WRITER SEEKS A TRIBE
Do you have a Native American heritage? I do. So when I heard authors talking about all the amazing help they received from their tribes I was more than a little confused. There was a workshop “All About Tribes,” at last years’ writers conference and curiosity caught me. If you’ve not heard this term before—associated with authors—here’s my paraphrased definition: A tribe is any group of people who care about something they have in common. End of definition. However, applying this concept to authors who are seeking the support of a tribe was a whole different twist for me. My paradigms had not shifted into the “real world of Internet groups” which are being re-labeled “tribes” even as I write this blog.
Please allow me to come at this concept from another perspective. There are two things I’m absolutely certain about. One is that Writers and basically loners. We develop our stories alone, in our heads, and they pour out onto the computer screen through our fingers. Two, we love words! The shorthand of the majority of Internet users can (and often does) frustrate writers to the max! What most of us are NOT savvy about is marketing and/or networking in order to get the wonderful book we’ve just published actually into READERS hands. Here is where the TRIBE comes in—the group of people out there on the Internet on social media venues who will TALK about our books. I’m not referring to a small group of media-types who populate television media—the “talking heads” who announce and pronounce success (or not) concerning everything from politics to cookie recipes. I’m referring to the thousands of people (hopefully more) who are talking about our books—genre, topic/concepts, characters, settings, etc.—because they have found a common thread within those pages that they care about.
For example: I mentioned my short story/book titled DEPLOYED. Doing a quick Internet search of groups for our deployed military, I found over 30 pages of potential resources—groups of people that are talking about some element of military deployment. This is FREE information that can lead you people who “care about” the same topics you do—and who will tell other people about the book(s) you’ve written! And when they talk, people listen.
Now the questions become: How do you find the appropriate groups/tribes? How do you contact them—all of them? How do you introduce yourself? Should you start a tribe of your own, without connecting to other tribes first?
When I typed out these questions from my workshop notes, I floundered. I want to write the books I’m passionate about and share those writings with lots of Readers. I don’t want to become a marketing specialist! And yet, the tribe concept intrigued me. I do want to encourage other writers, dig deep into this spinning wheel of creative writing and help them make something beautiful, too.
So my personal definition of my writing career is expanding. I am no longer the solitary author. I’m an author/mentor who is seeking the Tribe(s) of people in this world who appreciate and care about what I’m writing. And possibly, just possibly, there are a few writers in that Tribe (as well as Readers) who will talk about, write about and help even more writers, too.
How will I find them? It’s a little late tonight, but first thing tomorrow morning I’ll be calling my Publishing Consultant and asking her to connect me with their Personal Marketing Assistant. That’s all I need—just a little help from a friend—and I’ll be connected to my Tribe very soon. ⚓︎
ABOUT ROYALENE DOYLE: Royalene has been writing something since before kindergarten days and continues to love the process. Through her small business—DOYLE WRITING SERVICES—she brings more than 40 years of writing experience to authors who need “just a little assistance” with completing their projects. This is a nice fit as she develops these blogs for Outskirts Press (OP) a leading self-publisher, and occasionally accepts a ghostwriting project from one of their clients. Her recent book release (with OP) titled FIREPROOF PROVERBS, A Writer’s Study of Words, is already receiving excellent reviews including several professional writer’s endorsements given on the book’s back cover.
Royalene’s writing experience grew through a wide variety of positions from Office Manager and Administrative Assistant to Teacher of Literature and Advanced Writing courses and editor/writer for an International Christian ministry. Her willingness to listen to struggling authors, learn their goals and expectations and discern their writing voice has brought many manuscripts into the published books arena.