Tuesday Tip

I put up a quick post on my Facebook author page today that advocated Finding Your Tribe.  I feel this is important in many aspects of life, but especially for writers.  Why?  Read on, Macduff, and I shall elaborate.

I’ve always written.  Writing is, by its very nature, a pretty solitary activity.  I can say, however, that my writing skills escalated wildly when I did two things.  Thing one, I joined the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.  I had met author Alexandra Flinn at an educator event – a discussion on Why Boys Don’t Read attended by Alex and other YA authors Joyce Sweeney, Dorian Cirrone, and Joanne Hyppolite.  While getting my copy of Breathing Underwater signed by Alex, I mentioned that someday, I hoped to be on her side of the table.  She gave me her business card and wrote the SCBWI web address on the back.  She told me if I was serious about writing for teens, SCBWI was the best organization to join.  So I did, the very next day, and I’ve been attending the SCBWI Florida conferences and workshops regularly ever since, which led me to Thing two.

Thing two was receiving a coveted invitation to a private critique group run by Joyce Sweeney.  Joyce had gotten on my radar years earlier, when I took a YA Literature class at FAU and she was a guest speaker.  She had mentioned running the invitation-only critique groups, and I remember thinking that someday, I wanted to be a good enough writer to earn an invitation.  Through many SCBWI events and local classes, I got on her radar, and after taking a class with her through my local library, Joyce invited me to her Thursday group.

So those two things helped me really find my tribe.  Through SCBWI, I attended conferences and workshops, working on my craft as I learned what agents and editors looked for.  Through Joyce’s critique group, I honed my story-writing skills.  And through both, I found my tribe – the storytellers like me.

Find your tribe.  It really helps kickstart your creative soul.

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