Thursday, April 5, 2012

RWA

I spent a great deal of time going back and forth on whether to renew my membership to RWA. Today, I decided to go ahead and give them one more chance. Mainly because I have to remain a member to still belong to my local Music City Romance Writers chapter.

When I was first starting out with my writing career RWA was a valuable resource and I learned tons from going to the meetings with my local chapter. Now, not so much. In my opinion RWA is doing nothing to recognize the changing trend of the publishing industry for good writers choosing the indie instead of traditional path to publication. They have PRO for authors who are submitting their work and then they have PAN for authors who exceed $1000 in royalties from a traditional publisher on a full length manuscript. There is nothing left in the middle for the newly published.

I take my writing very seriously and consider it my second job. By choosing to go the Indie route and waiting the 90 days for payoffs for ebook vendors I am now getting royalty checks. I am being paid for my work. I'm not setting the world on fire yet, but I am making money from my writing. Even if one of my books sells $1000 I would not be eligible for PAN status. I can't enter any of my books in their RITA contest. Not that I want to because I think contests for the most part are a waste of money and totally subjective.

Where does that leave me with getting benefits from my RWA membership? I've plateaued out of most of the usefulness of being PRO and unless I give up my complete creative control of my work I'll never attain PAN status. In my decision to go the Indie route, I don't even feel like I've gotten very much support from my local chapter members. Being a medium, I pick up on energies that most people don't sense and in a room full of people it's easy for me to recognize a negative vibe.

A lot of times I feel like I'm out in the middle of the ocean swimming for my life. Luckily, I'm a very good swimmer and a Pisces, so the water is my home. I have found a wonderful support group in Indie Romance Ink and in just a few weeks I've learned more from this free group than anything I've gotten from RWA in ages.

In reality, maybe I'm just not a good fit for RWA. I have never been a reader of romance novels. My stories have some romance tied into the plotting, but my books are about my individual characters journey's, not hooking up for a happily ever after true love bullshit. I hope I don't offend anyone by saying this, but I cringe at the very thought of being known as a "romance writer". I write Witch Lit. My characters have goals, motivations, and conflicts, but I don't believe in happily ever after and that's something I'll never intentionally write. You want sex? I can give you plenty for that in my stories. I can give you a happy right now ending, but as for the rest, until I actually witness a happily ever after I don't believe in it's existence.

Maybe that $95 would have been better spent on promoting my work. I don't know. All I do know is I am an extreme introvert and I need the chance to get out of my isolation and socialize with other writers. For now RWA seems to be my only local option.

All comments, pro or negative, are welcome...

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for having the courage to write this. I too feel as if I've outlived any usefulness in being PRO. RWA offers nothing for e-pubbed authors who haven't yet obtained PAN status. I have nine releases and am under contract for 2 more, but that means nothing to them. And let's face it... no erotic romance - HEA or not - is ever going to be nominated for much less win a RITA. Not in our lifetime at least. I too have felt the negative energy in a room full of people. I know exactly what you mean. Things changed after I was published. But you've always been there for me, and I hope you know you have my full support as well. I applaud you for knowing who you are, being secure enough to write what you want, and for backing away from the games and the posturing that goes on. You have the courage of your convictions, and I admire that in you. :)

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