Thursday, September 13, 2007


Ack! Why did Thursday equals my day to blog not connect in my brain until this morning?

I can see my own face on a wanted poster now! Please, Eli, give me a few more minutes to be witty and entertaining and thought-provoking ...

Here's a timely topic: how does volunteering in your local RWA chapter or running for National office help your career? Huh? you say. I thought being an officer or liaison or conference chairman took time away from my writing.

Well, it does take time. However, you can also look at that time as an investment in your writing career. Being a chapter officer gives you immediate stature with other chapter officers around the world. Those are friends and contacts who will remember you--hopefully in a good way--when you sell a book. That gives you a worldwide audience of potential readers.

Those are writers who remember you being a welcoming face at a booksigning when no one else showed up. That same writer is now a New York times bestselling author who writes a marvelous quote for your first release or recommends you to her agent or editor.

Those contacts give you the opportunity to make presentations to different chapters or write articles for newsletters that will be read by--you guessed it--potential readers.

As an officer, you will become more confident in speaking in front of people and making decisions that will benefit the entire chapter, not just one person. That thoughtfulness, negotiation and tact can translate into skills and confidence to promote your books.

And lest this all sounds selfish, one of the biggest benefits for me when I was a chapter officer was the chance to make new friends and support other writers. Romance writers are some of the warmest, most giving people I have ever met. Who wouldn't want to meet more of them?

How about you? We're voting for National officers now. (Yes, I still need to do that!) But maybe you want to consider being a National officer at some time in the future. And elections for our chapter are coming soon. Maybe you want to invest some time that will benefit both you and others. Think about it...


Paty Jager said...

Great topic, Genene!;)

I know from my experience of being VP under you and now President of our chapter it has changed my outlook on not only the chapter and RWA, but myself included.

Being VP and in charge of setting up speakers for meetings and conferences helped me step outside my comfort zone, yet has also made contacts I would not otherwise have made.

And knowing the group hangs on my every word at meetings (yeah right, there are a few that just can't stop talking or giggling when I'm being serious) has taught me to be more self-assured.

I haven't been as vocal on the chaplink loop as I should, but heck we don't have the problems other chapters do, and I don't have any words of wisdom to give them.

I've thought about the national level, just not sure I'm ready for that big of a commitment just yet.

For those who are on the edge of whether or not to commit to a position. Think of the fun the board has! Aren't we always laughing and having a good time at the meetings? You can too!

Anonymous said...

I second what Genene and Paty said.

It's also nice to be able to have a part in the decision making process for the chapter. You know, to help steer the chapter in the direction it needs to go.

Officers bring different personalities and experiences and that's what makes a chapter what it is. We always need new, fresh ideas and people who love being a part of the whole writing world to help our little MWVRWA chapter move in the most desired direction. (did that make sense? lol)

So, volunteer! Don't delay! You're chapter needs you!

Oh, wait. Was this a call for our chapter members to step-up to the Officer's Plate? :)

This was a timely topic Genene!

Elisabeth Naughton said...

Great blog, Genene. Sorry I didn't reply yesterday - I was mired in edits, which I know you're in too. Did you finish?

I love being on the executive committee, and I'm really glad I volunteered. I know because of my involvement with our chapter, my writing has improved, my networking has improved and I'm reaping the rewards of the time I put into the chapter. It's definitely worth the time and effort.