Last Lecture: Find Your TribePosted: April 30, 2013 | |
You’ve all come so far since that first night of class. Remember? Remember where you were just a short time ago?
Think about what you accomplished.
- You got people in Muncie to come to the In Print Festival of First Books.
- You sponsored a public talk about graduate school.
- You gave a kick-ass presentation about social media at a meeting of local small business owners.
- You learned things about publishing that I didn’t know for a long, long time.
- You blogged every week for four months!
- You expanded your circle, your “network,” by at least 200 literary people. Because every week, you had to friend or follow five writers, magazines, publishers, agents, readers, etc. (If you can come up with another name for this than “Charming Notes,” I’m all ears.)
- You reviewed books.
- You reviewed the things you read online.
- You learned how complicated online reviewing is these days!
- You interviewed writers. You spread the word and the love.
- You gave public readings.
- You supported your classmates and plain old showed up to stuff.
- You got involved.
You’ve put a lot of good mojo into the universe. I guarantee, that will come back to help you–if it hasn’t already.
Google yourself now. Look at your stats. Look at your FB feed. Look at your Twitter account.
Actually, I don’t care about the stats, and neither should you really. It’s not about the quantity. It’s about the quality of your life. It should feel different right now. You’ve expanded your circles outward and outward. That’s an important step in becoming a writer and literary citizen.
Being online is about CONNECTION, COMMUNITY, and CONVERSATION.
Here’s some advice about what to do next.
- What community do you eventually want to be a part of? Who influences that community? Where do they hang out? How do you “join?”
- Start commenting on the blogs of people and organizations you want to know.
- Comment on articles in online magazines about subjects you care about. Make sure your comment will lead people back to your blog/website. Think about what they’ll find when they get there.
- Also find groups or pages on FB that have to do with the things you care about.
- Friend or follow someone you admire and, instead of trying to get THAT person’s attention, look around at the other fans standing around you.
Those are your people. That’s your tribe.
This is how you make a literary life for yourself, if that’s indeed what you want.
And I hope this class helped you figure that out.
Thanks for your patience as I figured out how to teach this class. It’s been a great semester.