Last night I dreamed that I had attended a multi-day writers' conference. This is quite odd because my inability to tolerate more than three-hours or so of human contact has been well documented here at O.C.. But this is a dream, remember. So it's the last day of the conference, and I'm headed back to my room to pack up my things. On my way into the building in which I'm staying, I notice that there is a grill in the sidewalk. It's the top of some kind of chamber, and one of the other conference attendees has been locked down there. I can see him through the grill, and he's not happy.
Once I'm inside, I mention what I saw to a small, gray-haired woman who appears to be in some kind of position of authority. She tells me that, I, too, will have to put in some small amount of time in the room under the grill because of some minor infringement, some little error on my part the day before. Don't I remember? (If I did at the time of the dream, I don't now. Wouldn't you love to know? I would. It seems significant.) I infer from what she's saying that I must agree to submit to the punishment. As a member of whatever organization sponsors the conference, I am expected to toe the line.
While I like to think that I'm into discipline and personal practices of various kinds, toeing others' lines is another thing. Even in my dreams. So I tell this woman that I refuse to allow myself to be degraded in such a way. I will not submit to such humiliation.
I get quite torqued up. It's clear that I am making a scene, that my fellow conference participants are not happy with me. The gray-haired woman announces that she is going to write an unflattering essay about me. At the same time, I wonder if I could get someone to publish an essay telling the truth about what goes on at writing conferences. Interesting, isn't it, that we both immediately turn to writing as our weapon of choice?
As a general rule, my dreams are very superficial. Anyone who has watched a couple of episodes of Oprah or Dr. Phil can analyze them. This one is no different.
This dream indicates that I think that I'm doing something wrong as far as professional networking is concerned. It also suggests that I don't give a damn.
The not giving a damn part should serve as comfort for getting the professional networking part wrong.