News & Views

Are You MWAing the Right Way?

If you’re not checking your chapter website regularly, then you’re not MWAing the right way. But you're here now, so that's good.

If you’re not also following your chapter on Facebook and Twitter and Yahoo, then you’re not MWAing the right way.

If you’re not taking advantage of as many organization benefits as possible (see this list here), then you’re not MWAing the right way.

If you’re not going to any meetings or events, then you’re not MWAing the right way.

If you’re not going to any meetings or events because you live too far from where they are held (an issue for many chapters that, like ours, cover many states) and you’re not trying to organize your MWA events in your own area (a reading, a cocktail gathering, a brunch maybe), after contacting your chapter president and getting the all clear and maybe even some funding, then you’re not MWAing the right way.

If you’re going to meetings and sitting by yourself . . .

If you’re going to meetings and sitting with the same people every time . . .

If you’re going to meetings and not bringing a business card . . .

If you’re meeting people at meetings and not following them on social media, then you’re not MWAing the right way. (And if you’re not a social media and you want people to buy your books, what’s that about? And if you want people to buy your books and you don’t have a website, what’s that about?)

If you’re not attending as many of your fellow members’ book launches as you can, then you’re not MWAing the right way. (Why, then, should they go to your book launches?)(Support!)(We help each other to succeed.)

If you’re expecting the organization to help you become a rich and famous author, then you’re not MWAing the right way.

If you’re thinking you’ll get to meet and mingle with rich and famous authors, you might once in a while (and more likely at our holiday party). But if that’s why you joined MWA, then you’re not MWAing the right way.

If you’re thinking you’ll get to meet and mingle with rich and famous authors just so you can ask for their agents’ names and advice on your first 50 pages or a blurb for you book, and you haven’t in any way established if not a friendship then at least a cordial, professional relationship, then you’re annoying.

If you’re expecting MWA to promote every tweet, every book deal, book cover, book launch, book giveaway, book review you ever do and act like your public relations agency, then you’re not MWAing the right way. (We do what we can and in the interest of all of our members. By the way, when was the last time you retweeted us?)

BUT if you joined MWA to get advice about what to read, how to write, how to get published, how to get an agent, then you’re MWAing the right way.

If you joined MWA to learn more about the world of crime fiction, as a writer, a fan, or a journalist, then you’re MWAing the right way.

If you joined MWA because as a writer you feel so alone sometimes, and it’s nice to get out of the house and to be thinking and talking about writing and to feel that your effort is worthwhile and that you are not the only one who is struggling, then you’re MWAing the right way.

And if you joined MWA to get away from the house and from a spouse who wants you to do the dishes when all you want to do is write, write, write, then we don’t blame you.

If you joined MWA to join a community of people who care about this thing called mystery writing (and its bizarre connection to cats), if you' re looking for camaraderie, to commiserate over agents, chat about craft, kibbitz about crime fiction, then you’re MWAing the right way.

—Richie Narvaez

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Richie Narvaez is the award-winning author of Roachkiller and Other Stories. His fiction has appeared in Plots with Guns, Long Island Noir, Spinetingler, and more. His debut novel Hipster Death Rattle will be published in 2019.

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