Monday, June 06, 2005

Oh yes. I have an opinion.


I don't belong to RWA. It's really quite simple. It wasn't for lack of wanting to. It was from lack of funds. No money to join. No money to haul my backwoods ass to the nearest big city for a chapter meeting. Did I mention it was too expensive? There were stories about networking and such that broke my heart because I knew I wasn't a part of any of it. If only...I would tell myself.
So now, there's this big debacle about what RWA stands for and what is acceptable. And how if there are "objectionable" links, then they may NOT be used in relation in any way, shape, or form with RWA.
I'm so disgusted with this whole rationale, I'm nauseated. And here I was, thinking when I finally had the funds, I could lay my money down and be part of a fellowship, so to speak.
It would be like Dorothy landing in Oz. The Technicolor would kick in. Munchkins would sing. And I would have the honor of bipping down the yellow, brick road. What a load of bullshit.

I'm always amazed how some people are so eager to segregate and breakdown something that, in my opinion, is supposed to build-up the writing industry. So you don't like erotica. Romantica(tm). Whatever. Don't you dare step on my rights and censor me. If I have to sacrifice my principles and integrity to belong to the RWA, they can kiss my backwoods butt.


Suzanne said...

I've always been a member of RWA (or at least, since about a year into starting writing) but I've rarely attended chapter meetings. Only after I moved did I find a good chapter here in NC. You're not missing much--I wrote for years and years without attending chapter meetings or the conferences! I like to go now but mostly because I get to see friends.

chryscat said...

Suzanne: Yes. That's what I was craving. I would read about all the conferences and such and be so envious. I just wanted writing fellowship. An understanding. And it would be so great to actually have friends around me who care about writing.
Um...doesn't happen. I'm afraid I bore them half the time with my ramblings. You know, the glazed over eyes and such. SIGH

Silma said...

I'm a member of RWA. Personally, I don't care much about their viewpoint on erotica or romantica or whatever. I don't agree with them, but I'm in because of their special interest groups. Some of them offer great workshops that help me hone my writing skills.

chryscat said...

Silma: ACK! I know. But if I'm weighing my principles against workshops (and oh YES! I would love to attend them), I'm sticking with my principles. I just can't condone/understand/accept what is going on right now with the whole cluster. And if I can't believe in it, I don't need it.

Caro said...

I remember back in the late 90's when I was an active member of RWA, the kerfuffle that happened when the Board first allowed the inclusion of an Inspirational Romance category in the Ritas and GH and the formation of an Inspirational chapter. There was a tremendous amount of yelling because some people said the Inspirational writers were pushing a religious (read: Christian) agenda that had didn't belong in a secular organization such as RWA.

In other words, they didn't feel these writers deserved a place at the table.

I will not go into the irony of the fact that one of the persons who shouted the loudest about not letting "those writers" join the party went on to sell to an epublisher and started demanding to know why epubs weren't welcome at the same table to which she'd tried to deny others admittance. I won't go into the fact that some of the people invited to the table by the inclusion of inspirational authors acted just as badly as others worried they would (There was a letter in RWR urging their fellow authors to stop writing steamy love scenes because it made Baby Jesus cry). Despite accusations that the books weren't "really romance" and just thinly veiled sermons designed to convert, the Board said, "This is a part of the industry. I'm sorry if it's not something you like, but because they are a part of the industry, they should be included."

I'm not currently an RWA member for various reasons (all of them having to do with what was going on in my life rather than dissatisfaction with the organization), so I haven't been privy to what's been happening on the loops or in the Board meetings, but the message I'm getting is that a fast-growing part of the industry is being told both directly and indirectly that they are not welcome at the table. They are being told this not just by the actions of the Board, which seem to be directly aimed at them (graphical standards now after decades of truly appalling and embarrassing clinch covers bore little resemblance to good taste), but by other members who are insisting what they write "isn't really romance."

If I am going to write in this industry, I should rejoin and make my voice heard. Doesn't matter that I don't write erotica -- this is a growing part of the industry and if RWA is truly supposed to represent the writers who write in that industry, they need to deal with those publishers and writers, not take steps to pretend they don't exist and hope these people just go away.

Forget Baby Jesus; this situation makes me weep.

chryscat said...

Caro: Thank you so much for posting. I was interested to read an insider's view of another RWA debacle. They say that two of the biggest selling subgenres of romance are Inspirational and Erotica. I write neither. Heh. Though I am working on an erotica right now. But that was before this cluster started.
I simply don't understand it. I don't. Why does it have to be "us" and "them"?
Pettiness? Ugliness?
What in the hell happened to goodwill and camaraderie?
I'm utterly disappointed with the actions that have been taken in this matter.

username said...

Life is way too short to take on dealing with that monkey. *g*

Glad I'm sure not gonna, cuz it sure doesn't sound worth it! LOL

Nancy J. Bond said...

I let my RWA membership lapse last November--$100 (Canadian) seemed a tad expensive for a monthly magazine which contained information I could find in a dozen places online...and I felt I got little else from my membership. I joined my local chapter as well, and would love to still belong to that, but, of course, you have to have a general RWA membership *first*. I wouldn't consider renewing my membership now.


PS It's always struck me as bizarre that we, as writers, end up kissing ass, including those of publishers, to get published. After all, if it weren't for us, the writers, the publishing industry wouldn't exist. We need a representative organization that will look out for *us* and *our* best interests and not one that will dictate what we can and cannot do. Why aren't *we* making the rules??

chryscat said...

Nancy: That's the million dollar question. Do you want the red whip or the black one?