step-up-your-writer-goalsGraphic courtesy freedigitalphotos.net

Phew! We made it past the holidays, even if some of us (well, me) are still taking down the decorations. So now it’s time to really step on up to those 2015 writer goals.

If you’ve never explored a Mastermind group, now may be just the time, and I want to explain why.

Mastermind Groups WORK!

Back in mid-2012 I (somewhat reluctantly) joined a Mastermind Group. I figured I’d give it a shot, and ended up being pleasantly surprised by the camaraderie. We all worked at our goals together, but then for one reason or another, some moved away, others moved on… We lost the formality of the group but we stayed in touch.

Recently, three of the original members decided we needed to regroup and revisit, so we brought on a few more folks and gathered together this past week to talk about our new strategies and challenges and current direction.

One of the original members brought a mind-map (my fave mind-mapping app for both PC and Mac is MindNode) I’d done when I’d first gotten involved. Revelation!

This turned out to be an enlightening piece of proof that boy, oh boy, this stuff works! On it, I’d put down that I wanted to create a portal of vetted author resources (what became the Winner Circle – done), cultivate some stellar partners (check) and in the long term, establish an emerging authors conference in Charleston (yay, PubSense Summit!)

WOW. I honestly hadn’t remembered writing these things down or sharing them with this group, but instantly realized that by doing just that — writing it down and making myself accountable to “get ‘er done” – somehow, it DID get done, much of it after we’d stopped officially meeting and checking in. Setting the course made all the difference…

Make a MasterMind Group

Your group can be made up of fellow writers, fellow business colleagues, neighbors, friends. Each can have similar goals or vastly different objectives. (Our own group includes a playwright, a parent coach, a business consultant, an author…).

Try not to bog it down with too many rules and regulations. Ours are simple:

  • We keep to five-six people so everyone has a chance to take center stage.
  • We take turns (timing us on a cell phone timer) to each take ten minutes to talk about our current goals/challenges and share what goals/mind maps we may have created or drawn to illustrate our objectives.
  • Five to ten minutes of Q&A follows each person’s opening statement, where each of us can weigh in with “Have you considered this?” or “I have a contact for you that may be able to help with…”
  • We’re mutually supportive.
  • We finish up by confirming our next meeting date (our current group meets twice a month — not so often as to interrupt our busy lives or so seldom that we forget to stay on track).
  • In between meetings, we make good on promised connections via email, or share a successful “Yeah, I broke down and made that call!” tidbit or two.
  • Rinse and repeat!

Easy, right? Sometimes the most elegant solutions are also the most simple…

What Are Your Writer Goals in 2015?

Come on, you can share! Finish that manuscript? Join a writer’s group? Find a publisher? Find 5,000 new readers? Attend a conference?

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Share with your comment below and I look forward to seeing each and responding!

ShariStauch Improve Your Author Marketing with Teamwork!Creator of Where Writers Win, Shari Stauch has been involved in publishing, marketing and PR for 30 years. Shari is a founding member of the PubSense Summit, the principal author of the WWW blog, and speaks at conferences around the country. The Where Writers Win team’s  Winner Circle offers vetted book review directories, book clubs, indie bookstore listings, calendars of conferences, festivals and other cultivated resources for emerging authors.

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7 thoughts on “Creating a Mastermind Group to Meet Your 2015 Writer Goals!

  • January 31, 2015 at 6:26 pm
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    I am very new to this concept. At least I thought I was before I realized I’d had an accountability partner\ since 2004 when she joined my Wenatchee Valley Writer’s Group. Besides our twice monthly “group” meetings,
    she and I had lunch together often to talk about projects and get acquainted. Once we went to a week long retreat in Oregon. When she moved to Las Vegas a little over a year ago, we continued our get-togethers via the phone–long hour talks– a couple of times a month.

    This year my main goal is to publish my novel, “Act One–The Bakken Begins”. And–to finish the sequel–The Octopus. In my spare time I am working on developing my platform.

    • January 31, 2015 at 6:41 pm
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      Congratulations, Darlene – sounds like you’re doing it all right! Write on…

  • January 19, 2015 at 12:19 am
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    Terrific idea! Quite different from a writer’s group (also very helpful), but rather like an accountability group. Do you brainstorm strategies?

    • January 19, 2015 at 1:08 am
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      Absolutely yes if requested – especially if we bring a challenge to the table — it’s a wonderful way for a solo-preneur to have the benefit of a “team” 🙂 Thanks for weighing in, JoAnne and write on!

  • January 17, 2015 at 7:00 pm
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    Hi Shari,

    Thanks for sharing how participating in a mastermind has helped you. I especially appreciate the structure your group uses to ensure that everyone shares, gets feedback, and then sets your next meeting.

    Instead of a large mastermind, this year a colleague and I have agreed to be accountability partners. We meet twice a month also, and follow a similar structure to your group. We begin each session with a few moments to get centered and end with identifying what we commit to complete by the next time we meet. We both set an intention for the year, listed our personal and business goals, followed by tasks that will help us reach them.

    My intention for the year is implementation, putting into action all that I’ve learned and gathered over the past few years. My primary writing/publising goals are to finish the second edition of my book on happiness, create an online course for indie authors, and begin a podcast where I’ll interview writing/publishing experts to share tips, strategies and their publishing journeys.

    I’m a great believer in writing down goals, even when we’re not sure the exact path we’ll take to accomplish them. Setting an intention/goal and sharing it with at least one other supportive person starts the ball rolling. From there, the right people and circumstances begin to appear.

    In the past I’ve had the experience of reaching my written goals without remembering every detail of the trip, and discovering I’ve arrived in a more amazing place than I at first imagined. I look forward to having that experience again this year.

  • January 17, 2015 at 3:25 pm
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    Love our MasterMind Group! In some ways, the more diverse the group is–background, experience, goals–the better because each person offers their own perspective and you benefit from ideas you would have never of thought of on your own. Go for it! It’s fun and it works!

    • January 17, 2015 at 3:38 pm
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      I agree totally on the diversity — Good to get outside the “typical” tribe for those objective answers we need to kick it up a notch! Power on, Deb and can’t wait to see your 2015 goals come to fruition!

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