It’s the second year I’ve attended, and again I came away inspired, awed by the talented and generous group of women and on a bit of a feel-good high from all the giggles and warm-fuzzies that come from spending time with people who share our interests. Okay, and the hilarious game of charades might have contributed to the giggles too!! We’re all at different stages in our lives and from varied backgrounds, but we have something that binds us together – a love of books, stories and writing.
I was saying to one of my fellow retreat-goers that it felt so good just to be able to talk about my stories. These ladies get it. There’s no looking at me like I have two heads when I attempt to describe the convoluted plot twists I’m currently wrestling with. The lady said to me, ‘You’ve found your tribe.’
And yes, it does feel that way. It’s wonderful to have people who can celebrate and empathise with the steps and challenges of the writing journey. Not to mention the value in having people willing and expertly able to brainstorm with, critique work and share craft and market tips. It feels nice when I am able to help others with their work as well.
So how to find your ‘tribe’?
- Writer’s associations are a good place to start. Often they’ll have lists of groups in your local area, or those that cater to particular genres. For us Victorians, Writers Victoria is worth checking out:
- If you’re into a particular genre, do some research to see if there’s an organisation that can help you. If you’re into romance, you’re in luck with Romance Writers of Australia. RWA has a variety of ways you can link in with other writers such as conferences, workshops, online forums and critiquing schemes:
- Writers Festivals can be a good way to meet others with similar interests.
- Melbourne Writers Festival is on in August: http://mwf.com.au/
- And keep an eye out for next year’s Emerging Writers Festival http://www.emergingwritersfestival.org.au/
- You could take a short course at a community centre or Tafe. Often you will get to do some critiquing in groups which is a good way to get to know other people, and you might make some lasting contacts.
- Local papers and local libraries often have events and literary groups.
- Why not check out groups available online – there are lots of forums and groups available. Meetups offer everything from ‘distinguished dorks’ to ‘Shut up and Write!’
If there’s not something that’s just right for you, why not start your own? Call your tribe to you!