What do you get out of RWA?
That’s not a rhetorical question. What do you, personally, get out of RWA?
I have to assume something, otherwise you wouldn’t belong to your local chapter, wouldn’t come to the monthly meetings.
It could be you’re coming for the speakers, to learn and improve your craft.
Maybe you’re looking for critique partners, to take your writing to the next level.
Possibly, you’re networking. Building up that base of potential readers, reviewers, blurb-givers.
And for some of you, belonging to the organization could be just for the social aspect. And that’s fine.
Hopefully, each person who belongs to a local chapter is getting from it what they’re looking for. But what if the monthly meetings stopped happening? What if the chapter disappeared? Would you even care?
If the answer is yes, then it’s time to start thinking about helping your chapter survive, let alone thrive. Increasingly, in chapters across the country, both local and online, members aren’t stepping up to volunteer for board or committee positions. More and more of the work is falling on the shoulders of a few members who agree, over and over, for years and years, to serve.
Last year at this time I wrote a similar article which included the advantages to being on the board, and there are many. This year, I’m hitting a bit further below the belt. Because the problem persists from year to year.
If you think you have more important things to do than contribute, does that mean the people who are on the board don’t? We all have families, jobs, or other responsibilities that limit our time. We’re all striving to become successful writers. And we all want our local RWA chapter to continue to help us on that journey.
But it can’t if it’s not there.
This fall, when volunteers for the board are asked for, think about that. Think about what relatively small contribution you could make to assure that the organization, from which you’re receiving so much, continues.
Give back. The load is easier if we share it.