The other day, I had three conversations:
- A friend on social media told me she was tired of building a platform and just wanted to write.
- Another told me there was no formula for getting published (I believed her because she written over a dozen books); however she did say that attracting a tribe of fans is important.
- An established author told me writers who don’t worry about marketing are doomed from the start.
I believe they’re all right. Chances are, if you’re a writer, you can resonate with one of the above worldviews. You’re likely frustrated or tired or maybe even hopeful of this idea of building a tribe. And I want to help clear some things up for you…
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 another.
You have a tribe. The question is: Do you know it?
Let’s ditch the jargon and just speak in plain English for a second. A tribe isn’t a fan club or mega, super platform; it’s just a group of people who care about something. And we all belong to a few of those, don’t we?
Choosing to lead is a choice
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. (Tweet that)
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 the 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.
A couple freebies
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, here are two offers:
- Check out Every Writer Needs a Tribe, an eBook collection of some of my favorite posts and pieces on the topic of tribe-building. This week only, it’s free on Amazon.
- My upcoming course, Tribe Writers, addresses the issue of how writers can find their tribes (both by improving their writing and learning how to spread ideas). You can get the first lesson for free, plus some other stuff, sent to you when you join the email list.
So there you go: two freebies on finding your tribe. Enjoy. And if you get a chance, leave a comment, sharing a little more about your tribe. I’d also love to hear what you’re struggling with.
What does your tribe look like? How do you need help finding it? Share in the comments.