I’ve been publishing for almost five years now, and when I cycle through the photos on my computer, it’s amazing the people I’ve met while doing this writing thing. And while I tend to act like a hermit and write from the comfort of my local coffee shop, every person I’ve met along the way has had significant impact on my career. Most of these connections have humorous beginnings in which I wonder how the hell they put up with me?
From the, “Hey, I write zombie books too,” to, “You’re the fiercest woman I’ve ever met,” to “Let me sign your husband’s chest,” I tend to make an impression, thankfully writers are okay with the awkward or I’d have been dead in the water. Years later I see these folks more often than not and we run in such tight circles you can only go a month before you’re tabling next to them, meeting in their house, or in the rare circumstance, attending their wedding.
I transitioned from overseeing the Metrowest chapter of NaNoWriMo to overseeing an Science Fiction and Fantasy organization spanning all of New England. Fourteen writing projects later I’ve met some seriously weird and creative people. From the woman hiding at a convention behind a vendor table trying to avoid the crowd to a magical baker turned writer of witches, they’re not a dull point.
I guess what I’m saying in long-winded terms, the old adage is true. It does indeed take a village. In a career requiring an extreme amount of isolation, it’s the moments you poke your head out of your cave to interact with other that magic happens. It may take a while, and it may take dozens of failed friendships, but oddly enough, there will come a moment when you realize you have a tribe willing to bend over backward to support you.
Find your tribe. Writer or reader, geek or realist, they’re out there. Once you find them, you’ll know, cause despite your shortcomings, they keep sending you messages at 2AM on a Wednesday night.