Man is a social creature. He needs his tribe to remain sane. Same goes for every writer. We need our tribe. Our tribe is as important as oxygen is for life.
When you venture into writing, so many things happen out of the blue to you.
Some of the usual stumbling blocks that trouble every newbie writer are writer’s block, one-uppers, critics, and psychic-vampires.
- When writer’s block visits, you are forced to play the reluctant host till it leaves. You babysit and fret over the troubles it is giving you yet have no clue how to make it leave.
- The one-uppers will make you feel awful by telling you how they have done it all, before you even thought about it. Well good for them. But it does dim your light.
- The critic, who has never written a novel will tell you where you went wrong in your novel, which character sucked and why you should pack your bags and leave.
- The psychic vampires will stick to you and emotionally blackmail you to get things done. You will do their chores fully convinced that you are duty bound to help the poor darling. You will help them to edit their Facebook posts, their blog posts and even the messages to their ex. You are a writer after all!
This is where the presence of your tribe is going to help you. Your tribe is your group of writer friends who will listen to your woes and offer the perfect solution. Their words bring sunshine back into your life.
“Writer’s block? Do something else. Take a long walk, go watch a movie. Give your brain some rest, yaar!”
“Forget about that one-upping creature. She is lying through her teeth. Even if she is true this time, which she isn’t, you too achieved it, didn’t you? Cheer up!”
“Why are you affected by his words? He hasn’t written a single story, he isn’t a literature expert and thinks of himself as a critic! Who told him he knew anything about writing?”
“You are a fool. She is using you. She is no damsel in distress who needs rescuing. She is a psychic vampire. That is what she is. Leave her."
Amazing, right? They will tell you what you need to hear. They have been there, done that.
So how to find your tribe?
- Join a writing group/club.
- Join a Facebook/twitter group of writers who you know and respect.
- Take creative writing classes. You will meet like-minded people.
Once you find your tribe, contribute towards the group and don’t remain passive. Give help, ask for help. Once you rant about your troubles in the group, usually it will vanish just like that. The reason being ‘it was mostly all just in your head alone.’
When the others take a bite out of your troubles, it vanishes within no time. Your tribe will become your guiding light.
So, go find your tribe.
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