Monday, September 4
...the club that's made for you and me...
I relished every minute of the only national conference I ever attended and
There have been kerfuffles (I've never seen that word used as often as I have lately, but it's absolutely accurate, so it stays) over the years. I've usually come down on one side or the other. Like everyone else, I won some and lost some. And right now, on the PAN loop, I'm reading about yet another kerfuffle. It seems longer and louder than the previous ones, and I'm not quoting anyone because I'm not willing to go through a gazillion posts to make sure I get it right. Let it suffice to say that it all has to do with marginalization and let it go at that.
I imagine every group of three or more has exclusion as a problem--make that group something like 12,000 (no, I didn't check that, either) and most everyone is a member of a group that feels marginalized. I've felt it several times in RWA. A lot of my unpublished time was spent flinching at some of the treatment afforded us. When I was published and in PAN, I was amazed that the unpublished thought they should have full access to everything--that secret handshake, you know. When I passed some magical golden number into the ranks of senior citizenry, I noticed that my peers and I became invisible to many people. When indie became huge, I was flinching again because I'm trad and I like it. When RWA became home to erotic and gay/lesbian romance, I was glad for the writers of it but sorry to hear more snickers about the sweet stuff I favor.
You know what? There's only so much an organization can do about that. It's like telling your kid she's got to like everyone in class or like no one in class. But RWA will, as it always has, do its level best to accommodate and represent every one of its members. So I'm here to say Thank You, and I can't say it often or loudly enough, but I'm also here because I'm saying goodbye. Or at least goodbye for now.
Although I believe controversy is necessary and healthy, I have reached the point of being exhausted by it. I have nothing new to bring to the table, so it's time to lay my wadded-up napkin beside my plate and leave my seat for someone else. The time spent on this latest disagreement is horrifying to me, and very little of it was even mine. I did, however, respond to a Facebook post in part with this:
"One of the terms mentioned for the old RWA (and not in a particularly friendly voice) was "club." At this point in both my career and my life, a club's what I want and need--drinking wine and laughing and talking about the industry. I admit this "kerfuffle" has made me both sad and uncomfortable, but it's also made me realize RWA and I need to separate. That's okay. I go with gratitude."
So when it's renewal time, I won't, but I do hope to still belong to the club. Anyone else want to join?
Have a great week.