AWAI Across America:
Destination — Your Town

Learn How to Create a Writers Mastermind Group or Find an Accountability Partner

Living the writer’s life — working from where you want, when you want, and on projects that inspire you — is the goal for many of us freelancers. But sometimes, working alone gets … well … lonely. When you work from home, you don’t have the interaction with others like you do in an office environment.

There are no watercooler discussions, no casual conversations in the hallway, no running into fellow workers in the cafeteria. And sometimes it seems as if you have no one to turn to if you get stuck, need some encouragement, or could use some advice.

Of course, even though you don’t go to an office building, you have a great resource that can fill that role perfectly: your fellow writers.

But Where Do You Find Other Writers?

Social media is one way of finding writers in your area. Go on AWAI’s Facebook page and ask if there are other folks from your town. You can do the same thing with LinkedIn, or send out a tweet to see if any writers are near you.

The AWAI forums or groupsites are also a good place to look. Start a new thread and ask for people in your area to identify themselves and see if they are interested in connecting with like-minded people. You can also seek out writers in your niche or specialty.

Once you’ve found other local people who are interested, create a private group and start organizing. It’s up to you how often you want to meet, where, and when. Maybe you can meet in a local coffee shop, restaurant, or lounge. Somewhere you can have a constructive conversation without too many distractions. Do whatever works best for the group.

And of course, if a real-world group just isn’t possible, you can always use those same resources to set up virtual mastermind groups that collaborate through Facebook and email and meet over phone or Skype.

However you meet with these groups, you should also find one or more Accountability Partners, or someone who can help you meet your personal commitments as well as client deadlines. They become the voice in the back of your mind that says, “You can do this” or “Don’t put this off, do it now!”

We Could Be Coming to Your Town

Another way to meet fellow AWAIers is to attend the AWAI Meet Ups hosted by my husband and I. This is the purpose — to introduce you to fellow writers in your local area.

These are people who know what you do without having to explain it to them … and they’re in your neighborhood.

While Jim and I are traveling the country in our RV, we’re setting up meetings in towns with a high concentration of AWAI members.

The beauty of the Meet Ups is you meet people from your physical location, so you can go to coffee or talk over lunch. Maybe you can plan some mini writing retreats, or have meetings where you focus on a particular issue common to the members of your group.

As with any mastermind group you form, these like-minded folks can:

  • Encourage you through the rough spots
  • Offer solutions if you are having difficulties in progressing
  • Hold you accountable to do what you said you were going to do
  • Listen to your ideas
  • Give advice in setting out your business strategy
  • Provide a different perspective
  • Motivate you to meet your deadlines and goals

These people become part of your team and can help you grow your business. They can share with you from their own experiences.

So far, we’ve held successful Meet Ups in Seattle, Washington and Portland, Oregon. We shared some beverages and a bite to eat in addition to success stories, challenges, and dreams. It was fun and rewarding.

In both cases, after that first get together, the groups took on the responsibility themselves of keeping the gatherings going.

It’s a great opportunity to meet other AWAI members who are freelance writers or photographers and share ideas, dreams, goals, difficulties, roadblocks, and other issues that have been on your mind.

So come join us when we come to your town. Your future teammates await you.

Stay tuned for the announcement of our next Meet Up. It could be in your area!

If you can’t wait until we get to your town, but want to create your own group, then follow one of the suggestions I made above. Having a partner or a group to hold you accountable and to bounce ideas off of is an extremely valuable writer’s tool. You make great friends too!

Here are your first simple steps to camaraderie: connect with AWAI on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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Published: September 25, 2012

2 Responses to “AWAI Across America: Destination — Your Town”

  1. The life of a writer is solitary.

    After a while, you believe you are the only game in town.

    It can get frustrating when you don't have a second opinion.

    Your writer's group can help you improve your craft and hone your writing skills.

    They can offer suggestions to help improve your piece and you can make progress.

    Meeting at least once every week helps to hold you accountable for projects and assignments.

    It is a great feeling to know you are not alone and that you are in good company with people who care for you.

    Archan Mehta

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