Wednesday, July 5, 2017

IWSG: Know Your Tribe!

July’s Insecure Writers’ Support Group topic has to do with “What is the one valuable lesson you’ve learned since you started writing?” The total tonnage of what I’ve learned in my 30-year career is somewhat staggering (and not all of it is still relevant), but there’s no quibbling over this one. Know your tribe. Your peeps. Whose got your back. Where like minds collect and spark. Where seldom is heard a disingenuous word.

Your tribe. Who are they? Writers. True. All we wordsmiths have basics of creativity and discipline in common, but that’s a dang big group to relate to on a daily basis. So, narrow it down. Fiction writers>romance writers>paranormal authors. Where do I find them? Nationally: RWA, Ninc, etc. Locally: Mid-Michigan RWA and more recently Capital City Writers. Personally . . . now this is where things get focused. I belong to a fabulous local chapter of writers who are active, supportive, enthusiastic, and fun to hang out with. Our meetings, and better yet, our write-ins and Retreat, are dynamic places to meet and mingle with like hearts and minds. But my personal tribe takes it down another notch: to those I commune with, sharing the good, bad and ugly, first just as critique partners, and now, more like sisters . . . for over 20 years!! The stuff we’ve gone through! Rejections (both professional and personal), successes (again, both professional and personal), through sickness and in health, through the highs and lows and sometimes endless plateaus. We’ve got each other’s backs and best interests! We don’t all write or create the same way, on the same level, in the same genre, but we share with the same respect and trust. I am blessed by my tribe.

Find your tribe, and let them support you with knowledge, with encouragement, with enthusiasm that can lift you from the lowest ruts. Give as well as receive. That’s the true benefit. Have more than one tribe. I have a fantastic cheering section in my Weekend Writing Warriors online group that forces me to produce . . . something, every week, that I connect with even though I’ll probably never meet all of them face to face. And what about our wonderful IWSG? It’s that CONNECTION that matters, that keeps you from getting lost in the sometimes disheartening and lonely job that we do.

Find your tribe and find your strength.

Happy July! Happy Writing!

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer - aim for a dozen new people each time.

The awesome co-hosts for the July 5th posting of the IWSG will be Tamara Narayan, Pat Hatt, Patricia Lynne, Juneta Key, and Doreen McGettigan!

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

Twitter hashtag is #IWSG


  1. Finding a tribe that can sure lift you out of ruts is the way to be at any sea.

  2. I've found my tribe at the Women's Fiction Writers Association, but I will need to narrow that focus, since I'm writing where WF intersects with mystery and romance. Alas, it seems the critique group I've participated in for the past two years is probably not my tribe. Ah well, onward.

    1. Onward, indeed. A group where you don't fit can do more harm than good.