The Importance of Finding Your Tribe

My writing career didn’t begin in indie publishing. I started out with horror short stories, published in anthologies put together by small presses.

Self-publishing was still in its infancy at the time. In fact, when I pitched the idea of it to my then writing group, they all laughed at me. It was still synonymous with bad writing, and desperate authors.

And so, my network of authors, a network I’ve been building up for six years now, was built on a foundation of authors looking towards the traditional publishing route.

And, in the beginning, they were absolutely my tribe. We swapped information on publishers, and open calls, and we talked about writing, and the awful, torturous agony of waiting for responses from your submissions.

But then, my route drifted in a different direction. And a crack appeared, and it gradually widened.

Don’t get me wrong; I love my original network. They bring me opportunities and connections that I may never have had through my tribe of indie authors. But our interests aren’t quite so parallel anymore.

I can still talk to them around the ins and outs of writing, and author-life. And I love watching their careers progress, and keeping a finger in the trad-pub news pool.

But they aren’t interested in discussing email marketing strategies. They don’t give me a heads-up about BookFunnel promotions that might suit my books. They can’t swap recommendations for cover artists, or horror stories about ebook formatting. They don’t all see their writing as a business.

Anyone who has ever stepped out from behind their desk, and met up with other writers; suddenly realising that there is a crowd of people out there who are on the same wavelength. Who are nerdy in all the same ways as they are. Anyone who has done that knows what a relief it is to discover that you are not alone. That there are people out there who understand you, and appreciate the ups and downs of the writing life.

And, it’s one thing to find people who equally appreciate the importance of a pen that writes smoothly, or a notebook that opens flat, but I also need people who want to talk about the business side of things. That want to discuss promos, and collaborations, and, even, tax returns. I need to not feel alone in those things too.

So, yes, cast your networking net wide, and scoop up all the wonderfully crazy, nerdy, weird writery kindred spirits you can. Enjoy them. But keep a smaller net too, a net of those on the same path as you. Those you can walk with for longer. Those who want to look at the same scenery as you do.

This post is part of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group blog hop. You can visit all the participating blogs, or sign up yourself, HERE.

16 thoughts on “The Importance of Finding Your Tribe

    1. I really do love hybrid authoring, and I think it’s a big advantage to both understand and network in both worlds.

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  1. I remember being warned about self-publishing, way back in the early days of my writing. It’s bizarre how much people’s attitudes about self-publishing have changed in such a short period of time.

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    1. Yes, it’s wonderful how attitudes are changing. It all started with the authors taking it seriously, and showing the reading world that they were serious.

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  2. Agreed! It’s important to network with a wide range of different authors, and it’s also okay to have separate network groups for different things: Writing buddies, Marketing Buddies, Genre Buddies, Self-Pub Buddies, Trad-Pub Buddies, etc. Great post!

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    1. Definitely! Just like we have friends who are good to shop with, and friends who are good to gossip with, and friends who are good to cry with!

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  3. Where I live, there isn’t much in the way of writing groups, so I’d be lost without that network of writers on the internet. I’ll be entering the world of indie publishing this week, so I’m finding the online writing community very helpful and supportive. 🙂

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    1. My online network is an absolute lifeline, although I am starting to meet local people now. Best of luck with your indie publishing journey!

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  4. I can’t tell you anything about formatting a book since I’m with a traditional publisher, but I can point you to a website and a whole group of authors who can help.
    Hopefully those people don’t treat you any differently. I view all of my author friends the same.

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    1. Oh yes, we all treat each other the same. Whether trad pub or indie pub, the writing world is, by-and-large, a hugely supportive and friendly place.

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  5. As a hybrid, I can definitely agree that it’s great to be part of both worlds. I can learn different things from trad pub vs. indie. It’s great to have part of all these different families.

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  6. It is so important to have a tribe not only to share and promote but also to bounce off ideas, share experiences and just be there for each other.

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