Volunteering, it’s a little like writing

I’m RMFW president. Huh. Didn’t see that coming. I live on the western slope. People said no one outside of the Denver area would ever be president. That was ok with me.

When I wrote my first words and sat back to re-read them, I admired those words. I was writing the next best seller. I had this shit. I was good. I went on-line to find other writers so they could also admire my words.

In that search, I found Colorado Romance Writers and shortly thereafter attended my first writers’ gathering. A weekend retreat. In hindsight, getting lost on the way there was likely the universe’s foreshadowing. I left the retreat in tears. I sucked. Not just my writing, but me. I embarrassed myself. I was awkward. Couldn’t read my own writing. Couldn’t answer questions about my storyline. What the hell was POV?

I didn’t give up. If I had, I wouldn’t have found RMFW. Wouldn’t have met all of you. Wouldn’t know my best friend. May not have grown up as nicely as I have. I digress.

It didn’t take me long to realize writing is hard work. It takes time. Ups and downs abound. There are times I read my work and groan. I suck. Still.

Other times I read and once again admire it. In those times, I often don’t remember writing the words. Sometimes, I think I channel an old writer who is pissed she’s dead and wants her words in this world. I wish she would show up more often.

Back to volunteering. I will never forget my first job with RMFW. Well, actually I’m lying. I’ve forgotten a lot of it. I hope that means I was channeling again. Maybe a long dead conference Goddess.

At the first conference I attended, shortly after entering the hotel, I was made the next year's co-conference chair. I was not yet an RMFW member. It took a bit for me to understand what I had been volunteered for, as I hadn’t been privy to that conversation. After many questions and answers that weren’t quite sinking in, my best friend, Marne, held up her arms and waved to encompass the entire hotel and all of the people in sight and said “We are doing all of this. One year from now.”

Once I fully comprehended, I strutted around a bit. The next year, I would be the boss. In control. Back then control was important to me. Thankfully not so much any more.

Then the hard work started. I didn’t even know RMFW, much less how to put on a conference. I am positive there was a lot eye-rolling on the other side of calls and emails. That was a long, exhausting, scary year. And a rewarding one. I met people who have been friends since. Who I will grow old with. Maybe a few of us will get together and do a little channeling ourselves once we’re gone from this world.

Together, Marne and I pulled the conference off. Not sure how well we did it, but we did it. Except for a few months after that first year, I’ve been on the board since. Held a few positions. Helped a bit with conference each year.

I’ve learned more and gained more from my time with RMFW than I can explain in one blog post. I’m grateful. Also more than I can explain.

When I realized I would be the next RMFW president, I thought to myself, I got this. I can do this. I now alternate between, Geez, Vicki, do not screw this up and I got this and wow, how do I fix this situation? Oh, and of course there is I suck. By the way, this is only the second month of my two year term. It’s been an interesting ride already.

But, I don’t expect as much eye-rolling. I know RMFW. I can speak in public. I’ve spent years helping to solve problems, working with the board and putting on events. My abilities and knowledge have grown. I’m a steadier person.

I also still have much to learn.

I’m in the same place with my current WIP. It’s been a long time coming. I’d like to blame it on working and volunteering, but in reality, it’s just been a long time coming. However, I have found my voice. I’m close to typing The End. I’m excited about what I’ve written. I like what I read.

I know what POV means.

I also still have much to learn.

Vicki Law
In 1999, Vicki Law was reading a New York Times best-selling novel. She tossed the book aside in disgust, got out of bed and wrote the first words of her first novel. That book was finished a year later, has been re-written three times and is currently lost on an old computer somewhere. It certainly was never a best-seller like Vicki thought it would be.

Huh, writing is hard work.

In 2006, she found Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers Colorado. Her tribe. From her time with RMFW, she’s learned volunteering is more rewarding for the volunteer than the organization. She’s learned how to find and build her community. She’s gained abilities and knowledge, and she’s learned how to write. She has much to learn still, but RMFW has helped her find her voice, both in the real world and on the page.

From her first position as conference co-chair, through a few other volunteer jobs, to her current gig as president, she feels like she is one lucky duck indeed to have been volunteered by someone else all those years ago.

Married, with many kids, many pets and many paid and unpaid jobs, she stays busy, loves life and will be published one day.

7 thoughts on “Volunteering, it’s a little like writing

  1. OH Vicki, you made me laugh out loud. I admire your courage, and your willingness to share your can-do spirit and talent with us. Thanks for leading us!

  2. I cringe at the thought of taking on the Colorado Gold Conference or any of the board positions, so I’m in awe of all those of you who do such a fantastic job to keep RMFW humming and make the conference such a success. Thanks for all you’ve done, Vicki, and much success to you in the future.

  3. Hi Vicki! So glad to have this chance to work with you this year!! The writing life is full of challenges as is volunteering for RMFW but so worth it! Loved reading your post and getting to know you a little better! Talk to you soon.

    • Rene, I feel so lucky to be working with the board members we have right now. Publicity is an important job and I’m glad you’re at the wheel.

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