Don’t Do it Alone – It’s Easier That Way

Pat McCord back for day 2 of The Writer’s Life. This week I’m talking about ways to make copywriting easier.

I found out quickly that one way to do that was to build a support network. The problem for me was that I’d gotten used to working alone, and perhaps like you, I actually relished those times.

I mean, if we hated spending hours alone, we’d never be able to produce a single promo or web page or novel, right?

But after those delicious sessions with just ourselves and our computers, we need to connect with like-minded people. It’s not just social, though that’s part of it. It’s also a way to make any writing journey easier.

When I first decided to become a freelance copywriter, my greatest worry was that I’d feel too isolated. But shortly after I signed up for the Accelerated Program, I took an interactive online class in copywriting being offered by AWAI.

I noticed that certain people always had smart or interesting comments, so I jotted down their names. After a few sessions I knew who I wanted in my dream mastermind group.

The first person I hoped to invite lived in my state of Arizona, but the other four were located far and wide – Illinois (2), Georgia, and North Carolina.

I’ll admit I was a little nervous asking strangers to be in a group that would meet only on the telephone. But I was highly motivated to make this happen. For one thing, a virtual mastermind group had some advantages:

  • We wouldn’t have to dress up or drive to meetings.
  • We wouldn’t be tempted to while away whole afternoons, valuable working time.
  • There would be no cost involved except the telephone.

To my delight everyone I asked readily said yes, and we began meeting once a week on SKYPE.

We agreed that one of our goals was getting comfortable with copywriting quickly, so we began sending practice headlines and leads to each other for critique. I even used a few of mine later as samples that I sent to prospective clients.

The following year we all met for the first time at AWAI’s Bootcamp in Delray Beach, Florida. I’ll never forget that “reunion.” Between sessions, we talked non-stop about plans for our careers. The third year everyone traveled to Tucson for a memorable desert retreat.

Because of that early mastermind group, I have never once felt isolated as a copywriter, and that has made all the difference.

I also have a fiction-writing group that meets once a month to share manuscripts.

Over the years, I’ve discovered that even old hands still maintain contact with other writers.

I’d love to hear if you’re in a mastermind or critique group: What works, what doesn’t? Please share in the comments.

Tomorrow I’ll talk about a no-angst way to market your services. Hint: it can even involve your mastermind group.

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Published: July 29, 2014

5 Responses to “Don’t Do it Alone – It’s Easier That Way”

  1. Hi Pat, enjoyed your first two articles and looking forward to the rest of the week. My focus is B2B, but I always pick up gems from The Writer's Life articles.

    Your comments suggest you are in Tucson Arizona? So am I! It would be great if we could meet someday to share ideas and 'war stories'.

    While an AWAI member for several years, I'm only now 'gearing up' for actual freelancing. I'm hoping to focus on Case Studies and White Papers for the management consulting industry.

    Bill Kirk

  2. Hello;

    I have been studying for only a few days. I still have a long way to go. I can't wait to get started.

    I find all my E-mail very helpful.

    Guest (Bill Wilson )

  3. Hi Pat, I have two Bootcamp Buddies I met last year and we correspond almost weekly. We have not done Skype yet but plan to do so. They have been priceless.

    There are a few of us in the Phoenix area who meet monthly but we're still pretty raw. It sounds like your group is far more advanced but you're welcome to join us. We usually set up a date on the AWAI web site.

    Nancy Tossell

  4. Hi, I appreciate getting this from you. I'm just finishing my first week of training and loving it. Will keep this email for the future. I'm only 74 years old --- time to start a new career.

    Will be back in touch.


    Guest (Mary Whitehouse)

  5. Thanks for the insight, Pat.

    No, I'm not in a mastermind group. But I've had lots of interaction with some very good minds in various levels of direct response copy. Top tier to startups. It's almost always beneficial.


    Guest (Tony Funderburk)

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