Mastermind Groups: Do I Need One?

Mastermind Groups: Do I Need One?

A mastermind group is important for writers who are looking to turn their writing into a career. 

mastermind

I truly believe this and it is why I started one about a year or so ago. My mastermind group is why I have two mysteries out and another one in the wings. They (the group) are great for keeping me moving toward my goals.

Even as early as this week, one of my friends in the group encouraged me to move forward from the latest accomplished goal and to make a new mid-year goal. I am working on that even as I type this.

As to the benefit of a mastermind group, you can succeed without one, but in order to quickly get to that next level of your writing career, where things will ramp up, you need to join one. Or create one like I did.

What is a Mastermind Group?

For anyone out there scratching his or her head, a mastermind group is just a newfangled term for a group of people with a lifestyle, hobby, or business goal that meet (in person, on the phone, via Skype, Google Hangouts etc.) to share and learn to improve what they do. Think of it as a meeting for writers or individuals who want to get things done in the writing world.

In these meetings, there is little to no critiquing. The group shares ideas, questions, successes and failures. Members with problems get feedback, while everyone learns from everyone else’s experience and wisdom.

Some mastermind groups hold formal meetings with structure that enables good use of the time. Mine is less like that, and we enjoy fellowship as well as brainstorming.

Here is a possible scenario:

  • Beginning: Each member talks briefly about their accomplishment from the previous meeting.
  • Middle:  The “hot seat” person shares, in detail, issues, complications, questions and concerns about his or her situation. The rest address this situation by offering suggestions or comments based on their scope of knowledge and experience.
  • End: Each member, one-by-one, talks about their goals  to accomplish by the next meeting. And, the next “hot seat” person is chosen so he or she can be ready with questions for the next meeting.

Depending on the mastermind group, the structure may be a different, however the general idea is the same. Our group, as I said, has a meal together, shares something about their week, and has a few laughs before getting down to business. We also have weeks where we do NOT discuss business. We just pull out our laptops and write. Mastermind groups can be very individualized.

A Benefit to this type of gathering

Benefits from participating in mastermind groups:

  1. You can get questions answered, or at least talk through how to solve problems.
  2. You can get new ideas to improve your writing.
  3. You get opinions about decisions you are considering. Your mastermind group can help you step back and see whether it is the best move for you.

Besides those three benefits, there is one other that is ignored about mastermind groups, and that is accountability. Sometimes we just need accountability buddies to keep us in line with what we want to accomplish.

There are a lot of places to find a group. Or you can form your own. Start with your local writer friends. Have them meet up with you at a local eatery for a meal. That’s how we got started. Or if you are more of an online person, ask from your collection of writer friends on social media. Start a Facebook group. Try to have a Google Hangout so everyone can see everyone else.

Keep it regular, like once a month, or once a week, and you will be rolling. I hope you find a mastermind group helpful. If you have one, or have ever been in one, leave a comment and tell me what your experience was.

About master

Kim Smith is the author of Disk of Death, The Dread Room, Love Inn, and An Unexpected Performance.

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