Not with the candy.
With my Master Mind group. (A group of like-minded individuals who meet regularly to encourage, motivate, and brainstorm with each other with the goal of helping advance all areas of our writing careers.)
Last weekend (Thursday night through Sunday morning) six of our ten member group gathered at a ranch in Austin, Texas. Each of us had time in the “hot seat” where we could get input from the others on anything we wanted; our Web site, our career path, our marketing strategy, how get teaching gigs at writing conferences … anything we wanted help with.
I chose to get the MM’s assistance on my next novel. It’s due April 1st (no kidding) and going into the weekend I didn't have a clue what it was about.
So I got in the center of the room and we went at it. My friend Susie led the charge and she was brilliant.
The other four tossed out rapid fire ideas as well and I felt a bit like the I Love Lucy episode in the chocolate factory and that candy tasted amazing.
I shook out my writing hand frequently to keep it from cramping up I scribbled in my notebook so fast.
By the time we were done I had 90% of the novel figured out and my mind was blown at the power of the six of us working together.
I know from the feedback from my other MM’s that their individual times were just as powerful for them.
Here’s why I think the sessions and the weekend worked:
- Although the six of all have strong personalities with strong ideas and convictions, none of us have an ego which needs to push its way to the front. No one had to be right. If someone came up with a better idea or an excellent insight, all applauded it.
- We talked over the top of each other. It was okay to interrupt because the ideas flew so fast and furious we didn’t want to stop the flow and no one’s feelings were hurt because of it.
- We’re committed to each other and want the best for all.
- We believe(d) in one another.
- We took time to play (yes, we shot guns—it’s Texas, remember?) and we took a long walk on the property of the ranch together.
- We were eager to learn from each other.
- We were open and vulnerable with each other about our fears and insecurities.
My guess is at the end of 2013 each of us will look back on our Master Mind weekend as one of the highlights of the year.
Do you have a Master Mind group? Have you heard of a group like this before? Would you like one? If you do have one, what can you teach us about how to make a Master Mind group work well? And please explain to me how my Seattle Seahawks lost that game on Sunday.