In Other Election News

I’m not running for office in SFWA this year.

Here’s why:

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.

24 Comments on “In Other Election News”

  1. You are NOT sorry that you are not running for some nonpaying office….

    You just WONDER how much pain you would be able to handle from your WIFE,

    and would it be a smile induced type pain or weather it would be a GLORIOUS type pain.

    Your to big of a swizzle stick to find out, that’s all…

    by the by how’s Zeus aka Temp Cat??

  2. Can’t argue with that — you’re too busy actually writing to take on a task which would cut into your writing time.

    Works for me. But keep those campaign posters around (and keep posting them on the odd occasion), because There May Come A Day When …

    … Krissy relents?

  3. Then may the Executive Committee of The Official Ghlaghghee Fan Club expect your endorsement of the Beauteous Ghlaghghee For SWFA President?

    Last year, in a fraud-ridden campaign, Magnificent She allegedly received only 13 votes. With more time and closer scrutiny, we expect She will be voted in by a landslide.

    The Official Ghlaghghee Fan Club

    PS – The shameful story of last year’s election can be found at

  4. I would put that #3 item at the top of the priority list. If it weren’t for my wife’s support, being a councilman just wouldn’t work at all.

    Also, having run for office in both paid positions and non-paid positions, if you have the chance to avoid it, unless you have a burning desire to serve (not just to change), run away as fast as you can.

  5. I nominate your wife. Yes, I’m not in SFWA and neither is she (I think), but I think one of those Gazes O’ Doom would probably sort the whole organization out so thoroughly that she wouldn’t have to do anything else. She needs to run, John. For the children.

  6. Seriously, why would anybody want to be an SFWA officer? I thought Marines were a bunch of arrogant, petulant children in adult bodies — until I met a few SF writers.

  7. I’m neither surprised nor sad that you’re not running. (Not surprised, because I was surprised you felt you had the time last time; not sad, because the goal of “getting you to write more books” is more relevant to me than whatever SFWA gets up to.)

    You did accomplish something important for SFWA: you got people to pay attention to the elections, and the issues, and to at least think about whether they cared or not. While I’m neither a member nor eligible for such, I think there is a useful role for SFWA and I think you’ve made it more likely to be useful in the future. For that, thanks.

    Now get to work and write more so I can buy books (and you can buy food)!

  8. But the more important question is: is this going to stop any of us from making campaign posters for (of) you?

    I suspect not

  9. Just had this mental image of your wife holding a Gom Jabbar to your throat, telling you *not* to put your hand in the SWFA box.

  10. Not that I can actually vote or anything, but is anyone running for SFWA president yet? And is there any place where the candidates are running?

  11. Unofficially I know, but officially there seems to be no word yet. That being the case, I won’t comment.

  12. I’m a long-term friend of a former SFWA president. He got Squat done for writing during his term. I think you’re on the right track.

    Herding cats is easier, all you have do for cats is open a can of tuna.

  13. having run for office in both paid positions and non-paid positions, if you have the chance to avoid it, unless you have a burning desire to serve (not just to change), run away as fast as you can.

    Echo. LOUDLY.

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