The Business of the Writing Conference

I’m a sucker.

Been one all my life.

Someone says please or you’ll be perfect at this and I’m there.

That’s how it all starts to unravel in my world. “will you please?” “please help”

“sure. what do you need?”

Sometimes there is an advantage to volunteering. Tonight one of the other volunteers offered to put in a good word for my writing with his publisher. Tomorrow I get to meet six agents while I control their schedules for a few hours. (Oh the power … hehe, haha … )

But really, being a volunteer in charge of something or other, usually means sooner or later crap will fall, feelings will get hurt, toes will be stepped on …

I learned long ago that pleasing everyone was impossible, so I please myself, act professionally, and give as much as I have to give. I embrace the mistakes and the successes. I never ask anyone to do something I wouldn’t do myself. And I distribute the load.

I was the president of one organization I belonged to for two years. The biggest gripe I got about my leadership style …

… I didn’t micromanage and try to control everything.

Um, really?? That’s a problem how exactly? I expect adults to act like adults and do their jobs, take responsibility, put on their big girl panties. A true leader doesn’t tell people what to do. A true leader shows people what they are capable of doing and follows happily in their trail removing the dung.

So what does leadership have to do with volunteering?

Everything. Being a good volunteer means knowing how to serve others and the best way to learn service to others is by being a leader.

Not that I’m a leader here. Just a grunt, still. I paid for the privilege of doing all this work. Kind of like a vacation in reverse. I paid for the privilege of understanding what goes on behind the scenes.

It’s like having a back stage pass at a rock concert. Only not so much … drama … or noise.

Writers be mostly a quiet bunch … unless they are all in a room together. Then all bets are off. Talking will ensue. Stories will be told. And the one left standing takes everyone else home.

Good thing we’re all in one hotel.


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