I’m not running for office in SFWA this year.
1. I just finished a novel, which is good. Now all I have to do are the two novels, at least one non-fiction book, two novellae and several short stories and essays I’ve all agreed to write/am contractually bound to extrude before the end of the calendar year. This not counting a couple of other projects that are in the formative stages but would be very cool if they panned out. In short: Kinda busy.
2. Related to point one, I’ve given up my various “day jobs” (i.e., income that comes in on a regular and predictable basis) to focus on book writing and fiction. Sadly, my mortgage and bills still come due on a regular and predictable basis. Since this is the first year in many that I won’t have a predictable monthly income, I owe it to my family to focus on writing and creating income, and not dissipate my efforts on things which, while laudable, take up a large amount of time and pay nothing at all. Of all years, this is not a good one for me to stand for office.
3. Related to points one and two, recently my wife, whom I adore, came to me, gently put my hand in hers, gazed at me with her warm, brown, inviting eyes, and said to me, “My darling husband, there is no fucking way you’re running for anything in SFWA this year.” Or words to that effect, combined with a gaze that assured me that to defy her would put me on a path that would lead to pain. After careful consideration, I decided to bow to her wisdom.
So these are reasons I’m not running this year.
Which is not to say I have no interest in this year’s SFWA elections; on the contrary, I think they’ll be critical for the direction and purpose of SFWA, and specifically as to whether the organization sees itself as an advocate for active writers in today’s markets, or just a jolly place for people with a bare minimum of engagement in the field to hang out and pretend their little club has any sort of relevance. A lot will depend on who gets elected. I’ll no doubt have more to say when the candidate slates are finalized and official, which as I understand it should happen later on in the month. The good news is that this year, at least, most of the major slots are contested.
I do want to let folks know I’ve appreciated the e-mails asking me if I’m running this year, and offering their support if I did. I really did give the topic some very serious thought, as at least a few people know. But in the end I couldn’t do it. I regret not being able to run this year, but the simple fact of the matter is that this year, I don’t have the time to be an effective member of the SFWA board, and if I’m going to be a member of the board, I need to be able to give the position the time and effort it deserves. I had the time (just barely, in retrospect) last year. I suspect in the future, and possibly sooner rather than later, I’ll be able to have the time again. But this year it’s just not happening.