Friday, 26 June 2009

Cheese with that whine?

My Grandfather Bill used to quote this line from a poem - "Christmas in the Poorhouse"…actually probably misquoted it and I'm not even sure the poem existed but it went something like…"And you can take your plum pudding and shove it up your jumper." My point? Well, it's about the current, never ending hoo-ha over RWA and what they have or haven’t done now. Where does Grandfather Bill's quote fit in? Well, in the sense that if you don't like how someone operates then either tell 'em to shove it up their jumper and walk away or shut up and accept it. Just don't whine about it. Whining gets you nowhere and it makes people’s ears bleed.

What is RWA? Well, it seems to depend on which group you fit into. Either it's an association that helps romance writers with their craft. Or it's a fascist organization that is run by cranky old women with tight knicker elastic who enforce rules from the Ark. Me? I fit into neither group. I couldn't give a rat’s arse about RWA. I do what I do because it suits me. I am my own group. I write e-books because I want to and if some organization thinks less of me for that then my care factor is negative 12.

The thing that I am sick to death of hearing is card carrying RWA writers bleating that RWA is a terrible, archaic organization that should change its rules regarding e-books, genre and the colour of member’s underwear...or whatever. I'm not up on the rules….the underwear thing could be wrong so don’t quote that as fact. While I agree people should try and change things they do not agree with, banding together and continuously saying how 'unfair' RWA is and yet doing nothing about it is going to do stuff all in the scheme of things. Nothing is fair in life. We all know that. Work for change – don’t work yourself into a tizz expecting fairness…it ain’t gonna happen.

Like any group RWA is a clique. I get cliques. You fit in or you don't. What I don't get is why it’s so important to care what these people think or say. Aren’t writers writing because they want to write for love or for money? And if they aren’t happy with RWA shouldn't they just leave? Or is it a case of people like to belong to something? Are they maybe scared that if they are not a member of an association like this then they'll miss out on secret romance book writing business?

I’m fascinated why people are so upset by RWA yet will not leave it. That in itself gives RWA more power. How? Because people stay within the ranks, paying their money, because I believe they’re scared that somehow they won’t get published at ‘Whiz-bang’ press in New York or wherever. They don’t want to rock the boat of a powerful being they feel could determine their future. And yeah maybe you might miss out on something – or maybe you won’t. Maybe it will have stuff all to do with what membership cards you have or secret handshakes you know. Maybe you’ll get published because writing is a business and a good book will always beat a membership card. Maybe breaking from the herd is a good thing when you’re not happy with the direction taken.

So, surely if you’re unhappy then you have the right to leave. It seems pretty damn simple to me. And, if you do choose to stay and remain unhappy, stop whining. It's annoying. Book writing and publishing is a business. It’s not a fluffy, pretty place where everyone holds hands and agrees. Stuff happens. Go with it or effect change or move on.
Be an Amarinda book