2 Types of Tribes you need to Survive while Writing a book.
I'm a little less-than-a-year wiser—a new writer, in rough form, I might add. Embarking on my journey of memoir writing has been both daunting and rewarding. And time-consuming. In addition, there's been a lot of soul-searching, but I'll save that for another post.
Let's get straight to the subject of finding your tribes. Yes, tribes. Suppose you are serious about completing a significant writing project like I am. Let me suggest two types of groups that will help you survive your journey. Finding them should be your top priority.
Tribe No. 1 - Writing Group/s
No. 1 - Writing Group/s
The What: Find a writing group or groups of like-minded individuals who can: (a) teach you new writing craft concepts; (b) give honest feedback on your rough submissions; and (c) share writing opportunities. More often than not—I prefer the people in these groups to be strangers. Taking criticism from an unbiased and previously unknown character is much easier. At least, for me, it is. You need a group that will motivate you, but also give honest feedback on your work. Why not bare the brunt of criticism beforehand. Because future readers will be brutally honest, we need to get all the upfront critiques we can before our words are exposed—printed—for all to see?
The How: Search for local writing chapters in your area. I'm a member of Word Weavers International. which has chapters all over that world. Involvement in my local chapter has been a game changer for my writing. Word Weavers have both in person and on-line groups. Their forum is primarily for Christian writers with writers of all levels. I also participate in FB and instagram groups, but be selective with these. Some are more for entertainment and promotion than quality information. Another great source I use is an online critique forum called Critique Circle. I've found some really great editors here, and it's free. But you'll need thick skin for some of the feedback.
Tribe No. 2 - Prayer/Support Groups
No. 2 - A Prayer Tribe
The What: Find a prayer or support group of heart-guarded individuals. Notice the word guarded. These are individuals that will emphatically guard your heart. This doesn't necessarily mean your best buds or the ones you enjoy hanging out with, although it could be. For me, the best prayer/support partners are often people who are a little bit removed from my daily life, yet, they are people who I've known for a long while. Ones I have skin-in-the-game with—and I know they can be trusted to guard my heart.
The How: Think of the people whose lives you may have, at one time, invested something of value in. An old friend from college, a colleague from a previous job, someone you took a trip with once—and you really connected. It could even be your very best friend. Just not that brand new person who seems to be a superhuman prayer warrior. They haven't been in the trenches of life with you, so don't burden them. You'll both end up disappointed. If you have a large social circle, I advise having five or six support partners, although one or two crucial partners is adequate.
You know the saying, "it takes a village to raise a child." Well, the same holds true for successful writers. I'll say it like this. "It takes a whole tribe of people to create a compelling story." Happy Writing.