Let’s face it: writing can be a lonely business. But a “support tribe” can help keep you motivated and on-task!
What’s a “support tribe”? In a nutshell, it’s a network of folks who provide encouragement and advice for your writing. That can take different forms, depending on your particular needs. It might be an informal writer’s group that meets every two weeks by Zoom. It could be simply a handful beta-readers who read early drafts and provide honest, written feedback. Or perhaps it’s a single writer-friend who checks in by email every day to ask how your word-count is going. Whatever shape it takes, a “support tribe” is a network of folks who share your writing passion and commit to helping you stay on target and meet your writing goals.
Strangely enough, friends and family often make the worst support tribe. It’s hard for them to give objective feedback, for one thing. And most won’t have any solid writing experience of their own to draw on, making their feedback less helpful.
Which brings up an important caution about any well-meaning writing advice: before you take it to heart, remember to consider the source. What’s that person’s writing background and experience?
So, how can you assemble your own solid support tribe? Here are three good places to start:
- Join a Facebook writing group. The National Association of Memoir Writers has a great, active Facebook group, for example. You might discover like-minded folks there willing to Zoom every couple of weeks. And even if you prefer to just lurk, the group offers plenty of great ideas and helpful advice.
- Take a local writing class; then form a writer’s group with like-minded folks from the class afterwards.
- Ask your local library or indie bookstore what writers’ groups they currently host. Nobody doing that yet? Volunteer to start a writer’s group yourself!