Message from the President
May 2022 RWR
“I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands. You need to be able to throw something back.” – Maya Angelou
I hope this message finds you well. I have been noticing how people are starting to venture back out into the world lately and though we are still cautious it is a good thing to see.
This weekend, the RAMP mentors got links to the mentees. It was an exciting weekend as all the mentors, me included, waited to see what authors wanted to work with them. There is so much talent in our genre that it is exciting to see what is waiting in the wings to come out on the market.
Being a mentor made me think about how much I have benefited over my lifetime volunteering and giving back to the communities I have belonged to. Volunteering sometimes means meetings after work hours, when most people would rather curl up with a box of popcorn and a movie, instead of sitting at a table, computer, or hot parking lot doing something for another organization or program. However, I cannot think of one time that I didn’t gain something in return for my time.
Let me say that it was never my intent to get a benefit. People who give their time and give back are truly not expecting anything in return for their service. Often, these people are paying forward a kindness or benefit they received from the organization. For example, I can say I would not be a published author today without the support, resources, and lifelong colleagues I met when I was just starting out.
It has been studied and proven that people who volunteer their time to something they believe in score much higher on happiness surveys, and that they claim to feel more content and fulfilled. So, when I say I benefited from a mindset of giving back, it isn’t always in the way you would think. It is the community that is shared that makes me feel more connected and relevant in the space.
We all have knowledge about this industry, and we all have contacts and ideas that no one else has to offer. In being in community and giving of your time in even a small capacity can make an enormous difference in the vibrancy of the organization, and very often it will touch other members in the community in a positive way.
So, this month, I am asking that you consider giving some of your knowledge and yes, time to RWA in form of volunteering. Start small if you must at your chapter level. If you are not interested in being a board member at the local level, I would love for you to sign up to volunteer as a committee member on any of the various committees at the national level. Many are a minimal time requirement, and the work is for the most part behind the scenes, but it is our committees that do the important work for the board. Many committees do not require any special skill or expertise, just a desire to make change in our organization. Without fresh eyes, and innovative ideas our organization can’t continue to move forward as we have planned.
If you have ever considered being a more direct change leader in RWA, I encourage you to see if you currently are eligible for a national board position. We have DAL positions and advisor positions open for the upcoming term. It is an exciting and challenging time for our organization as we work to make the future organization the best it can be for all writers of romance.
To continue making dramatic change in our organization and the genre, we need members who are dynamic and fearless in their desire to make an impact and give back. I think you are one of those people. Yes, you. I am pointing at you. You have ideas of how to make RWA better. You have life experience that will help a fellow up and coming writer if you will just step into your role as mentor and change maker.
Our organization will only advance and grow into its proper self with members who have the vision and are willing to give the gift of time to make it happen.
Please consider volunteering or running for a board position to help RWA make change for the future.
If you have any questions, I would love to talk to you personally. Please email me anytime at: Clair.Brett@rwa.org
If I inspired you, don’t wait. Sign up to volunteer at the national level here: https://www.rwa.org/Online/Contacts/ContactLayouts/Volunteer.aspx
To run for a national board position, click here:
Or speak to one of your local board members about volunteering in a local chapter.
And if you do decide to volunteer, I would love to know about it, too.
All the best,