Finding Your Tribe

posted in: Writing | 0

It was only eight short years ago when I decided I would write a book. A small seed of an idea had sprouted in my brain, so I began writing to see if it might grow.

But only a few chapters in, I gave up. I tried again.

And failed again.

I don’t even remember how many times I tried and failed with that first novel idea. As it turned out, this whole writing-a book-thing was far more difficult than I ever imagined.

In time, I scrapped that idea and started brainstorming for another. And at last, I had it–a wonderfully brilliant (or so I thought) idea which eventually becameĀ The Traveler.

Even as I toiled, I told very few people I was writing a book. The thought terrified me. I was sure they’d all laugh. Casie, an author? Sure. . .

But then at the Tulsa State Fair, I ran across a booth of local authors selling their books. I talked with a man there, and he told me about a group that met twice a month to share and critique each other’s writing. I gathered my courage and decided to attend. No lie–I was scared to death as I read a few pages from my fledgling book in front of this small group of strangers. My voice wavered, but I read on. I somehow knew it was something I needed to do.

And guess what?

They didn’t love it.

But they did have some helpful advice as to how I could make it better. So I took their advice to heart and worked on my book some more. I returned to the next meeting, and the next. There were always things to improve upon, but these other writers seemed to be interested in my story idea, which encouraged me to keep at it.

That was over three years ago, and though I’ve moved on to other books, I haven’t stopped going to my writers group. These people have become not only writing acquaintances, but real friends. We talk about our struggles and joys as writers (among other things), and they help me to know I’m not alone. Turns out, writing is hard for everyone.

I’ve also found some wonderful writers through contests. Pitchwars and #P2P16, specifically. I’ve never met some of these people in real life, but I still consider them friends. We stay in contact online, and our #P2P16 group even had a live google chat last night. It was so great to finally talk with some of these ladies “in person”!

If it weren’t for finding my writer tribe, I know I’d never be where I am today–working on my fifth novel. Having people with whom you can commiserate, who can lend their support, and who can offer feedback is so, so important. Even if you’re an introvert, like me, it’s imperative to find others who are traveling a similar journey.

When you feel like you’re all alone, it’s easy to give up, to say, well, this must not be for me. But when you find the right people, they can give you the courage to keep going, to never give up on your dream.

So if you haven’t already, go out and find your tribe.

It can make all the difference in your writing journey.