If you write romance, I hope you have joined RWA and taken advantage of all of the resources available there to you.I understand that finances can be a major hurdle, but membership in RWA is worth every penny, if you can possibly swing it. If not now, don’t give up. I speak from experience.
I remember when I was a single mom in college in 1999 & had very little money. My ex left me $50,000 in debit. Yeah. I’ve never been so scared in all my life. Every year my ex-husband’s father sent my kids $150 for Xmas and $100 for me. I can remember trying to weigh what else I could give my kids with the $100 he sent me versus the membership in RWA (it was $75 back then I think). It was a hard, hard choice, because my kids always came first, but I was scared that if I gave up the membership I would never return to writing. Now all these years later I know I made a good decision.
The day I called RWA to report my first sale in July 2009 for PAN membership I choked up on the phone when they asked me how long I had been writing. I explained that I had to give up writing for several years while I went back to college & did an internship with the major ad agency Ogilvy & Mather. It was hard to give up writing, but it was necessary, because I needed that degree in order to land a job that would support my kids & me.It was the right decision at the time, but it was hard. I was double majoring in English & Marketing, and getting by on 4 to 5 hours of sleep as I had the commute from hell to the university (2 hours round trip in an old van that I prayed would keep running every day I got on the freeway). The only writing I was doing was for my classes and internship. I knew Id made the right decision, but even after I landed my fantastic job at Compaq Computer, my doubts plagued me. I was starting a brand new career & had so much to learn about technology & the computer business. There is only so much you can cram in your brain, especially if you’re a single mom & getting little or no support from an ex. If not for my parents, I don’t know if we would have made it, but I think the hardships made us all that much stronger. I’m so proud of my uber successful son & daughter.
It was many years before I summoned up the courage to write again. My doubts plagued me ,but eventually I knew it was now or never. So I took advantage of every opportunity that came my way. There was a silver lining in that I got to travel to Europe & NY almost every month. In between these cool trips, I wrote when I could. I want to let those of you who are struggling know that I understand how much harder it is when you have life challenges. Just know that I’ve been there. When it seems too hard, when you question whether you will ever overcome all the obstacles, I want you you to remember my story. Believe, believe in yourself, believe that you can conquer anything by sheer determination. If I could do it, so can you. Big hugs.