Writers are my tribe

In the past year, I’ve been connecting more with writers. I’ve been talking to them about their writing habits, their abilities and talents, their processes and plotting and their dreams and ideas.

I think I’ve found my tribe.

I’ve worked in communication all my working life but I haven’t really fitted in. You see, I’ve been a copywriter who is also a University lecturer who is also a workshop facilitator who is also a strategist.  You try and find a category on LinkedIn for that eclectic bunch of experience. I’ve worked in marketing while also working in education while also being a PR guy who does a lot of work in the online world. Again, you try to pigeonhole that.

But since I’ve turned my time, energy and focus into fiction writing, I’ve found a connection with other writers that I never found with marketing or PR people, advertising or online boffins.

Maybe it’s because I’m now writing from the heart instead of the head. Maybe it’s because I’m writing about things that are part of me or dear to me, instead of someone else’s product or service.

In the end, I’ve found my tribe. They speak my language and get where I’m coming from. These writers are people who:

  • Don’t find it strange that I talk about imaginary friends.  In fact, they want to know more about them so they can befriend them as well.
  • Think it’s normal to be working out whether or not a dreamed-up scenario needs another twist in it … while everyone else is talking about the new McWhatever Burger, the economy or world peace.
  • Just nod sagely when I mention I woke up at 3am with a brilliant idea from a dream, that I then walked the house in the dark to find my laptop so I could write it down before I forgot about it.
  • Think I’m normal for complaining about the wanton misuse of commas in today’s communication and agree with me when I mention anyone who uses text-speak in everyday conversation should be sent away to re-education camp.
  • Congratulate me on reaching a 50,000 word milestone without having that look on their face that says: ‘50,000 words? Why?’
  • Are as excited about a turn of phrase as I am.
  • Understand how much hard work goes into producing ANYTHING in the written form.
  • Enjoy a new cover design of a book, because you know it comes at the end of a massive investment of blood, sweat and tears.
  • Think the renowned Dan Brown just can’t write and get as upset as I do that he sold so many books based on hype, not talent.
  • Don’t think publishing is super-easy and the New York Times Bestseller List is something you just get your name on because you subscribed to it.

Next week I’m heading to the American Christian Fiction Writers Conference in Nashville. I’ll be meeting more people from my tribe; people who share a connection.

And that makes me more excited than any other business connection I’ve made in 25+ years.

If you’re a writer, what makes you excited about talking to other writers?

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