Why Writing Alone is Bad For You

Why Writing Alone Is Bad for You

I have a tribe.

You see me thanking them in my acknowledgements all the time, but I don’t know if I give them enough credit for the innumerable ways they help me write my books and live my life. 

They each serve different purposes, and yet, without even one of them, I wouldn’t get anything done. From inspiring me with quotes to leading me in yoga to daily word count accountability, book and movie recommendations, business advice, research questions, and plain old gossip, I adore each and every one of them. Several of them read for me, which is a huge help when I’m developing a story.

This is advice I don’t often give to new writers, but it was on my mind today.

There is nothing, nothing, more important than having a few people around you that you trust. A tribe makes your work is stronger, deeper, more alive. Having a core unit to support you, inspire you, even keep you accountable makes writing easier because, as we know, writing is hard. If it were easy, everyone would do it  

It’s taken me years to find my people, so don’t expect it to happen overnight. And do be careful as you’re getting to know your newfound tribe members. Don’t go all in with the confessions on day one. Work friendships are oftentimes more fraught than finding fun dinner companions — you’re going to be discussing money, and insider information, and contract stipulations and be asked to keep secrets about deals. There are jealousies to manage, and expectations. You won’t all be at the same point in your careers at the same time. Choose your people wisely. 

And when you find those people you can trust with your life, hold them close, and don’t ever let them go. They are a huge component to your ultimate career success, and your sanity as you navigate the treacherous waters of creativity.

Do you have a tribe?

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Daily Tao ☯ 6.27.17

We have such a huge surprise for you later this week I can hardly stand it. But stand it I shall, because time is fleet and in just a couple of days I’ll be sharing some very fun news. 

First day home was a good one. Dentist this morning, so I’m all bright and shiny, but the gas always makes me sort of dopey for the rest of the day, so I’ve been handling business stuff and emptying email and prepping for the big Internet vacation that starts Saturday AM.

In wonderful news, my BFF is coming to stay this weekend, and my tiny little writing group will be joining us at the house for a retreat this weekend. I expect tons of words, a few great movies, some scotch and champagne, boatloads of salami and cheese and fruit, and bonding time that is long overdue. 

Writer bonding is very important. This group in particular is very small and very intimate, and we keep each other on track to meet our deadlines and push ourselves to new heights. I’m so incredibly blessed to have these women in my life. They are the place I go to celebrate, to cry, to gnash my teeth. We are separated so much of the time––physically, by our genres, by our familial obligations––that having almost everyone together in person will be amazing. (One of our brethren can’t make it. We are crushed and will miss her dreadfully. ☹️)

So no new fiction words, though I did do some editing, and thinking, and bullet journaling, and transcribing of notes for the scenes to come tomorrow. I feel big word counts ahead…

Sweet dreams!