Writer’s Journal: Like-Minded Writers, or, “Finding Your Tribe”

Welcome back to Austen Promises and the Writer’s Journal!

There is a phrase floating around that I first heard a year or so ago that I find rather annoying but which precisely describes something of vital importance to all of us, but especially writers. The rest of the world calls it “finding your tribe.” I call it finding the group of like-minded writers that you need to surround yourself with; people who will support you and your efforts and cheer you on, and who you will support and cheer on in return, and who share your outlook on writing, and life in general.

Finding this group of people, be they one other person or one hundred, is no easy task, at least not for an introvert like me. I’m rather socially inept and tend to be Darcy-like, finding it difficult to make small talk and preferring to stand off to the side (or stare out a window) to putting forth the effort to be social and then saying or doing the wrong thing. I’m generally good one on one or with a small group of people I’m comfortable with, but start adding strangers in, and I close up like a clam. There are also some trust issues in the mix. I’m working on those. 😉 Of course, my faith sets me apart, and as I grow in it, there are more and more ways that I’ve become different than most of the people I know. It doesn’t make it easier to be friends with others, but I’d not give up my faith for all the gold in California, nor all the oil in Texas. <3

I rave all the time about my best writer friends, Rose Fairbanks and Leenie Brown. They are my cheerleaders, and I’m theirs. We bounce ideas off each other, share non-writing dramas and struggles, and could talk Darcy and Elizabeth for hours.

There are other friends that I have, as well, and as I type this, I realize that my friends are like circles. I have a layer of really close ones, then another layer of ones further out, and then more beyond those, and so on. How cool!

The next layer of friends I have is readers and writers that I interact with frequently. Some I only talk to through text or private Facebook message, and some I have talked to on the phone or face to face. One I even get together with three or four times a year, though I know I would with the others if they weren’t so far away. I have met most of them, except for Gail, who’s on the west coast. Someday, though! What we have in common is JAFF, largely, though we do share other likes, dislikes, and viewpoints.

The next layer of friends does not share my JAFF addiction (or is it obsession? Hmmmm….) These are writers in a group I belong to, and I’m slowly making inroads into acceptance by the group. I’m getting to know them a couple at a time. So far, they’ve been very nice people, and sincere. I hope one day to be “one of the gang” in that group. Attending those writer’s meetings and talking to virtual strangers every month is something that has definitely taken me out of my comfort zone. However, I’m pretty sure God doesn’t want me hiding in my house all the time, so I’m trusting Him to nudge me in the right direction as I spread my wings a bit.

None of this takes into account a group or two I found on Facebook.

The point of all this is that every writer needs a group of people who understand the ups and downs of writing, even if they’re not published yet. And, every indie-published author needs people with whom to share the triumphs and frustrations of being a small business owner and creative producer. If you think you’re alone in the writing business, whether published or not, indie or trad published, you’re not. There are others out there who will nod their head in commiseration with you. You just have to step out of your comfort zone a bit to find them. 🙂

Come back next Wednesday for another peek into my journal! <3

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