Message from the President

September 2022 RWR
Clair Brett
“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new”  -  Socrates

How did we already land in September? Here in New England, September heralds the start of change. The air turns crisp and has an earthy smell. Leaves change to vibrant reds, golds, and oranges. Even the animals change their pace of life preparing for the long winter ahead.

As a former teacher, September was all about new beginnings and new goals. As a parent, it sparked the change of the routine in our house, which, with daylight fading faster, became a cozy place to hunker down on cold nights.

As a writer, I use the kick start of fall to begin thinking ahead to the next year. I begin to look over what I have accomplished or not accomplished over the past year and reflect on my successes and those areas that seemed to get lost in the cracks. That, however, is the extent of my backward looking. Once I have assessed the previous year, I begin to look ahead. 

Change is scary. The future is unknown. Will we have what is required to get us through the next year? What new things will we need to learn? What could go wrong?

But I challenge you to see change not as a scary unknown, but as a blank page waiting for the catchy hook, the perfect meet cute, or a grand HEA.

As I step into my full term as the elected president of RWA, I am excited about all we have been working on and all those dreams I have for the coming year. No path is without its detours or plot twists, but with a new outlook and solid foundation, we are on the right track.

Our members just elected a new board of directors — some familiar faces and several new fresh ones. We also are saying farewell to some who have given a great deal to RWA over the last few years and who were integral in getting RWA to this point in time. While we never want to see dedicated people leave after their tenure, it furthers that sense of renewal and change to get fresh ideas and perspectives to flood our discussions and planning.

As authorpreneurs, we are faced with changes to the industry, market, reader interest, algorithms, and the list goes on, sometimes daily. We are not strangers to change or struggle. But, every day, we get up and move the needle a smidge further toward our goals. It is literally our job to look ahead and anticipate what changes are coming and how we will respond in our business to change accordingly.

Instead of waiting until December or January to plan the coming year, start now. Do some reflection, perhaps some journaling or spreadsheets with your numbers to consider what you may not have considered last year; then into October, look forward and plan.

When you plan in late fall for the coming new year, it allows you to slide into the new year on solid footing, working your plan from day one.

What stories will you write this coming year? Who will get their HEAs? Is it time to embark on that exciting, new project? Maybe branch out to a new genre? New pen name? The sky’s the limit when you give yourself a longer runway to look ahead of you.

We will never catch up with ourselves and not have to change, so instead, let’s all see change as an opportunity to do better and be better.

As you do your planning for the coming year, don’t forget to look at how your RWA member benefits can help you achieve those next big goals in your writing and your career. Remember, you never have to go it alone!