Writing is a lonely road littered with distracting scenery. I’ll admit I’m easily – ooo…cupcakes!
Two enduring lessons from last weekend’s Historical Novel Society conference have remained in my thoughts all week – the importance of finding your tribe and the vital importance of maintaining a level of inspiration that enables the writer to write. After a week’s reflection, I’ve realized the two are not as unconnected as I believed.
It works like this.
A writer goes to a conference and spends a fantastic weekend immersed in “all things book.” The writer makes friends with others who share a passion for words and tales. At the end of the weekend, the writer goes home, charged and inspired and ready to write. All his-or-her friends do, too.
Once home, however, our hero finds legions of dragons to slay. Dirty laundry needs washing. Toilets need cleaning. Phones demand answering and a thousand other duties require attention. The memory of the conference fades, and inspiration quietly slips away.
“Tomorrow,” the writer promises. “Tomorrow I’ll manage to write.”
But tomorrow becomes Tuesday, and Tuesday becomes next week, and before you know it September has come and gone. The manuscript lies forgotten in a corner, gathering dust and an odor of cast-off dreams.
That’s what happens without the tribe.
For the writer who cultivates friendships the story often goes another way. The dragons remain, but the hero no longer battles them alone. The inspiration of others gives the writer strength to fight, to win, and to sneak away for the moments required to finish the story.
Stay connected with the tribe. Read tweets. Follow facebook. Subscribe to blogs. Care about your friends’ inspiration. Encourage them, and they will encourage you. Even if they don’t, the very act of encouraging others will fuel your own inspiration. Consider it a conference in miniature – an ongoing connection to writing and people who love it as much as you do.
Have you checked in with your tribe today? Hop into the comments and let me know, and then go encourage someone. You’ll be glad you did!