Now this is a really fun and effective strategy to get to the next level!
Yes, writing is a solitary occupation, but talking things out with other writers almost always makes for better finished novels and works of non-fiction. You've done the Facebook writing groups, posted on KindleBoards' Writer's Cafe, and may even have started your own writer's bulletin board or forum. These are all good resources, but you may be craving a more detailed and personalized approach to take your writing career to the next level. You might be searching for a mastermind group without really knowing it.
What is a Mastermind Group?
Less than a partnership but more than a forum, a mastermind group is a small group of like-minded professionals who get together on a regular basis to discuss the challenges of their business, and to brainstorm solutions to problems.
Usually a group of four to six people, the best mastermind groups aren't made up of people in the same profession. Your optimum group may include editors, graphic artists, bloggers, and even marketing entrepreneurs. As long as you're all freelance creative people with the same amount of drive and determination, you can make an effective mastermind group.
How Does it Work?
Group members meet on a regular basis, whether weekly, monthly, or whatever works for their group. Today's mastermind groups can use Skype or Google+ Hangouts, message boards, or IM. You can even find apps that allow you to host virtual meetings on your smartphones. Each member gets a certain amount of time to present, and the group can discuss afterwards. You can develop your own agenda, but a good start is to have every member state what they're working on, what they've learned since the last time you've met, and what they need help with. This is where having a more diverse group comes in handy, since having different business points of view can engender unique solutions to problems that you might not have ever considered.
Build Your Own Group
Building a mastermind group is a personal thing, so no two groups are ever alike. There are basic methods to creating a group, techniques that help ensure a viable group that helps all the members equally. Search your own online groups and social media hangouts for people with the same amount of drive and ambition as yourself. You're probably already friends with some, but may only know others superficially. Don't concentrate on writers alone; a mastermind group is better with a variety of talents. Narrow the list down to 3-5 names and email them all an explanation of mastermind groups, and ask if they'd be willing to commit to one. Choose a venue, either a chat room, live hangout, or phone call. Decide on a meeting schedule; most people find once or twice a month a good start. You'll need to make adjustments as members drop out or lose interest, but in a matter of months you can have a viable group that will work well together for years.
I am currently conducting a mastermind with one other person on a weekly basis. We may expand the group but we may not. Why not? Because we are having very effective and enjoyable sessions and the time is not right...yet... to bring in other "minds". Give it a try you may be surprised at the outcome!
Keep the faith and may the force be with you!