The New Year is upon us! It’s a time to look back at what we’ve achieved and where we need to improve. It also gives us the opportunity to lay out a plan for a leap forward into 2018.
What were OCWW’s organizational accomplishments in 2017?
Members tell us, in their view, we fielded the finest array of accomplished instructors and workshop topics in recent memory. We also increased Membership and Workshop Attendance to the highest level in OCWW history. Member comradeship is at an all-time high. You can feel the buzz of conversation reverberating about the room at registration, before the workshop begins, during the break, and as Members make their way to the door at meeting close. It’s great!
We also made progress in securing volunteers. Let’s give tribute to these volunteers. Each is a precious contributor to the success of our organization. They welcome us at registration, bring the snacks, create the newsletter, burnish our website, recruit and service the needs of our speakers, handle the manuscripts for critiquing, keep the books, handle our Board Meeting Minutes, and more. We wish we had more volunteer contributors. We’re still shorthanded and could use more help to keep our standards up and not overwork our existing team.
Importantly, we have also improved our OCWW diversity demographics. It is vital for OCWW to show further improvement in this area to survive and thrive. Our finances are in the best shape ever. As a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization, our goal is not to make money but to break even and maintain a sufficient contingency reserve to meet financial obligations should an emergency occur. We’ve prepared for any such contingency.
How about 2018? Where is OCWW headed? What are our goals?
Our priority is to maintain the superior speaker workshop standards that we have been achieving.
Second, we need to increase the number of volunteers. Our Board, Officers, and other current volunteers are overloaded and weary. Remember, OCWW is a 100% volunteer organization. Without volunteers, we don’t exist. Let’s not allow those who are already volunteers to remain overburdened. We can’t afford to lose any of our current volunteers due to being burdened with overwork. All we ask is for you to consider giving back to the organization that gives you so much to help you with your writing. What’s the saying? “Pay it forward.” Most Members can find an hour or two a week to contribute their time and talent. How about stepping up? We are badly in need of volunteers for communications, publicity and website tech help. Three, four or more volunteer contributors to fill out the Communications/Publicity Committee would be a big help.
Third, we look forward to further improving the social interplay aspects of OCWW by encouraging each Member to extend themselves to their fellow-Members and continue to show the friendliness and social interplay we have seen in recent times. If anyone would like to help coordinate an outing or social event please let us know.
Finally, we are working on developing more promotional programs like our recent Holiday Book Fair to help our Member authors promote and sell their books.
Enough about OCWW. How about you?
How do your personal writing goals and achievements stack up? Now that it’s 2018, it’s time to assess how many, if any, short story, novel, flash fiction, memoir, personal essay, non-fiction, poetry, or play/script-writing manuscripts you completed in 2017, or plan to finish in 2018, or wish to start and finish in 2018. If you’ve completed writings, have you gone the extra mile in preparing them for submission, or are they sitting in your “to be submitted” file? If it’s the latter, then it’s time to shake off the dust and dread and get to submitting them. It’s not a time to avoid submissions due to fear of rejections, we all get them. Writers who don’t submit their works never get published. Then again, some may be writing purely for personal pleasure or as a leave- behind memoir or personal essay for family and friends. If that’s your goal, more power to you, it’s an important and fulfilling goal to achieve.
Let’s all embrace 2018 as an opportunity for making a fresh start on achieving our writing goals.
I couldn’t leave the old year and enter the new without extending my thanks to every one of you for the support that you give to OCWW, the Board, Officers, and me. Please know it is appreciated.
Here’s looking forward to a great year ahead.