I joined an author webinar last evening hoping to get some wisdom, tips, learn from people who are in the industry. I can’t say I came away with anything earth-shattering. Honestly, I was disappointed and disgruntled when all was said and done. That’s not really the point I’m trying to make with this blog though. One of the great tips they did give was that you can’t write in isolation, you need community. This is something I have known for a long time now. When I was a preteen and teenager I had a few close friends who also loved to write. We would take time reading each other’s work and giving each other feedback. I sort of feel like I was the most obnoxious of the group, writing long stories, rambling tales, and wanting, needing, all.the.feed.back. I should have realized then it was a hobby that would not die out. (Sorry, friends!) When I began writing again I wrangled my bestie into working with me. She reads it all, somehow she loves it all, and she gives me amazing feedback. My husband and I started an artist community at our house a few years ago. It is a monthly meeting of all types of artists, we discuss a topic, eat a lot of food, and drink all the drinks. I’ve met quite a few talented writers and formed a great community with them. Lately, I have tried building my writer/author community on social media. I’ve tried to actively participate in hashtags, following others, liking their work, giving encouragement. I have not found my tribe with it yet, but it is a work in progress!
Life is not something we should do alone. Even us introverts and mega-introverts need other people in our lives. When something breaks, when an emergency happens, when you are halfway done making dinner and need ¼ cup of oil, we need people to help. We need our neighbors, family, friends, schoolmates, to jump into life with us. There are a few spots in my life I look back on and remember how incredibly lonely I was because I didn’t have a strong community. My life became amazingly more bearable when I had friends to lean on. Sometimes your circumstances don’t change but the right friend with the right word can turn the day around.
Living as an artist/writer/creative is the same. We need people to speak into our art and point out the amazing and the not so good. We need other creatives who can see where we can push it even further or reign in the over the top. They are the ones to help find our plot holes, inconsistencies, and gems. No matter where you are in your journey of artistry find your tribe! Beginners and seasoned need people and we need all kinds in our groups. Get out there and start creating with others!