A note from our president, Michelle Welsh

May 2013

I can’t believe this year is flying by so fast. When I became President in January, I expected to be swamped with work all year long, but with the help of a wonderful Board, the job has been well, not exactly easy, but extremely manageable.

Why? The simple answer is that we are a team. We might not always agree on the solution to problems, but we work together to find middle ground that will benefit the chapter.

To that end, the Board met after the April meeting to discuss a few bumps in our road. Our little chapter is growing, and every month, we add new members with new skills. I like to call them potential volunteers who will eventually be potential board members.

There are several positions within our organization that involve time-consuming work from a volunteer. Taking on one of these positions often leads to brain drain, loss of personal writing time, and frustration. Sometimes, it leads to that person dropping away from the group due to exhaustion.

This is not an acceptable outcome!

The Board has determined that a reconstruction of the Board is in order.

For personal reasons, our Website Director has asked to be relieved of her duties. This vital position is difficult to fill due to the technical aspect of the job. Therefore, the Board has opted to outsource our Chapter’s website management.

Because we are now running two contests with overlapping timelines, we are creating a Contest Director to oversee both contests, using a committee approach to handle the various jobs inherent to each contest.

In a nutshell, we are breaking a huge job into pieces. Instead of one person working their fingers to the bone to get everything done, each facet of the job will be parceled out to one person. (Think: Instead of doing every job, one person will answer questions about the contest, one person will handle intake of entries, one person will track payment info, etc...)

We’ll also use this same procedure for conferences.

And yes, we will need more volunteers with this plan, but what better way to get to know your fellow authors?

From personal experience, I can tell you a conference is more fun as a participant than as a bystander. In every interaction with another author, published or not, I learn something new. Random conversations can inform and sometimes inspire. One never knows where the next big idea might come from.

We learn best when we use shared experiences. Last month, Clover shared her knowledge of self-publishing. This month, we’ll share with fellow writers at roundtable discussions. Between now and then, think about what you can add to our discussions. If you’re thinking, “I’m new to writing and have nothing to share,” please look at other areas of your life. What do you know? Maybe you have a job that might lend itself to someone’s hero/heroine’s storyline. Maybe you’ve studied human anatomy and know exactly where to place a knife to kill someone silently and one of your chapter mates is writing a murder scene. Maybe you know your way around an excel sheet and can keep us all organized.

Speak up and help your fellow writers. It’ll be fun. Trust me.

 

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