I have a confession-I'm not a romance writer. I am in the RWA and have been so for a number of years. I read romance and my books all have some romantic element in them (kinda hard to avoid ;))- but my books will all live in the SF/Fantasy side of a bookstore. So why am I in the RWA you may ask?
Excellent question with a few answers.
1) I wanted to be part of a writing community, I wanted to be around other folks who understand when your character runs away with the book, or your middle sags. And guess what? There is NO such community for SF/F writers. Nope. There is SFWA, however they don't really let you play in their sandbox until your are published by a NY publisher. Now, they do provide information for the great unwashed- er unpublished, and they have some very good stuff up, don't get me wrong. But they have not created a community to nurture unpublished novelists in their genre. So, I went to the best group that does that- RWA.
2) Good writing is good writing. Since I don't write romance, I don't follow all of the standard patterns of plotting as they do. But pretty much all the other aspects of craft and business are the same. It doesn't matter if you write horror or cozy mysteries- good writing and good story telling is a must. And the RWA has tons of resources, members with blogs, workshops to help teach it.
3) I needed to learn about marketing. In this day and age, writers have to market themselves. Through my RWA chapters, I've seen many amazing examples of blogs, blog tours, contests, tons of marketing ideas.
So I am proud to say that I am a member of the RWA, one who is writing books with romantic elements as opposed to pure romance (for now ;)). Genre’s be darned- it’s the writing that counts and I’ve learned more from my romance writing buddies than I ever could have learned without them.