Membership Has Its Rewards. I Think? I Hope? / by Dana Wood

By nature, I'm not super join-y.

I have a very tight inner circle - friends I've had for decades - and generally don't reach out to introduce myself to, or chat up, people I don't already know.

Yes, I've built my entire career on what I call "front-facing" jobs - high-profile roles at national magazines that required me to be "on" a good chunk of the time. 

That was the 'show pony' aspect of my job, which I balanced with the nose to the grindstone, crank-out-those-beauty-pages 'work horse' bit. And a lot of times, right before I'd walk into a major press event or a black tie dinner, I would mentally flip a switch: "Okay, let's do this. 10, 9, 8 - you are on!"

In my real life, however, I suffer from a touch of Stranger Danger.

Not a great condition to be afflicted with when you've moved to an entirely new patch of the planet.

Strength in numbers.

Strength in numbers.

So I've decided to rewrite the script a bit and join a few local orgs. 

The first, which I joined last week and am really smitten with so far, is the Florida Freelance Writers Association (FFWA).

I hope I don't sound mean when I say this, but the FFWA is crazy-Luddite.

(Even worse than me, who kinda refuses to get with the Twitter and Instagram programs and instead clings to so-last-century blogging as her primary means of social media.

Wait...I had a moment with Pinterest when I was at BRIDES, until the Digital Boss Lady told me that the only reason I had 20k+ followers was because they'd opted-in to the entire BRIDES Pinterest, multi-board machine. Grrr....way to burst my bubble, Digital Boss Lady. My Pinning, which was very gung-ho up until that point, dropped precipitously after that...) 

But back to the FFWA, and why I'm so charmed by its Luddite-ness...

Immediately after joining, I received a lovely real (not auto-reply) response from FFWA honcho Dana Cassell. She was on deadline for a copyediting project, she wrote, but would get me all the membership materials, and my ID and login numbers, etc., later that evening.

And she did.

And then a few days later, I received a fat snail-mail packet of press badges, directory listings to fill out, and several back issues of her in-depth newsletter.

So why do I consider the FFWA so old school? It's mostly just little things, like reminding members to include fax numbers in their directory listings and save stuff on floppy disks. Or asking if we'd like to receive upcoming info in WordPerfect format.

I love that "the Other Dana" is so thoroughly on top of her game, but in a decidedly low-tech fashion.

That makes me feel warm and fuzzy - and join-y.