Every Writer Needs a Tribe (Have You Found Yours?)
The other day, a friend on social media told me she was tired of building a platform and just wanted to write. Another told me writers who don’t worry about marketing are doomed from the start. So what’s going on here? Who’s right, and who’s wrong?
Maybe they all are. Chances are, if you’re a writer, you can resonate with one of the above world views. You’re likely frustrated or tired or maybe even hopeful of this idea of building a tribe. And I want to clear something up: You already have a tribe.
Tribes are inevitable. You have one, whether you realize it or not. Tribes are how we live our lives. We are constantly banding together with other people to discuss ideas and share information.
Your church is a tribe.
Your job is another tribe.
Your group of friends is a tribe.
You have a tribe. The question is: Do you know it?
What’s a tribe?
Let’s ditch the jargon and just speak in plain English for a second. A tribe isn’t a fan club. It’s a group of people who care about something. And we all belong to a few of those, don’t we?
The scary part of a tribe isn’t finding one. It’s leading one. When I hear about artists feeling worn out by their tribes, it’s usually due to the pressures of leadership. They’re tired of leading (and rightfully so, because it’s hard work).
So when people tell me they aren’t interested in finding a tribe, I wonder if part of what’s motivating them is the fear of being a leader. Look, your tribe is forming. It’s out there.
Don’t believe me? Google a crazy, random hobby (like ninja monkey training, for example). There’s likely a group talking about it right now.
In a world where connection is now easy and free, it’s not a matter of if the tribe will form, but when. And the real question is this: Will you be brave enough to lead?
It’s not what you think
Maybe you’ve had this idea all wrong. Leading a tribe has nothing to do with being a celebrity or rock star or anything like that. It’s about digging deep into your craft and finding a way to help people.
That’s all it is: you, using your gifts to serve. If leaders are servants (and they are), then finding your tribe is simply answering a calling. It’s taking your vocation to the next level. Because once you step up and decide to lead, you can never go back.
From that moment on, you will have people listening — paying attention to your every move. And all of a sudden, there is a tremendous weight to your words and actions. Which isn’t always easy, but that’s the price we pay to lead. And frankly, it far outweighs the cost of not doing it.
Start building your tribe now
I hope you’ll take the time to find your tribe and realize that it may not be as much about you as you think. It’s about them, those people who need your words. So go find them.
If you need some help with this, check out my free eBook, Every Writer Needs a Tribe. If you’ve been waiting to be picked or searching for the audience your words deserve, this is for you.
Have you found your tribe? What do you need help with? Let me know in the comments.