One of the best parts of being a writer is the writerly community that comes along with it. At the heart of it, being a writer is solitary, right? I mean, you have to have your butt in the chair, fingers on the keyboard to actually get your work done. HOWEVER…not all of us are solitary creatures.
So how do you find your tribe?
It’s easier that you might think. First you have to ask yourself if you want an online tribe or if you want to see their faces in real life. I like both. I love having the hive mind that is twitter and facebook. But I also really like to share a glass of wine or a nice meal with my peeps.
You can follow hashtags like #MGLITCHAT or #YALITCHAT. Or #KIDLITCHAT. There’s seventy gazillion, so keep looking until you find a group of folks who feel like kindred spirits.
I’ve met my besties through SCBWI (society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators).
Specifically, the New England chapter of SCBWI—but there are other chapters all over the world, so find the one that’s nearest to you. I love going to conferences and workshops and gleaning tips and knowledge from peers and colleagues. Chatting with friends about their processes and their successes and losses makes me feel like I’m not the only one.
And there’s nothing better than a glass of wine at a simple local meet up with like-minded friends.
When I discovered that there were no meet ups locally for me, I decided to start my own. I just made a reservation at a local watering hole, and then sent out the invites. And to my surprise…people showed up. We’ve been meeting every other month for about four years now.
If you want a more academic experience, there are critique groups. Contact your local SCBWI chapter or other writers group to find out if there are any groups with vacancies near you. Or simply contact your local library and start your own!
Leave your comments below if you have suggestions or anecdotes about finding your tribe!