Here’s a graphic from Technorati of how often SFWA was discussed in blogs over the last week:
I’ve received a lot of support and enthusiasm from folks since announcing my SFWA bid (often couched in “Dude, what’s wrong with your head?” phrasing, but even so), and I wanted to take a moment to thank all of you who who have cheered me on. I appreciate it, and yes, I’m wondering what’s wrong with my head, too. So are others; someone recently suggested I’m doing this as a bit of a publicity stunt, which gave me a giggle. Doing this as a publicity stunt would be a little bit like attempting in vitro fertilization just for the kicky fun of it; the problem is that in both cases if it works, there’s fairly significant obligation at the end of the stunt. There are better ways to publicize myself, I’d say.
I am serious about running (a fact which causes my editor no end of grief), but I think I would be remiss not to manage expectations. There are lots of reasons I might not win, including:
1. I’m a write-in candidate;
2. I may have waited too long and too many people may have already turned in ballots;
3. Michael Capobianco may simply be the preferred candidate of the majority of SFWA voters, based on platform/experience/personality/rugged good looks;
4. I may just irritate the crap out of enough SWFA members that they actively vote against me;
5. People who intend to vote for me may get distracted by a marathon Veronica Mars DVD-watching session and simply forget to vote in time.
Realistically, I’m the underdog in this particular election. I think I can win, otherwise I wouldn’t be running; more to the point, I’m campaigning to win (sorry, PNH). But whether I will win is another matter entirely — and whether I will breathe a sigh of relief if this particular cup gets passed from me is another matter, too.
Part of the reason I mention this is that if I don’t win, I intend to chalk it up to a combination of the five points above and not, say, a massive conspiracy that goes to the very top of SFWA to crush all who oppose the status quo. Honestly, SFWA’s not that organized. And although Mr. Capobianco is (clearly) not my choice to lead the organization, I don’t suspect he’ll lead it to ruin. SFWA will live to see another election.
In short, this is the expectation management entry. I’m not the “project boundless optimism” type; I prefer reality. If you’re supporting me in this election, I hope you keep reality in mind as well. Hope for the win, plan for the future if not.
No matter what, two good things are coming out of this election: one, SFWA voters will have a choice, with candidates with distinct philosophical differences; two, a lot of issues regarding the organization are going to get dragged out into the light for everyone to look at. Hopefully this will make a difference the next time elections come around. Both of these matter; I’m glad to be able to help bring them about.