Message from the President

December 2022 RWR
Clair Brett
“We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.”  — Thorton Wilder 

Wow, December already. Time for true confessions of an RWA President. Do you know what the hardest thing is I do every month? The answer is to write this column. I have been doing this since the first issue of the relaunch back in March, and it never gets easier. I see this column as my one chance every month to interact with the members I represent, and that is very important to me.

The options I have for topics are vast, and with the world in the state it is, I don’t want to weigh you all down. My goal with this column is to give you information to make you better and make those hard writing days more tolerable. So, this one article weighs on me. From the moment I send the current month’s copy in, I think about what I have to say for the next month.

This month, I decided that what I needed to say was thank you. Hopefully, you go about your life not worrying about what Clair Brett is doing with RWA now. But I promise you that, every single day, the members are on my mind. With every decision or idea we hash out, I am aware that I don’t speak for myself, but for those people who have put their trust in me to, as some have said, push that boulder a little farther up the hill.

I am here because of the romance writers who walked beside me and supported me when I didn’t know what I was doing: The first time I, as a star-struck newbie, bravely walked up to one of my idols at an RWA conference and felt accepted and appreciated by them. I am here because of the chapter members who saw something in me I did not see myself and welcomed me into their lives.

I am here because every time I speak to an RWA member, I am reminded of how strong, resilient, and determined every writer must be to make a dent in the noise, but yet they persist.

I thank those members who have been around for a hot minute and are still here rolling up their sleeves to be the change we are striving for; those new members who have joined us and are all bright eyed and not yet tarnished by the hard truths of publishing. Those that are old hat at all this and need those who have the excitement we all did to remind of why we are still here. Those new members need us old timers to come up beside them when frustration hits, to tell them to focus on the writing and move forward.

In December, I have always spent a lot of time in reflection about the previous year and what will motivate me in the coming year, and I keep coming back to you, the members and writers who have always been there. So, as we go into the New Year, I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to thank the RWA staff for doing seemingly impossible things that I ask of them. The board and all the boards I have worked with, because being a board member not only requires a commitment of time, but also one of tenacity. All the boards I have worked with are determined to make RWA the organization we know it can be. My executive committee because they are the hardest working, most conscientious women I could ask for. And you, the members, because every day, when I think about how every decision will affect each one of you, I understand you are holding me to a certain standard and expect progress. That is my motivation going forward into this new year.

As romance writers, it is literally our job to take two characters, a bunch of conflict and reasons they will never work out as a couple, and tie it all nice and neat into an emotionally satisfying ending. Essentially, we are the purveyors of hope in dark times. I am ever hopeful that by the end of my term next year, RWA will be right where it is needs to be, but don’t stop pushing me to do better or work harder.

I wish you and all those you love a safe and joyful holiday season and New Year!