It's been one snow, one melt, one writer group meeting, One Writer's Chronicle with so many great articles, numerous poetry drafts and two finished poems, and one week since my last confession.
As a point of reference, the AWP Writer 2 Writer program that I am working in has started its second module. This is significant because it will have some bearing on my confessions. The focus of the second module is Community and Connections.
As long as we are being honest, I will confess that I have been looking for a writing tribe for many years. I'm not proud of this fact and I will attribute to the fact that I'm not totally sure what I want. That's just a bit embarrassing to me. How do you go for years and want something but are not quite sure what it is and how to find it.
When I first recall hearing talk of your writing tribe it was from someone I greatly respect as a writer. I way have heard it elsewhere but this was when it first sunk in. I think that is because again it was someone I respected and also because they made a point of making it seem really important. Find your tribe.... that's what I recall hearing.
This person who was imparting such wisdom has a significant social media presence. What I have gleaned over the years is that at minimum, their time works something like this...
- They share each other's ups and downs - or I guess you could say they provide comfort and support.
- They will at times discuss craft.
- Keep others informed of events, publications, and opportunities.
- From time to time they may share writing prompts and on occasion two or more will get together for a day or an afternoon and write together.
- I think but am not certain that they may from time to time share drafts for comment/work-shopping
Now what writer doesn't want to be a part of something like that?
Presently I get together with other local writers once a month locally and have done this for numerous years. These are good friends and I enjoy the meetings, but I confess that it is not a group that works well for work-shopping material. Few of them submit work to journals. They are always way to kind - so the objectiveness that comes with working to improve a draft - getting that good ear that can tell you if something is working on some level or not.
In the 2nd module of Writer 2 Writer (W2W) some of us have been talking a little about community and connecting with others. My own mentor is not a social media person. That said he has over the years made many (to the power of several many) contacts basically the old fashioned way. Personal contact, phone, email, snail mail. He is on the road constantly. He makes a living full time as both a poet and a musician. It's impressive, but I am a creature of social media.
I confess that I really want a tribe that does many of the things I have described above. But I could modify that. for example if there were people geographically beyond my area, short of getting together from time to time to write - the rest of this could be achieved.
I would agree that I believe every writer should have a tribe. The reason is simple. Writing is by it's very nature a solitary experience. We work hard in our own space, me it quiet or with a music play list or background noise at a coffee shop, but we really are withdrawn unto our selves. When we are done, we then put our vary private selves out into the public. First to find publication which may lead to rejection but even beyond that we are putting ourselves out in a very vulnerable way. I confess that to me personally, that leads even the introverted me to want to move beyond my solitude and be with others briefly until it is time to withdraw, recharge, and create again.
So here I am... That's were I'm at. I've solved nothing except perhaps flushed out kind of what I feel as a writer I need or at least want. But I confess I think it really is more of a need.
Until next week~
peace, love & be safe