Writing is a solitary profession that requires self discipline and self belief. At times, you may wonder why you write, yet still you keep on creating. As you hone your craft you seek and create writing friendships. And it's your fellow writers and illustrators who connect with you that become your creative treasure. They are who you seek advice from, join critique groups with, write reviews for and are your creative family.
I have made friends that I would never have never met in everyday life. They have become my creative tribe and know me warts and all. When you write you reveal your inner world and your fellow writers/illustrators are the ones who see the real you in your words. When you connect the sands of time may pass and you may not physically see each other or never ever meet in person but the bonds hold tight.
Today, a writer I met at a retreat rang me right when I was thinking about her. She needed a sounding board for some writing advice. Ping! In my email box another friend had sent me some helpful tips. When I write my Instagram posts it's my creative tribe who support me. I finished a critique, that was written simply and well and it was great to give this feedback. A friend who has been working hard to secure a picture book contract received one and shared her good news. I was tickled pink! Or maybe I should say red. Her hair is red.
So treasure those moments in your creative community and love and support each other. Your creative tribe will certainly make your writer world a happy place.
Image: Sunshine Coast Writers Retreat organised by Aleesah Darlison
Ten weeks into lockdown and you would think I have lots of writing done. But the truth is that my creativity comes and goes. Especially with the 11.00am news. So I am down at the beach taking a winter dip and grabbing a coffee to avoid those daily gremlins. On the way home there's a neighbour or local that needs a chat and Elmo our dog sneaks away. A multitude of delays and everyone thinks you have time. Inside my head is saying get some writing done. At home, my husband wants a chat and the postie is delivering yet another parcel. Yesterday I ordered vitamins and books. Finally I sit down at the computer and check my emails. Now it's time to write. But guess what my mind has gone blankety blank. I start googling facts for an idea that I have been trying to develop and my mind goes no you're not doing that today. Then the self talk starts and I hear that voice say, 'You've lost your writing mojo and you're wasting time.' It's so easy to go down that rabbit hole. Instead, I pull a rabbit out of a hat and remember a little writing challenge that I decide to use as inspiration. It seems to be the only thing that sparks anything. Finally I sit and write and stop and ponder. I nut out a first draft but think to myself it's not that good. Yet I have managed to get into the zone and write something when it seemed like I was pushing elephant poo up a hill. I have lunch and return. It looks even worse now but I continue on with the draft until it doesn't want to play anymore. I leave it for another day. My head says, 'You didn't get your goals done.' And out loud I reply, 'It's okay I created something today and I had fun.'