Joining a Mastermind for writers, for small businesses, or for entrepreneurs may be just the “secret sauce” you need to finish writing your book, get published, establish your branding, or jumpstart your sales. In this episode of the Writing Momentum podcast, Chris and Gena discuss how joining masterminds impacted their writing and publishing lives, and why it may be life-changing for you, too.
Episode 12 Transcription:
[00:00:14].990] - Chris Hey, listeners, it's Christopher and Gena Maselli here with Writing Momentum. And we're so glad you joined us today. This podcast has been really fun to do, hasn't it, Gena? [00:00:25].670] - Gena It has been so fun. Sometimes you think, what do I have to say on a certain topic? And then we get on here and we start talking and we realize that we've got stories to share and we've got experience and we can remember things that have happened over the years. And we hope that it has helped others. [00:00:45].360] - Chris Yeah, we've been doing this for well over 20 years, almost 30 years that we've been doing writing and freelance writing. And so we're always answering questions. And we do in our newsletter, too. If you don't get that, go to writingmomentum.com, we got some free stuff on there. And you can subscribe to our newsletter where we answer questions from people all the time who follow us on there and who we get to know. And we'd love to get to know you, too. So go ahead and join that, please. And then today we're talking about something kind of fun, aren't we? [00:01:16].890] - Gena We are. We are talking about Masterminds. [00:01:19].460] - Chris Masterminds. Oh, this is one of my favorite topics. [00:01:22].410] - Gena Why you should be in a Mastermind. [00:01:24].830] - Chris Yes, every writer should be a part of a mastermind. You may not know what a mastermind is because a lot of people go to writing groups, which is kind of similar to a mastermind. But I think a mastermind is a little bit different because a mastermind is a group of people, usually in my experience, three to four, maybe three to five, who decide to get together on a regular basis and just encourage and help and be accountable to one another with their business or with their writing. And Gena and I have both joined Masterminds. I'm actually a part of two right now. Gena is a part of one. I would probably join another one in a heartbeat if I found one that had a topic that I wanted to be a part of. Because we have found I don't think there's anything that has boosted our writing career and made us better writers than well, maybe writers conferences right up there with it, because those are kind of like gigantic masterminds. But then being a part of a regular Mastermind where you see people on a regular basis, get to know each other and just help each other through this writing experience. [00:02:34].730] - Gena I think absolutely. For a long time, Chris, I think you are a part of a mastermind. And I was not. And I didn't feel like I had time for it. I was busy with my work and also with my family and with all these other commitments. And so I just didn't belong to one. I didn't seek it out. And, you know, I came to a point in my career where I really felt like I needed to go to another level. We were especially at a writer's conference. We were at WriterCon a few years ago in Oklahoma City. If you guys have not checked out, WriterCon, we highly recommend you check it out. It's over Labor Day weekend in Oklahoma City. Yeah. WriterCon.com. Chris and I are both there teaching, but, goodness, if you show up there, please come and introduce yourself to us. We would love to meet you, but I was there and I love writers conferences because of the camaraderie that happens there. And I was really looking for a way to make that last, to make that feeling last and to kind of keep that going, keep the momentum going of what I was learning there. [00:03:50].620] - Gena And I just finally decided that I needed to join a Mastermind. And that was about three years ago. We had one Mastermind. Chris and I are in this Mastermind that I'm in. We're both in it together. But we were for one year. We were with one group of people then that group, some people had other things going on, so they had to leave. So then we put a new one together, and it has been a really good experience. It's been a really good experience. [00:04:20].380] - Chris Yeah. And the Masterminds are usually focused on something specific. So I belong to two Masterminds now. One is related to writing. Right. That's the one that Gena and I do together. We get together with some other authors, and just every week we pick each other's brains, see where each other's at, and help each other along the writing journey. Right. And then the other one I belong to is for small business because I feel like I wear two hats with Writing Momentum. One is my freelance writer hat, where I want to become a better writer. I want to become a better author with the books I write. But the other one is based on our small business because I also want to be a good entrepreneur. Right. And go ahead and get my marketing out there and all that sort of thing. So I like being a part of both of those. And they really made a huge difference in my ability not only to write, but to market, to be on the cutting edge of whatever's happening right now, to hear from others mistakes and other successes. And it's really been good. So that's the first thing I think that I recommend. [00:05:19].190] - Chris Why you should be a part of a Mastermind is because of the accountability, you get together with other writers, and it forces you to make sure that you're continually moving forward. Right. What we do in the Masterminds that I'm a part of is that we take about six weeks stints and we go ahead and set goals for those six weeks and break those down among the six weeks and figure out what are we going to do by the end of that six weeks. So that we're all working forward on something. That doesn't mean we're all working forward on the same thing. Right. We just got something different going on. But we're keeping each other accountable and getting perspectives based on what that goal is. [00:06:00].080] - Gena Absolutely. And that can be when Chris is talking about the fact that we're in a writing mastermind, I think it's important to point out that for us, the writing mastermind is not just about how much writing have I done? And did I get that finished? It's also about learning how can I brand my writing business, my writing as an author? Where am I in finishing a project? And what is my relationship if I'm being traditionally published? What is my relationship with the publisher? What is my relationship with an agent? If I'm publishing independently, then how is that process going? How am I launching my book? How am I connecting with my readers through my website? So it's not just about finishing the project, which I think so many times when people are thinking about writing, they're thinking about just the act of writing the book or well, it's usually a book, but it could be a screenplay, it could be something else. But writing is a business, and there's a lot to it, from websites to there can be subscription sites, there can be newsletters, there can be marketing, there can be business contract kind of negotiations. [00:07:20].830] - Gena There's just a lot to it, whether it's traditional or independent. There is also just the side of marketing and selling the book and positioning yourself as a writer to sell your book when it comes out. So there's so many different aspects to this business that go beyond just writing. And that's what masterminds can help you navigate. [00:07:45].950] - Chris Yeah. And what you'll find is that you all have different experiences. Right. So, for instance, I have done quite a bit of self publishing. And so whenever someone in my mastermind is thinking about self publishing, they might pick my brain on that, but then I might pick their brain on what's happening in the publishing, the traditional publishing industry, if I want to try and get something to an agent. Right. And so you end up strengthening each other just by going back and forth with that. Which brings us to the next point, which is community. Community is another reason that is really good. And the community, to me, is different than accountability. Accountability is saying I'm going to hold someone else their feet to the fire to make sure they're getting done what they're doing. They're going to do the same for me. Community, though, is just about saying, hey, we're in this together and we're just supporting one another, aren't we? [00:08:35].720] - Gena Yes. One of my favorite parts of going to writer's conferences is the community aspect. You walk into this place and you automatically are part of the tribe. [00:08:47].000] - Chris Yeah. Hey, these are my people. [00:08:48].620] - Gena These are my people. These are the people that understand what I'm going through, what I'm thinking, through what my dreams are. And if you haven't gone to a writer's conference, I just can't say enough about them. They're just wonderful. But you want to continue that sometimes you can go to these writer's conferences or different events, and then you go home and you're staring at a blank piece of paper or blank screen and you're wondering, what am I doing? And how do I keep this going? And that's where just having that community, having that community of writers to say, oh, man, yeah, I know what you're going through. And yeah, I'm just as passionate about my project as you are about yours. And how can we just sharpen one another and help one another? And we're all kind of in the same pool together, swimming upstream. [00:09:39].230] - Chris Definitely upstream sometimes, right? Yeah. Which brings us to the third point, which I've already touched on, and that is that we all bring a little something different to the table. So we all are different resources from one another. We all know about different resources that are out there. We can share those tools with one another, share those ideas with one another. Someone may have a better pulse on one industry than another person does. And all of those things work together just to make you a sharper writer. [00:10:06].050] - Gena Chris, what do you mean by different industries? Explain that. [00:10:09].190] - Chris Well, what I mean by different industries is different parts of, I guess, this whole writing industry. So, for instance, like when I mentioned before that I know a little bit more maybe about self publishing than others in my group do. But some of them know more about traditional publishing. Or maybe if I'm a fiction writer and I want to publish nonfiction, I may ask someone who's more published in nonfiction. Or if I want to write a Western, I may ask someone about that. Or if I've never been to a writer's conference and someone else has, I can ask them about what to expect. And you can really help each other prepare for whatever that thing is. Right. Or I have a lot of people in one of the masterminds that I'm in ask me about what I'm doing on social media because I'm a little more well versed in social media than some of them are. But someone else in our group is really good at book launches, right? She's done multiple book launches. Another one has a really good online community. And so whatever it is that each other has, that's what you can sharpen each other with because everyone has a pulse on something different. [00:11:07].340] - Gena Absolutely. So let me just recap here what we're talking about. We're talking about why you should be in a mastermind. We highly recommend this. The first reason we see that has been beneficial for us is accountability. Being accountable to other people in your industry, in the writing world is just so great. I can't say it enough just to be a part of that. And along with that accountability, just making sure someone is asking you those tough questions. Have you made time to write? What are you working on? What are you doing marketing wise? What are you doing branding wise? How are you going to launch that book? How are you getting sales? And what are you going to do? That's just such a valuable resource and such a valuable thing to have. And beyond that is the community just being a part of a writing community where people understand what you're doing, what you're going through, the ups and downs of the writing world, why you're so passionate about it. And they share that passion. There's just nothing like that. I think that is so wonderful, too. And then you're also sharpening each other with resources. [00:12:23].590] - Gena What somebody may know more about they can share with you. What you know about you can share with them so that we can all move forward together. [00:12:33].290] - Chris Absolutely. And speaking of sharing, if you have enjoyed this podcast, why not share it with someone that you know, who's a writer who might benefit from this. In fact, there may be someone that you'd like to be in a mastermind with, but maybe the two of you have never thought about starting a mastermind. This is not something you have to do officially starting a mastermind. You can just get together with some friends and say, look, let's start meeting together on a regular basis and you can use this podcast episode as a way to kickstart that conversation if you want. So please go ahead and share with someone you know. Also, if you don't want to ever miss an episode, hit that subscribe button on your favorite podcast player and it'll subscribe you so that you never miss one episode. So until next time, this is Chris and Gina. Thank you so much for listening. You guys are awesome. Like you've just been listening to this podcast, been reading our newsletters, and it's so humbling and we love it. We hope we're giving you all the great resources and stuff that you need. We got a lot more coming. [00:13:29].000] - Chris We got some exciting things in the works. We got some interviews we've been working on too that are going to be showing up. And so this is going to get fun. Be sure you're subscribed. And until next time, we hope that all your writing has momentum.