The best way to irritate and alienate other authors is to brag about your accomplishments.
For most of us, however, that’s not a problem. We deplore the self-promotion aspect of marketing our books.
That’s one reason we should have tribes. We need writer cohorts, such as you’ll find here at this site, who don’t just cheer us on, but celebrate our achievements. Which is a ‘round-about way of introducing a fact that I want to scream from the proverbial rooftops of the blogosphere.
Forty-nine year-old Bryan Wakefield finds that as he approaches retirement he considers what life will be like once he is forced to abandon the daily means of escape that his job has provided from his tumultuous home life. Complicating matters, he possesses an extraordinary ability to recall specific events from any given date in his past with uncanny accuracy. It’s this very ability that causes him to dwell incorporeally in the doorway between past and present, comparing the dreams and reverie of youth to the despair of his adult life. One day, during his commute to work, Bryan misses his exit. But instead of getting off at the next, he continues driving, setting into motion events that will force him to strip away his desensitization by pitting past against present and breathe new life into his search for validity and meaningfulness.
In some ways, we share John’s sense of accomplishment. I met John at the San Francisco Writers Conference in 2013 and was blown away by his elevator pitch. As we debriefed, John emerged as the clear winner when it came to interested agents. As a (slightly jealous) outsider, it was clear that he’d find the right path for The Portrait of Gods. But, as we all know, the path to publication, particularly the traditional flavor, isn’t easy. As a sounding board for John’s ideas and dilemmas, we came to not only care about John the author, but became invested in his work—this book.
Which reveals a lot about the whole “tribe” concept. Whether you’re on the giving or receiving end of the support, you feel pride in the association.
How can writers support each other? Where have you found your sense of tribe?