Tuesday, May 4, 2010

RWA Issue Is A Great Example Of Gossip On The Net

Like many (writers, editors and agents) I have been carefully following all that has been going on with the conference. At the time of writing this, no decision has been made with regards to the conference. Yet, over the last couple of days, writers have given me enough time to fully prove my point that I have made time and time again.

Beware of gossip and spreading information on the internet before you personally know all of the facts. Even then, you still need to be careful.

In the case of Nashville, things happen. In no way is any of this anyone's fault and blame should not be placed on anyone. Things happen. We have to know that people are working hard to make things work out in the end for everyone involved. RWA, the Gaylord, Publishers, Agents and writers all have a stake in this so you are not alone.

But here is the issue I have. Blogs are on fire, Twitter is going haywire and suddenly, everyone and their brother have an idea and a suggestion to "fix the situation." I am also seeing a ton of people already making rash decisions about this conference and future conferences. Why? Because you have read something on someone's blog or email, or Tweet that you took to be the gospel truth.

I am also seeing people making the most irrational comments out there. "But I am a Golden Heart Finalist." So what! If you win, you will still receive your award. "But I planned on pitching to an editor or agent." So what! Do it the normal way. "But I bought an airline ticket." So, use the insurance that any intelligent person would have bought to cover such situations.

Now I know what some of you are saying. "But Scott, I post this information to keep other people informed!" The problem though is that you may be far from informed. Your sending out information, re-tweeting someone's message, or contacting people in charge is far from helping people. In fact, you are more than likely going to cause more problems in the end.

There are also a lot of other factors that come into play when putting on a conference of this nature. You can't just say, "let's go to [insert city]." Honestly people, have you ever tried to mobilize this many people? It isn't that easy.

I learned in high school, sometimes the best thing to do is to sit back, shut up and just listen. Pay attention to all that is going on and then, after you have had a chance to carefully look at the data, then you can make a decision. That has kept me out of trouble in the past and I will certainly continue that policy.

What is my opinion? At this point, I don't have one. I am not cancelling anything. I am not worrying about anything. I also know and am VERY confident that RWA and the Gaylord are doing all in their power to make things right. I trust them to do so.

If it is cancelled, will I be mad? No. I might be disappointed that I miss out on meeting writers but I will be far from mad. Will Query Fest be missed? Maybe this year, but I am sure, Paige, Jessica, Christine, Miriam and myself can bring it back.

Quit the emailing rumors. Quit the Tweeting stupid idea. Let RWA work though this. If you quit pressuring them, they might actually get something done that will work.

So, what do we know? Not much other than RWA is working on it. Don't try to make more of it than it is.


P.S. This is for the post on May 5th but I had to write it now to get it off my chest.


  1. I'd like to add something we CAN do . . .pray for all the families and businesses in Nashville left stranded for upcoming MONTHS by this natural disaster and be thankful our own homes aren't squishing at this point.