The concept of Mastermind groups is unfamiliar to many writers, even though it’s been around since the early 40s (coined by Napoleon Hill in his book Think and Grow Rich) and would be a great help to authors. It’s defined as a group that will help people solve problems by pooling the intelligence of other people.
Basically, a group of people will meet on a regular basis (whether it’s monthly, weekly or even daily depending on what’s been agreed upon) in order to brainstorm on a problem and give each other advice and tips. If you’re a writer struggling with challenges on your own and would benefit from like-minded people, here’s how you can start and run a mastermind group for writers:
First, leave the ego out the door
A mastermind group does not have a leader. It’s not a group coaching session that will have someone in the center providing everything. Everybody is a member with equal input, including the founder. Additionally, it is also worth remembering that a mastermind group is a kiln where ideas are figuratively honed through fire. If your idea has flaws, it will be challenged. So, don’t be offended and just see it as an opportunity to get important advice.
Find like-minded members with a degree of competency
It doesn’t mean you have to look for people who have the same skillset as you, as a mastermind group will always benefit from people with differing fortes. But try to find people who are competent in their chosen forte. You don’t want a mastermind group where only one or two people are providing input and the rest are merely agreeing or jotting down notes.
Set a meeting place or platform
Once you have a group, you can start agreeing on a meeting place or platform. Traditionally, groups had no choice but to meet in person due to the lack of technological alternative, but with the Internet, you now have forums, mailing lists, and even social media networks such as Google+ as an alternative. As writers, your members will most likely feel comfortable using text as a means of communication over verbal, but it is still advised to meet in person every once in a while if possible.
Set a simple yet consistent meeting frequency and schedule
You can’t just set a meeting time willy-nilly, because that will make it hard to coordinate as members may have different availability. Additionally, the lack of consistency in the schedule and frequency and meetings will make the mastermind group eat away at the members’ personal or private lives, which will affect their participation efficiency. You want the members to be at their best during a meeting.
Finally, set a meeting structure
You can’t just start a meeting without a structure, it’s inefficient and counter-productive. You need to set a specific way that the meeting will go. For example, you can start with each member updating on recent successes and failures, and then you can start advising a specific member for the week (the main gist of a mastermind group, which is to allow a specific member each week to benefit from the collective expertise and intelligence of the entire group), and then wrap it up with final thoughts or a short discussion on what to do next week.
Image credit: Bill Rice on flickr and reproduced under Creative Commons 2.0[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]https://writingtipsoasis.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/hv1.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Hiten Vyas is the Founder and Managing Editor of eBooks India. He is also a prolific eBook writer with over 25 titles to his name.[/author_info] [/author]