Finding a Writing Tribe


In my experience, joining a class, workshop or group with fellow writers is one of the best antidotes to a solitary writing life that can feel lonely at times. The feedback and support one receives from peers, not to mention the motivation to meet deadlines and keep working at revisions, is invaluable.

Janis Cooke Newman’s recent article, “Everyone Needs a Writing Tribe,” in Literary Hub covered all those advantages of a writing circle, and more. She describes how she invites a group of about ten writers over to her house monthly for a couple hours of writing and sharing work while she has chickens roasting in the oven:

When the two hours are up, we open the wine, and eat the chickens. And we talk. Sometimes we talk about our work. Sometimes we talk about the business of publishing. Sometimes we talk about nothing of any importance at all. But we know—because we are all members of the writing tribe—that if one of us is waking up breathless with the fear the world will learn she is a talentless fraud, or if another of us needs someone to come over and tell him how to write when his world is falling apart, or if any of us needs a reminder of the possibilities inherent in what we do all day, someone will be there.

Doesn’t that sound like the perfect writing group?! This comes as a timely reminder that I’ve got to get a new writing tribe together. And chickens, of course. Janis Cooke Newman, you’ve got a brilliant idea there.

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