Have You Found Your Tribe?
Part of the human experience is the need to be loved, feel safe, and be accepted. Everyone wants to find their tribe. I’ve searched in many places, some good, and some, not so good. But I’m only going to focus on the good today. You can out find more about my quest in my memoir – Manifesting Me.
In the beginning of November I had the pleasure of attending She Writes/Spark Press/She Reads Author Retreat in the lovely Boulders Resort in Arizona.
I had never gone to any sort of retreat in my life. I can’t express how deeply this retreat has opened and filled my heart.
Writers are an interesting breed. Most of them are introverts, unlike myself. My energy can be too much for the introverted person, therefor, I reeled in my energy. Listening more than talking, was my goal. I thoroughly enjoy hearing other people’s stories and processes; not to mention the speakers that were featured.
Speakers At The Retreat
We learned from Ingram Publishing Services how distribution works. We had publicists from different companies share what to expect when starting a publicity campaign. A VP of Publisher Weekly magazine spoke of what their services do, and their contribution to book industry. BookBub had a representative informing us how to utilize their website for users and authors. The owner of the Poisoned Pen gave hope to any bookstore owner. The CEO of SparkPoint Studio, Crystal Patriarche, along side with Brooke Warner from She Writes Press, welcomed us and got the retreat started. Last but definitely not least, was our keynote speaker, Jesmyn Ward, an award winning and best selling author.
An Emotional Speech
Absorbing all of the information was intense, but in a very positive way. I never thought of a writing retreat as an emotional event before. Jesmyn’s speech during our dinner, was reiterating people’s need for acceptance and to live in a safe world. Isn’t that what everyone wants? To live in a safe world to be the best you can be?
She talked about her experience as a black woman, once she found out she was pregnant each time. Jesmyn spoke of the fears of motherhood and how her family history played a role.
As a white woman, growing up in a lower income area of Oakland, CA in 70’s and 80’s, I could relate to the “wanting to feel safe” part. My situation was centered in one place. Her fear followed her. Everyone wants to feel safe.
Many authors can write, but are not always the best at public speaking. Jesmyn’s speech was brilliant. You could feel her authenticity, which I believe is what holds the attention of the audience.
I had never been in a writer’s workshop. Jesmyn led one which helped me understand, I am intuitive writer. She gave tips and exercises for better writing. They may have seemed simple for the educated writer, but for a novice like myself, I found it very useful.
My New Tribe
The best part of the retreat was meeting and making life long connections with other authors. No one could possibly understand what it was like having such a supportive group of woman. I went out of my comfort zone and deliberately met new people. Their interest in each other and in me was genuine and sincere. And vice versa. We have a secret online community, but I was a little shy on asking for help from strangers.
Everyone became like one big family by the end of the retreat. I don’t ever remember being in a group with that many people and feeling infinitely supported and connected. I have successfully found my tribe.
“Ultimately, we actually all belong to only one tribe, to Earthlings.”
~ Jill Tarter