Open letter to all those whiners and complainers out there
RWA and RWA National doesn’t work you, YOU work it. Don’t be a zombie, be a playah. Take what works, and believe me, if you are open minded there is a lot that works. Take advantage of the opportunities presented. Use what is available. Own it. Make the things happen that need to happen. For you. For your career. If they don’t? Dig deeper. Go back and try again. Don’t stop. Put yourself out there again, and again and again. But please, stop whining about how RWA doesn’t work for you, or how you get nothing out of it, or how you get no respect. Indeed, how the hell do you expect to get anything with all of that complaining? Take that negative energy, turn it inward, make it positive and get on with your writing.
*Note. We all know respect is earned not given. So don’t sit back and expect it. Work for it.
So please, give it a rest, ladies. I am so tired of hearing about how horrible RWA is. How they hate epubs. How erotic romance authors get no respect. How PAN snubs PRO. How PRO snubs PAN. How the conference should be this way or that way. How there should be a National conferences in other countries so those members can go to conference. Hello? Anyone notice the America part of Romance Writers of America? Hell, my good friend Michelle came from freakin’ South Africa to Dallas this year. She planned, she saved, she made it happen!
Get with the program.
If you feel like there is division, then in your mind there is. If your publisher isn’t RWA recognized, WTF does it matter? Are you writing for RWA recognition or are you writing the best story you can for the publisher you chose? Does a little nod from RWA make or break you? If it doesn’t, stop crying in your damn coffee and get back to the business at hand. If it does? Seek therapy.
*Note. Many of you are thinking, oh well that’s easy for her to say. It is. If RWA chose to unrecognize my two publishers, Simon & Schuster and Kensington Publishing, it would in no way affect what I get from RWA or how I do National. It certainly would have no bearing whatsoever on what I write, how I write, or my life as a writer.
Oh, and here’s a news flash. If you think National conference is only about landing an agent or editor. Wrong! If that is your sole reason to go you are not only selling yourself short but the conference as a whole short. There is so much more to National then the agents and editors. What about the fabulous workshops? The fabulous attendees (most are fab). What about bonding with like minds? What about making new friends, and visiting with old friends? And what about the bar? ????
Now. Is RWA perfect? No. Is conference perfect? No again. Is it bad? If it is for you then you have two choices: Run for a board position and make the changes from the inside out, or if you are not prepared to do that, quit. Because quite frankly, RWA is not for everyone. That goes for both sides of publishing. I have heard RWA called the Dark Side. The Evil Empire. The Moral Majority. The Whatever. There is bitterness from authors who feel snubbed and publishers who could do quite nicely without RWA. Bottom line, as I said, it isn’t for everyone. So be honest about that and deal with it accordingly.
Listen. If you walk around needing any person or any entity’s seal of approval you will be walking in a fog for a long time. Resentment builds. Anger flashes, and it handcuffs your creativity. Emancipate yourself. Dump that crap. Look hard at yourself in the mirror and ask yourself why you do the things you do. If it’s all about the craft, the writing the best book you can, then smile. Because if that is what drives you, then the other stuff doesn’t matter.
Okay, so, now that I have that off my chest, please return to your regularly scheduled whatever.
Ps. I believe I may have another mini rant in store for your reading pleasure later this week.