Be around the light bringers,
the magic makers, the world shifters,
the game shakers.
They challenge you, break you open,
uplift and expand you.
They don’t let you play small with your life.
These heartbeats are your people.
These people are your tribe.
The word tribe conjures up the image of a clan, a group, a collective. It is the people who gather around and support you. I have discovered the most amazing tribe in my writing community. I thought writing was a lonely endeavour, something that happens in a garret, in complete solitude.
In actual fact writing is more like a trek. With sometimes rocky and difficult terrain and sometimes gentle valleys. As with any trek, this journey is much better with companions. Here are five companions that I have found so useful to have with me on my writing journey.
These are the people who are waiting patiently for me to finish my book. They constantly tell me that I am doing the right thing in writing this story. They are the people who affirm that I am on the right path. They are the ones who are on the edges of the path and cheerlead when the going gets tough, ‘Come on just a little, further, you can do it.’
These people are on the journey with me, traveling the path with me, those who walk alongside me as I write.
They include my regular writing partner; my author friend whom I send my drafts to for editing and first comments; my ‘Shut Up and Write’ group that I meet with on a regular basis to have accountability and community; and my friend, Amanda who is a star at helping me set goals and structure my week to get the work done.
All these people take my hand as I approach the daunting road that is writing, and they support me over the more difficult terrain.
These are the annoying people who know I am writing a book and keep asking me how it’s going. (Yes, you know who you are!!).
I am so very grateful for these people, because they keep asking the questions I need to be able to answer. If my answer is, ‘there has been little or no progress’, then they often have that all-important follow-up question, ‘what’s blocking you?’
These people ask the questions that allow me to investigate my process, and understand what my stalling points are. This often leads to a break-through or a new direction.
I am so encouraged by the people in my community who have already published books. They show that it can be done. Some of my closest friends are published authors.
How great is that? That I can say that people I write with on a regular basis have sold their books.
I look at them, I know them, I know they have everyday lives with kids, and work, and house stuff same as me, and I see that they can publish a book. They spur me on as I realise I can do that too.
These are the people who contact me, or catch me for a chat and pick my brains about writing or blogging.
These people surprise me, because they ask questions that I actually know the answer to. They show me how far I’ve come, and they also allow me not to hoard my knowledge but to pass it on.
As a former teacher, I fully believe in the power of learning, and that it is a constant activity. But there is real value as well in looking back and seeing how far you have come. In speaking with writers who are just starting out, I remember what I have learnt and pass on that knowledge. And as with any interaction I always learn something new too.
I have found that my creative journey is not one that is an isolated solitary one, but is actually filled with people who form my creative tribe. And I am ever so grateful for their company and their encouragement as I travel my writing journey.