Despite my "wtf" in the title, I’m cracking up here. Are any of you in RWA? Evidently (and I’m out of the loop, so I’ve missed the controversy), they want to make the standards for a "PAN" (that’s an Officially, RWA-blessed REAL published author, LOL) that they make at least $2,000 from one book.
I laughed my ass off when I saw that. (Because I know it won’t happen, because then I would qualify, LOL.)
I don’t know if you guys are aware of this leveling system, but there are three levels in RWA. There’s normal, "unpublished" (although, many ’unpublished’ RWA authors actually make a decent amount of money from writing, hehe) folk.
Then there’s PRO, (the meaning of the acronym escapes me at the moment), where authors who have published a 40,000 word work or over with a NON-RWA-recognized publisher, or authors who have FINISHED a novel but NOT published, may join. (Why, I have no idea. I think you get a pin. Or something.)
Finally, there’s PAN, the official "REAL" published authors.
The proposal actually makes sense, because if you can prove that you make money (at least $2,000) from your writing, then you are labeled PAN, or "real."
It is all so ridiculous. The people who originally were PAN, now may not be PAN, and they’re pissed. There are people who want to keep the status quo, and they’re pissed. Finally, there are people who are like: "Cool! I make money from writing, so now I can call myself ’real!’"
Me? I don’t know when I’m going to feel like a "real" writer. Maybe when I walk into Borders, and a whole novel has my name on it. Or maybe when I’m exclusively paying all the bills with my writing income?
But then, come to think of it, I felt like a "real" writer before I joined RWA.
In the end, I don’t do RWA for validation. I do RWA because I get to meet and hang out with other writers. It’s a social thing for me. Sure, I’ve learned things, but ... I don’t really see me going to the trouble of applying for PRO or PAN, whatever the guidelines may be. No one can ever seem to tell me the benefits, outside of ... external validation?
About the whole mess, I say this: the people in RWA are AWESOME! The friends I have made are AWESOME! I have had SO much fun, I can’t tell you.
I just want to meet people and hang out with fellow writers. I say, leave the bickering and leveling to those who seem to enjoy it. We’re too busy having fun with friends, to care!