Writing Is A Lonely Profession…. by Nancy Brophy

Last year I quit RWA because I felt my writing career was headed in a different direction than the National Organization whose focus was still on traditional publishing. I still feel that way. RWA’s message, as I read it, is that “we are a big organization – be patient, change comes slowly.” So slowly that the issues of the indie pubbed aren’t even making the yearly convention agenda, much less going in the direction I want.

I believed then and still do now that I need to march with those headed down the less trodden path.

But a funny thing happened. I missed my writer friends. The hub of our friendship has always been based up our local RWA chapter, Rose City Romance Writers. So my withdrawal from RWA lost one of the threads that held us together.

As a result this year I rejoined RWA and am running for President. So if I can’t make changes one way…

My writing needs the focus that comes from friendly fire. Those who love you also serve to make your stories stronger though ideas, constant educational input and some physical violence. I did less writing in the past six months than in entire previous years.

So, despite the glacial pace that RWA sets, I derive more from them than I had originally imagined. This knowledge brought me to another surprising tidbit. I do more thinking about my h/h’s goals, motivation and mottos than my own. But in the past six months I’ve come to discover that I do know my motto.

Attitude is Everything.

Here is what I have learned. If your life is in trouble or the results you’re expecting aren’t materializing – change your attitude. It will change your life. And isn’t that always our overarching storyline?

Everybody’s life contains pain and sorrow, some so tragic it makes you weep just to hear about it. But if sorrow dictates your story, nobody grows. We write about confronting our fears and making changes. The h/h’s goal in the beginning of the story is rarely the same goal at the end.

Yet in our real lives we cling tenaciously to those beliefs which keep us from moving on. The easiest way I know to create change is to look at each situation creating problems from a new perspective. Stop seeking advice from the same people. If you are getting your career advice from those who have neither money nor resources, maybe you should consult a different sage. Maybe you aren’t as limited in your skill set as they would have you believe. Maybe the right career is just around the corner, but you’re staring straight ahead. My advice to you would be to make a different move. See the horizon with new eyes.

Some of us fail to act out of fear. What if my choice is the wrong decision? I would say this – it doesn’t matter.  You have nothing to lose but the rut you’re in. Regardless of whether your choice resulted in a success or failure you will have moved to a different place.

No one loves change or transitions. But thank goodness for them. Without them our lives would be exactly as we imagined in our teen years. For me, that would be too depressing to even consider.

This week I am blogging from beautiful Raleigh, North Carolina. While Texas, where I grew up, is technically in the south, living in Texas is not considered southern. Texas, as we used to say is not a state, but a state of mind. Raleigh on the other hand truly represents the south and you can hear it in every soft, spoken word.  The gentile way of life maybe dying some places, but not here.



Posted on February 1, 2013, in General and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Great post, Nancy, and one I completely identify with. I too thought about leaving RWA for both the Women’s Ficiton/Romantic Elements discussion and the slowness to embrace self-pub. However, in the end I determined two things: 1) I’m still writing romance some of the time; 2) Even if my career goes in a different direction than romance, I will likely stay on s an associate RWA member (non-voting).

    Though I prefer to have a voice in moving things in a direction I like, I also know that the most important part of membership for me is the people connections on more than a voting level. It is the support, the knowledge, the fun that keeps me coming back. When I was in California for three years–even though I maintained my RCRW membership–I REALLY missed meetings and connecting (even the boring meetings 🙂 ). I realized that the in-person people connections were invaluable.


  2. I agree, I think many of the RWA changes are going in the wrong direction however you said it well, it is the friends and connections and access to great events that keep me belonging– so glad you came back.


  3. As I started reading your post, I was thinking; I stay with RWA because of my writing friends and the connections I’ve made and hope to continue to make. I just became the Treasurer of my chapter, SFA.RWA in San Francisco and I’m loving working with the board.
    And in the end, I agree, Attitude is everything… along with Perception is reality.
    Enjoy always, T


  4. I LOVE this post because I’ve experienced the truth of it too. When I lose my way and get to tied up in the day job, it’s my writer friends who take me by the hand and remind me where my heart is most happy.


  5. This is an insightful ramble but it is poignant for me. I clung tenaciously to my writer friends through those years when I was an outsider, not writing romance. Because life was changing all around me and I had no control. It was from my writer friends and the constant reminder that romance novels do matter that I was able to maintain a positive attitude.
    Attitude is everything.
    Good post!


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