opportunities for us, the best and brightest in our industry, to step up and lead those who are waiting for someone else to write their history.
“It’s up to you. We’re just providing the tools. Grab your machete and go.”