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:~: Monday, October 22, 2007 :~:

Have You Hugged a Volunteer Today?

So if you've been following the saga of my life over on my personal blog, you know that I was recently elected president of my local RWA chapter. I don't officially take office until January so this should be my "easy" time. Unfortunately it's not. We're redesigning our website, making changes in our meeting structure and appointing new positions. My new vice president is awesome - full of energy and new ideas - but every proposed change we make is sucking up my time. You all know I have young kids and I only have a two-hour window in the afternoons to write while the littlest one is napping. Since I've agreed to take over as chapter president, that two-hour window is being sucked up with RWA business and little to no writing is getting done.

Luckily, I'm a night owl and I generally get my best writing done after the Gremlins are all in bed. And once all of our changes are in place - new website's up and running, speakers have been scheduled, my VP gets over the excitement of her newfound power - hopefully we'll fall back on maintenance and won't be quite so busy. But between now and then we're all working hard (and probably more than one of my new officers is getting tired of the ten-thousand emails I send out every day).

I'm not sure how any of this happened, but when I was waffling over the decision to run or not, my friend and Intrigue writer, Alice Sharpe, told me it was my Star Wars moment: "This is one of those moments where you have to just step up and face your destiny." I hate to admit it (don't tell her), but she's a very wise woman. Certain people, I think, are destined to pitch in and dig deep when needed (all of my officers are like that). Sometimes they do it because others won't, but deep down I know its because they believe in the cause. They start RWA chapters because they believe writers need that connection with other writers (like Joan did), or they simply have a desire to give back (like any writer who runs for a national RWA office). I'm sure my hubby wishes the hours I've spent so far doing chapter business were bringing money into our bank account (so do I for that matter), but I do believe the long-term benefits will eventually outweigh the time suck I'm experiencing now.

There's no real point to this post except to say that if you are a writer and you're part of a writing chapter - RWA or not - take a moment to tell your officers how much you appreciate what they do for the group. A lot of what happens goes on behind the scenes. The same is true for any organization where the leaders are volunteers. We all know writing is often a lonesome and thankless profession. Sometimes, so is being an officer. So if you haven't hugged a volunteer yet today, go find one. Trust me when I say, you'll make their day.

Labels:

10Comments:

Blogger Lisa Pulliam said...

Gosh, who is that pain in the butt VP ;) hehe. I think things will slow down a lot when January rolls around. We are making lots of changes, but they are good changes. We're evolving, it's worth the time. Actually I think things will slow down in the next few weeks/month, mostly just lots of decisions now.

And yes, hug a volunteer! I'm constantly amazed by the people in our chapter, and volunteers everywhere. Dedication makes the world go round!

3:37 PM  
Blogger Alice Sharpe said...

<<<<<<<< HUGS >>>>>>>>>>>>>

to Lisa and Eli. And Paty and Danita and Genene and Becky. And to all the volunteers I missed. To all those who embraced the dark side.

Alice the wise (who has a Google alert...heh, heh, heh)

5:40 PM  
Blogger Elisabeth Naughton said...

Ack! She has google alert? That means I can't talk about her - ALICE SHARPE - without her knowing...

6:03 PM  
Blogger Elisabeth Naughton said...

ROFL, Lisa. I just don't know what I'm going to do with (or what I'd do without) my VP. Of course when she starts talking vectors and digital designs my head swims - but at least I'm learning something new. ;) I guess you CAN teach an old lady something new!

6:06 PM  
Blogger Joan Swan said...

It's okay, Lisa, she calls me a pain in the butt all the time -- just ingnore her.

As for time suckers...yeah, know all about those.

As for volunteers...well, yeah, I know about that too. Although, some things (most things) turn into a much bigger time committment than you anticipate.

Hang in there, E. It will be worth it down the road.

(Just remember to remind me of that the next time I'm bitching to you.)

8:25 PM  
Blogger Elisabeth Naughton said...

Actually, Joan, you and my VP are scary in the way you both know so much about things that make my head spin.

(And yes, I will remind you it's all worth it the next time you're bitching.)

8:44 PM  
Blogger Kendra said...

You're very brave! When elections roll around in my chapter I slouch in my seat and don't make eye contact. They nearly caught me one year.

I can tell you and Lisa will bring a ton of enthusiasm to your chapter!

8:57 AM  
Blogger Piper Lee said...

****Big Squeezy Hugs****

It's true, you girls all deserve it for what you're taking on or have done already for the chapter.

Thanks for taking charge like you have and for working so hard to implement new, exciting changes to strengthen and grow the chapter.

It's so frustrating to see all those who benefit from the chapter sit there and cringe when it comes time to volunteer. If everyone did that they'd be left without such a great place to gain support, learn to write better, not to mention the myriad of other benefits their chapter provides for them.

Okay, off the soap box now.

Consider yourselves appreciated!

9:05 AM  
Blogger Elisabeth Naughton said...

LOL, Kendra. I "used" to do that, but they just picked me out of the crowd anyway. I think I have "sucker" tattooed on my forehead.

In all seriousness, we have a great group and I'm proud to be a part of them.

10:53 AM  
Blogger Elisabeth Naughton said...

Stop being modest, Piper. You're a big part of all the changes too. And I couldn't do any of this without you.

(Translation: watch out, I'll be pegging you with new responsibilities soon...)

10:54 AM  

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