Finding My Writing Tribe
|This shirt I got as a gift says it all.|
I’m afraid this is the main area where I fall short. While I have a small tribe of close friends in real life that help me stay sane, I don’t really have anyone to help keep me accountable when it comes to writing. I think the main problem is that being an introvert, I am too shy to ask anyone to read my writing, unless I am paying them for it. A few years ago, another writer mom friend of mine who also writes young adult fiction asked me to partner with her. We swapped the first few chapters of our novels and critiqued them for one another. After a few weeks, I got discouraged because whenever we would meet to discuss the chapters, she asked more questions about what I thought about her work and could never keep the names of the characters in my book straight, which led me to believe she didn’t really care for it. We eventually quietly gave up on trading chapters.
I do well when I take a writing class, participate in NaNoWriMo or hire an editor to work on my manuscripts. But other than that, there is no one to keep me accountable with my writing, and as a result, getting into a regular writing routine that isn’t related to my paying clients is difficult.
In her book “Writer Mama: How to Raise a Writing Career Alongside Your Kids,” author Christina Katz discusses the importance of finding your tribe, through networking events, local writing classes, regional writing workshops and conferences, etc. While I’ve participated in all three of these types of events, my follow through hasn’t been great. I need to take a closer look at the network I already have in place to find some like-minded writers who are eager to find a productive writing relationship.
How do you stay accountable with your writing? Do you have a good tribe in place or do you struggle putting yourself out there? I’d love to hear your tips and experiences in the comments below.