Message from the President

March 2023 RWR
Clair Brett
Sitting in the writing cave today, I am reflecting on all that has happened since last March. I stepped in as RWA president in January 2022, and by March I was introducing our new digital RWR magazine. This was important to me, because I had been a director-at-large on the Board that voted to stop the physical magazine with the understanding we would move to a digital platform. Last year at this time, I was able to fulfill a promise made to our members.

Over the last few years, I have watched this organization and its members rise to a standard of being that we all hope to express in our writing—which states, and holds up, that all romance authors deserve a happily ever after. As I sit in committee or board meetings, read emails, or follow all the committee forums, I am reminded on a daily basis that this is deep, important work we are doing, which will make a lasting change on the romance industry.

I won’t lie and say it was an easy decision to take up the reins, and I also won’t say that it has gotten easier, or my imposter syndrome has been beaten into submission. (It hasn’t been, if you were wondering). Considering the place the organization was in, and the fact that I didn’t have the luxury of having a year as president-elect to learn everything I needed to know, I had to assess the benefit versus risk of it all. It is something we must do every day with all the decisions we make in life and business.

I chose to step up and give what I had to an organization I believed in, and knew it could be so much more than it was at the time. A year later, risk versus benefit you may ask? There have been bad days, frustrating days, crazy days, and exciting days, to be sure. But, I like to think that the people I am surrounded by to assist myself and our Board to continue moving forward are an asset I will be forever grateful for. I have met some of the most hardworking, amazing people in our industry and have been motivated by their determination and drive. I have met members from every part of the organization and listened to their personal stories and goals, which helps to remind me on the tough days why we are doing this work. And, I have gained a deeper respect and understanding for those who are willing to stand in the storm to make life better for everyone.

Much of the change RWA has gone through has been at the board level. The Board needs the members to help get the word out about the changes and the dynamic programming.

April is national volunteer month, and I am asking you to assess the risk versus benefit of stepping onto a committee either at the local level in your chapter or at the national level. We are always looking for enthusiastic members, who believe in what we are doing, to come in with fresh ideas and resources to infuse our committees with life. Without volunteers, RWA could not bring you the programming, networking, or any of the other aspects of the organization we rely on.

RWA also is actively working on increasing our membership. With more members comes more opportunities for the organization to bring even more dynamic programming and resources. If every current member found one writer friend to join—yes, I said one—we would quickly double our membership. Without members, RWA does not exist. I am challenging every member of RWA to find one writer friend who could benefit from what RWA is offering and bring them into the organization this spring. I would love to be able to report back that you did, in fact, help us reach our membership goals before my time is over as your president. I have all the faith in our members who, time and time again, are able to bring a happily ever after to the page.

Here is to spring flowers blooming, warmer days coming, and the words flowing for you.