It’s really easy to be aggrieved. There are things I see every day that push my buttons and annoy the heck out of me. But as authors, we’re responsible for the community we make.
Not everyone is out to get us. Not everyone hates us. Not everyone is jealous or whatever. These statements apply to not just one situation but to many I’ve seen online in the last two years or so.
An example? the RWA – I am not always 100% pleased with what goes on with the National Board. I am not always pleased about things I hear or read either. I am very displeased that there’s no Erotic category within the RITA. The RWA is not perfect, it has a long way to go.
However, I’d like to say that if, every time we see something negative, we build it up to be a grand conspiracy, it erodes our overall goals. For example – the RITA thing. I’ve heard things said about EROM by board members that make me cringe. But there is no amount of good to be had if I whine about it (other than to my BFF and my poor beleagured husband).
Big organizations change slowly. Moreover, if we want to be taken seriously we have to act like the professionals we say we are. So instead of nitpicking every little thing, it might serve us better if we took our victories and worked to change those nits with positive energy instead of negative energy.
I believe there should be an Erotic category in the RITA because the construct of an erotic romance is DIFFERENT than in a non-erotic romance. Sex is central to the story in a way it is not in even a sensual or very spicy romance. Page space is taken up differently and IMO, in a way that when compared to a non erotic, the erotic can’t compete. Not because it is worse, but because it is different. Much like you need worldbuilding in futuristics and paranormals but not in the same way in a contemporary – they’re *different* that’s my perspective and I hope that I can state it calmly and reasonably even though I feel quite passionately about it, passionately enough that I’ll never enter an erotic in the RITA as it’s structured now because I think it’s an exercise in futility and a waste of money. However, there are people who disagree and that’s fine too and I’ve heard their arguments, which make sense as well.
I don’t think it serves me or anyone else for that matter, except those that hate erotics, to argue that the reason there’s no RITA category is because National hates us and hates sex and is jealous of our sales. I think that takes something legitimate and it strips all substance from the argument and transports us to eighth grade. It makes us look like whiners.
This is just an example, I’m not trying to call anyone out except to say that when we’re trying to be taken seriously and we act in a less than professional manner, it’s no real surprise when people think we’re a bunch of ill bred upstarts trying to tear down romance.
It’s the same way when people complain about RT. Don’t go if you don’t like it. Problem solved. No one makes you pay to go to RT or to Nationals for that matter. No one makes you take out an ad in RT either so for the love of all that is topped with buttercream frosting can we NOT revisit the same topics over and over?
Seriously, when we spend so much time being defensive we’re losing opportunities to be proactive instead of reactive. I keep hearing that we’re rebels and forging new ground which is awesome. But at the same time, we have to make some attempt to make friends, you know? Because if we want to be part of the whole, we have to stop this incessant martyr shit, all this bickering, because it makes us look like a bunch of whiners.
I don’t need to make excuses for what I write. I like what I write. What I write is romance and frankly, three aggreived people writing to the RWR about how I’m a whore writing porn doesn’t change what reality is. It agitates me that folks would rather write the RWR about erotics intead of not reading them, but really, so what? At some point, we have to just shine it on and WRITE.
I guess what I’m saying is there comes a point when some groups just look like they want to be unhappy. No matter what. No matter how much information they’re given to correct a misperception, they’ll change the subject to continue to be upset. Because they like being upset. There are people like that, I know because I’m related to a few. But what I don’t like is being tarred with that brush.
If we want to be taken seriously as hard working authors who write romance, let’s just do that, shall we? When we raise our voices and our collective power, let’s think about how we do it. How we say things, what we say and who we say them to – these things are key, IMO, to making change.
Unless you don’t actually want change and you like sitting in that mud eating worms. You know?
Everyone is not out to get us. But for those who are, we don’t need to go giving them ammunition either.