Update: October 22, 2019
“Tribe” is a word I’ve used for a long time without a second thought. But one of our own pointed out that it can be offensive to and even appropriative of indigenous peoples.
I didn’t know what I didn’t know. And after some research into the topic, I realized how problematic using this term can be. One of the main goals of this group is to create an inclusive, safe space. So, furthermore, we shall be known as the Writing Pack. (Rocket pitched the name, and you know I can’t say no to him.)
It’s so important that we—as a writing community and as humans—keep sharing with each other and listening to each other. We may not be able to fully understand another’s experience, but we can try.
If you've been hanging around here for a while, you may have heard of (or joined) The Community of Readers & Writers. I created the Community sort of on a whim, without any real plan of what I wanted it to be. I just knew that I wanted to create some sort of place for writers to connect.
Well, I've been thinking a lot lately about what the Community really means to me, and I have some ideas. The first step is a new name.
Many elements of the Community are still going to remain. There will be quarterly newsletters in which you can share your accomplishments and announcements. But there's going to be a stronger focus on developing your personal tribe of writers. The people you can turn to, who understand. More about that in a second.
I did some soul searching about what my writer friends mean to me. I believe that we each need a "tribe" of writers, and that means more than just a group of folks who might buy your book when it's released. Nobody understands what writers go through on a daily basis except other writers. We each need a group of writers we feel comfortable with, who can help us through the rough times and celebrate our successes. And while I love getting to know many, many members of the writing community, the best way to form this tribe is by joining a small group of writers who are in similar career stages.
Victoria Griffin is an author and editor based in East Tennessee. She provides developmental and line editing for traditionally and independently publishing authors. Her short fiction has appeared in more than 40 publications, and she is represented by Sandy Lu of L. Perkins Agency.
She is the author of the workbooks Edit Like a Pro and Craft Your Query. She is also the owner of Blue Pen Publishing Services, which provides book design and branding services for independent authors. Email Victoria.