I'm sure I've written about this before, about a moment when I realized sitting in the middle of an RWA meeting I'd found my tribe.
Fats-forward two years and I'm still knee-deep into writing YA (moving back to Middle Grade) and still on the track to be published (this October!) and I've moved (quite literally, across multiple state lines), and the whole tribe thing pops up again.
I have to say, I got really lucky. Exceptionally, amazingly lucky that the first writing workshop I ever sat in was Southern Magic's. That the first time I ever drummed up enough courage (hello painful shyness) to go to a meeting was a Southern Magic meeting. I got wildly lucky that Jennifer Echols walked up to me during that meeting to hear more about the YA I was writing, to say I was so close and to keep at it. I got insanely lucky that the first group of writers I ever met were so unbelievably warm and welcoming and helpful and supportive.
When I moved out of Birmingham, those writers were the one thing I really missed.
But I'm in a new place and a new position with a new book about to come out and trying once again to find a tribe.
I mean, don't get me wrong, my tribe is on Twitter. They're the amazing writerly people who I'm lucky to call friends. But you need people on this side of the screen, too, and MAN am I realizing how lucky I was with Southern Magic. Super lucky. Because stick an introvert who would rather be on Twitter in a room full of strangers and...awkwardness.
Finding your tribe is a tricky thing. And then tribes change and shift. You change and shift.
I started out wanting to write romance. I'm not sure that I can write romance. Sure, there is kissing in my books and all, but a heck of a lot of people end up dead. Oops.
So I've been wavering about which tribe(s) belong to. I've been wavering about renewing my RWA national membership (especially in light of the YA RITA being cancelled). I've been wavering about paying to join SCBWI (because I'm tired of paying for things). I've been trying to get involved in the local writing scene. I've been wondering why I'd want to (isn't a day job and 2 kids enough?).
I've been writing books I never set out to write and loving it more than I ever expected. I've been trying to find a new tribe and feeling again like the new kid in High School.
It's exciting. It's hard. It's like starting over. (I hate starting over.)
And maybe in another two years I'll look back and wonder what I was looking for at all. Until then, I'm still working on finding my tribe. Until then... good luck finding yours.