Sunday, February 17, 2019

Creating Your Tribe

Every writer working today has heard you need a tribe to get a book from concept to reality. A tribe is a support system in this lonely world of fiction writing. You need critique partners to let you know when you've run your book's story line off into a ditch. You need a coach, mentor, agent, whatever your want to call the person or persons you lean on for advice. Throw in editors, web designers, proofreaders, reviewers who write glowing reviews of your books, publishers, all the people who operate blogs where you can introduce your book to a new audience, and, of course, your family.

Never has this concept of tribalism come into play than this past week. My website is one of the most consistent of the elements of my social media, and I keep track of the daily hits. The consistency tapered off around Valentine's Day, and had trickled to one or two visitors a day instead of the usual 100 or so. I watched it for a couple days, but didn't think to check the link. One of my favorite fellow authors with whom I share the History Imagined blog brought it to my attention. What to do? Since I know next to nothing about how to fashion a website, I emailed my tribe member who takes care of that. It only took her a few minutes on the phone with the company who hosts my site to determine they had tried to send an authentication notice to me at my Ohio email address and when I didn't respond, they shut the site down. It has since been fixed and updated. Problem solved, but not without help.

On a more personal note, I now have my grown nephew living with me. Since I've never married, it's been nice to be able to share my home with my siblings and/or their children over the years. He's working at a grocery chain and has to be there by 6 am. Normally, I never hear him, but last night was different. I got sick at about 3 am, and was awake when he left the house. I texted him to please pick up some Pepto for me before he came home. Not only did he bring the medicine, he brought hot soup and yogurt for my delicate stomach. Then, he walked my dog!

So this week has taught me that, while some parts of my tribe need to be shored up and expanded, the core group is to be trusted. Not only with my writing process but also with my health. I'm eternally grateful to each of you.

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