One of my favorite things about being a member of Romance Writer’s of America is how much these individuals work together to celebrate one another’s wins.
I joined them in 2004. In every speech, every award, every story shared, I hear a little part of my own story. Last night, the RWA National conference happened (is happening all this weekend). I watched the live stream from home. Couldn’t make it to Orlando this year.
It’s been a tough couple of years, but if you’re an author, tough years are usually part of the fabric of your story. It means that you are daring to live a bold life unafraid of ‘words’ or story or experiences.
If you are an author in any genre, becoming part of a larger writer’s organization is what you make it out to be.
There were years where I jumped in with both feet, to actively become involved with volunteering. Other years, I didn’t do anything.
Being part of the organization is a long term relationship. It’s a long term strategy. If you’re lucky, it’s the beginning of beautiful long term friendships with people who get your ‘weird’.
The people who write in the romance genre are the ultimate feminists, champions of humanity, lovers of the arts, keepers of story, crafters of worlds upon which we escape a sometimes tricky reality. They motivate us, inspire us, and encourage us to keep moving forward with the very idea, the very notion that at the end of the day, LOVE is what heals us.
Most of the people in the publishing industry who are authentically there to make this a living, are all really open and good people.
We come from all walks of life, nationalities, races, ages, sizes, and the demographic regions lend to who says, “Hey, wadda-gonna-do?” to “Bless your heart” with that sweet as cream Southern charm.
No matter what state or country you come from, it’s a sisterhood with a sprinkling of guys who write about mutually satisfying endings. It’s a love affair with a career.
It’s a career that we know is challenging and hard. We go into it because we have to. We’re called to it. We can’t think of anything else we’d rather be doing than writing. It’s a passion. And, in many cases, it doesn’t always pay well in monetary gain. Some of the more successful authors know this, so offer their story, their advice, and their time to the fledgling authors for free.
I’ve met people at their first book contract, friended them online, and the next thing I know, they’re winning a RITA for best book.
**For those reading who don’t know what a RITA is, it’s an Oscar for romance writers**.
I’ve seen writers get married, have children, have second children and forth, fifth, and even 100 book-milestones met. I’ve seen hardship scholarships given out to encourage the writers to keep going. And, I’ve participated in organizing national reader’s choice contests where I was the lucky one to give the “congratulations” calls to the winners.
Being a member of an organization made up primarily of introverted or shy people who love their solitude has been at times, a life line in the pursuit of happiness for thousands and thousands of people with a creative mind, and a solitary life. I’ve been one of those people. I am one of those people.
I’ve had a dual career and an uneasy life. My favorite quote is, “God never said you’d have an easy life”. It’s true. But when you’re doing what you love, it’s a life with meaning and purpose and joy.
Here’s to all the members of RWA. It’s a sisterhood (dudes included) that’s hard to explain to the 9-5 set. It’s a brotherhood of ‘weird’ in the most normal of professions.
Being a writer fits like a familiar skin to me. I know that just by writing that, about 10,000+ other people reading this will say, “Yep” and they’ll get me.
That’s why we stay. That’s what we get out of the membership. We share a common vision in an uncommon profession that benefits millions of readers around the world.
RWA, I salute you and celebrate with you all. Enjoy your conference! See you in Denver in 2018! Warm Wishes, love and peace!
You help me set goals for my work just by being you.
To follow along on their YouTube channel for all the stuff celebrating the BEST career ever …. click here on this link. RWA YouTube.
Karen Daly, Author
Karen also works as a holistic life coach and Reiki Master with her little shop around the corner, called Henry Healing; * is an international blogger in the field of existential positive psychology; *& I’m a Mom blogger @ Phewy! #MaBlog, writing about what it is to be a Mom who is almost empty nesting.