Previous Entry Share Next Entry

Actually, no.

So—and unless there’s something REALLY exciting, this is more or less my last word on the SFWA thing—one of the tropes going around is that we have to fix this from the inside.

That the only right thing to do is to work to change the attitudes using our position within the organization.

Actually, no. I don’t have to do that.

I don’t have to do a damn thing.

I can say, at any point, “Y’know, the energy I’m spending beating my head against this is far in excess of anything I’ll get back.”

I can say “I think there are very good and decent people working to do just this, and I admire them for it, but I don’t have the spoons to continue being one of them.”

I can even say “I don’t think there’s enough here to salvage. Let the hulk rust quietly away, and maybe someday it’ll be a very nice artificial reef.”

There are organizations that I feel can be fixed from the outside in.

There are organizations that I feel can be fixed from the inside out.

There are organizations that I feel can’t be fixed, ever, due to their history/members/entrenchment/whatever.

I get to make all those decisions on my own, like a real grown-up! One with her own car-keys and everything! And nobody gets to wave guilt flags at me about whatever decision I make! (Well, I mean, go ahead and try if you want. Just don’t expect to get the result you’re hoping for.)

Frankly, there’s enough young blood around that it might be easier to found another organization from the ground up. I won’t be founding it, because I should not be trusted to organize a car-wash, but I can see it happening. Then in sixty years we’ll be the old men yelling at clouds (cue music, drums, lion cubs held aloft over the savannah)

So, yeah. I haven’t decided on SFWA yet. I’ve got plenty of time.

And I may decide it’s worth the fight. Or I may decide to walk away, whistling.

One of the nicest things about being a grown-up is that I totally get to make that call.

Originally published at Tea with the Squash God. You can comment here or there.


As well as

"Maybe this thing can be fixed, one way or another. Maybe not. I'm not going to bother figuring it out. It's not my pidgin any more."

A few fellow writers and I were looking into what it would take to form an alternative to the SFWA. For whatever it's worth. The research is a touch... daunting though.

Oh, is it still in private discussions stage? If there is (ever) a public thingamajig about that I would be interested in following along!

I remember attending a con where the attendees, programming and general attitude all made me feel so unsafe that I was actually afraid to draw attention to myself. When I mentioned this to the friends who'd encouraged me to go, they were outraged and told the con committee, which got back to me and told me that if I felt so unsafe, that I should come back the next year and help them fix it.


(I didn't.)

If they don't want to fix it... they don't need your attendance, or more importantly your money! Life is too short to put up with that bs.

Lion cubs? Are you sure?

Wouldn't baby wombats, or possibly ptarmigan chicks be more likely? (Knowing how much I enjoy your writing, I think I would pay money to see a cartoon-you yelling at clouds while waving a rather perplexed looking ptarmigan at them. And then it would rain prophetic lobsters or something.)

But yes, you are an adult. People should treat you like one. Or they can drive their own car someplace instead.

Edited at 2013-06-07 03:56 pm (UTC)

And there are organisations where, y'know, whether they can be fixed from the inside or outside or need to be scrapped, it's not my damn job to do any of it.

Isn't organizing a car wash one of the great modern forms of the rain dance. Similar in potency to saying "I'm going to mow the lawn tomorrow" out loud.

It's very liberating to realize that you pick your fights and even if a cause is worthy, it doesn't have to be your fight. Making that realization definitely saved me a lot of stress!

There comes a time when you say "I've spent enough of my life on this." And you leave. I belonged to an organization that was good sized, lost its meeting space, barely acquired another that was so out of the way even those who found the meeting space didn't attend, so we stopped renting it. The organization dwindled to about five people, and we met at each others' houses, which was fine... and then somehow, maybe the internet, a bunch of people found us and the organization grew exponentially.

We had to find new digs - because we'd outgrown houses and really, it's ANNOYING to have that large a herd over, and the vibe is very rude. Try to have a meeting and some folks just keep chatting at full volume like it's a party. Feh. So we grew. We found another venue, and there was complaining and it was too small. We found another that is awesome and they still go there. But somewhere along the way there was politics, and there were issues, and I burned out and left. I'd seen the guild through from nearly dying and now it's fine and I'm happy it survived. It is No Longer My Problem. I'm good with that! I think most of the friends I met there still go, and they say it's no longer annoying, but no... no thank you.

Let's hear it for choosing your fights. I heartily agree.

One of the nicest things about being a grown-up is that I totally get to make that call.

Absolutely and co-signed!

Thirded. And I wish more people would take that attitude. You don't have to go with the crowd. You don't have to fight the fights the crowd says are important. Reserve your strength for the fights you think are important. And even better, find a way tht doesn't involve fights. Join things that work for you, that help you scratch your personal itches. Leave when the place they are scratching isn't where you itch.

This. So this.

Jim Hines commented, in talking abut people asking him why he spent energy on it (Sort of the opposite of your problem): "It's my energy."

I've been in organizations that have struggled with various social issues and entrenched values. It's exhausting. And you don't always win. And sometimes naming names gets your name, not theirs, dragged down. And sometimes compromises still lose you people, or energy to get into other things. The choice to keep making any effort is a big one, and nobody should tell anyone they MUST one way or the other.

Me, as a person a while away from qualifying, I'm watching instead to see what people point to SFWA doing for their careers and whether it is worth the effort I will no doubt expend digging at crud like this (Because I tend to jump in like a moron hoping someone will actually say, "Yeah, y'know, , my bad. I'll be better." And really do it) to get those benefits.

... The thing I take away from this post? Rose Royce singing Car Wash.


Log in

No account? Create an account