So I've been listening to the Self-Publishing Podcast, which I highly recommend (although it has tons if profanity so you've been warned; it's hilarious, though), and episode 24 talks about the importance of writers' mastermind groups.
It's amazing what Sean, Johnny, and Dave manage to do when they push each other. By the way, these guys are actually the authors of Write. Publish. Repeat. which I've been wanting to read for a long time and which I finally bought this week because the podcast is already value-packed, I can't imagine the book.
There is so much you can learn from these guys, and I think one of the most important factors of their success is their mastermind group. They work together on a lot of stuff, but even when they don't, they're always bouncing ideas off of each other and somehow create tons more than they would individually.
So the idea of a small writer's mastermind group seems amazing to me, and while it would take some time (I already have a pretty full plate), I think it would only boost my productivity by several factors. I'll explain why.
What can a mastermind group help you do?
- Accountability/Productivity: even if no one in the group is published, if you've only recently started writing, a mastermind group can help keep you accountable. It's easy to not write or respect deadlines when it's just you, but telling someone that you didn't meet your latest deadline or you haven't written in a month, now that would suck. Another thing, a mastermind group could help you create a production schedule and/or stay on top of one.
- Beta Reading for Each Other: Here, I'd recommend at least a 2-3 members of the group write in the similar genre, but imagine how awesome it would be to know you have at least one or two people you can bounce ideas off of or give your manuscript to for a quick read and diagnostic. And of course, you'd be available for beta reading, but that would only help you become a better writer anyway.
- Marketing and Publishing Support: Again, similar or same genres would work best here, but at the very least, being a mastermind group means having someone to ask about things like how to publish and where or editor and cover designer recommendations. Having people in the group that write in the same genre would only make the possibilities infinitely better because then you can create boxed sets, plug each other online, or trade free samples to place at the end of each other's books. You can discuss what's worked and hasn't worked for you marketing-wise.
- Emotional Support: This is one of my favorite things about a mastermind group and why I think it would help me the most, even. You see, I'm not very open in real life about my writing. So online for me is perfect for getting the support I need, talking about writing, and just sharing how things are going. I bet I'm not the only one. Am I right?
Can you see how the potential of a mastermind group can be absolutely multiplied in comparison to just one person? THE COLLECTIVE WISDOM.
How would it work?
The group would meet via Google Hangout or Skype once a week. Actually seeing and talking to others, I think, would be the push I need (and you might need) to take my productivity and publishing business to the next level.
Another important thing to mention is the number of people in the group. I think a minimum of 3 people would work. With two people, it's easy to let the group die off.
However, I think it's just as important to not let the group get too big. Maybe a max of 6-8 people, just depending on the different personalities. I've never done this before, so maybe I'm wrong, but 3-8 people seems like the right range. Four to five people could be the sweet spot.
To sum up, the purpose of a mastermind group is to check in with each other, bounce ideas off of each other, and provide support to each other, whether it be for productivity, writing/editing, publishing, or marketing.
You become part of bigger whole that contains much more potential than the sum of the parts.
Serious About Joining a Mastermind Group?
I am so excited just writing about the possibilities. I'd really love to start an actual group. I write Young Adult and New Adult, though, so I'd prefer for this group to be in one of those genres for the reasons mentioned above.
If you're highly interested, though, be sure to let me know in the comments or via email. I'm serious about starting a mastermind group, though, so be ready to show up consistently and give help as well as receive it.
Do you have any other thoughts regarding mastermind groups? Did I miss something? Also, if you found the post helpful, it'd be great if you coud share it. Thanks.