I decided yesterday not to renew my membership in the Science Fiction Writers of America (SFWA). For those not familiar with the SFWA, it’s the preeminent professional organization for science fiction and fantasy writers, and it’s not easy to qualify for membership. The SFWA does good things for writers, many of which should not be downplayed and are critical to artist who are often not businesspeople or lawyers.
But the SWFA is also more than a business organization. As a young writer, I viewed SFWA membership as a badge of accomplishment. I still do, which is one of the reasons this was a tough decision to make.
In reality, however, I knew I didn’t have many choices, and this decision really wasn’t a difficult one. My family simply could not afford the membership fee, and as a writer who does not make a living off his fiction, I could no longer justify the vanity rush of being able say I was a member of the SFWA.
Head over heart, I guess.
And, you know, I don’t need the badge to know I’m a good writer.