Writing Group

Virginia Woolf wrote: "a woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write" She was specifically writing to women who were writing fiction but this seems to me to be true of all creativity. 

I have been thinking about this a lot lately, as I have been taking steps towards setting up this writing group, about how women face a special challenge in carving out the time and space to practice their creativity. We often struggle to set up boundaries around our work, we struggle to hold space in our lives where we can close the door (even if only a mental one) and get to work. We try to push against all the demands of our lives to make a little space to practice our writing, and to commit to making progress on our writing projects. However, often the distractions, clutter, and exhaustion of life crowd out our writing. 

Have you ever begun a project in a high of creative energy only to run out of steam and stall out? 

My Writer's Mastermind Group is there to give you some accountability, it gives you a mental "room of one's own" a place to retreat to, but also a place to show up in and be seen. By joining a group you are learning to build some boundaries around your writing. You are showing up in a space where you can receive feedback on your ideas and your writing. A place to show up and talk about something other than the weather, your kids, and the global health crisis. You are building friendships with other writers who "get it" the highs and lows of the writing life. 

Maybe you know what it feels like to have a surge of ideas but then struggle to figure out which idea you really want to work on?

Maybe you know what it feels like to struggle to make progress on your work. Just in the time that I have been working to draft the page I have had to answer eleventy-million questions from my kids, answer the door to speak to the neighbor whose yard detritus blew into mine, I had to clean up a potty training accident. When I was scrolling through Facebook I had zero interruptions. Why does it seem like this always happens? Resistance. That's what.

External Resistance, like what I mentioned above (or like a relationship suddenly blowing up, bills suddenly appearing, or a million other emergencies arriving at your doorstep as soon as you sit down to write) is such a real thing. We also experience Internal Resistance which comes in thoughts like "I can't do this, I'm a fake, a fraud, a pretender. If I keep pretending to be a writer, eventually someone is going to call me out." Being in a community where we are naming resistance as it comes helps to keep making progress when circumstances are hard.

I am here to help you push back against resistance, get clarity about your work as you move forward and support you as you practice setting boundaries in order to make progress towards your writing goals.

The price for the group is $200 (or $55 per month x4 months).

This includes:
  • weekly writing prompts
  • weekly accountability check-in
  • monthly coaching 
  • unlimited access via Marco Polo
  • feedback on writing submissions 

Is now really a good time to join a Mastermind Group?

Isn't the whole world on fire? Am I not busy enough already? Is now really a good moment to commit to something like this? Short answer: now is the perfect time to invest in yourself.

Long answer: one of the things that I worried about, as we began to go into this quarantine/social distancing time knowing that this would last through the summer, was the impact that this would make on the mental health of caregivers, and especially mothers. I worried that mothers, stuck at home with nearly all of our coping mechanisms removed, would begin to experience an unprecedented level of burnout. I see it as essential to the overall health of our communities for the mothers to show up in their lives and for their people as their healthy, happy, vibrant selves - which, let's be honest, has been really really hard to do lately. We are tired and stressed and anxious and overwhelmed and I'm starting to look ahead to the summer wondering what I have to look forward to.

I interact with the world primarily through words. For others it might be through music, art, moving their bodies. For me, and maybe for you too, it's through words. I feel most like my best self when I'm writing. The satisfaction of making little bits of progress on my project when I have little control over anything else in my life is just the best. Having a group is one way to show up for yourself and build some boundaries around one of the things that makes you happy. Being able to do the things that you love during this stressful time is super important. If I can help you with that then I think that would be just amazing.

Also, like many of you, I don't know what life is going to look like in the fall. I don't know if I will be offering a mentoring group in the fall. Right now I do not have plans to. I am currently revising my second book and have a third book in the planning stages. I don't know if I'll be able to run a writing group too. So if this is something you might want to do, it might not be available again for a while.

Why a paid Mastermind Group? 

Maybe you have signed up for a free online class, workshop, or email challenge and never even opened the emails! I know I sure have. While it might have appealed to you at the moment, life got busy and crowded out something that you wanted to do, if only for a moment. 

Now imagine for a moment that you sign up for one of Harvard's free online classes - why not? It's free! Now, how might your posture be towards that class? You might or might not watch the video lectures, after all, you could always watch them some other time. You may or may not do all of the assignments, after all, it's not like you are getting a grade. This is just for fun! Now imagine that you have paid to take a continuing education class at Harvard, which range in price from around two thousand to nearly six thousand dollars. Imagine what your attitude towards that class would be, You would show up to every video lecture, you would do whatever you needed to to do make sure that your coursework was completed on time, after all, you have invested a lot in this course. 
Paying for something is saying - to the people around you, and most importantly to yourself - this is important. 
Money is, whether we realize it or not, a transference of energy. Another quote Virginia Woolf quote from "A Room of One's Own" that I love is this: "Money dignifies what is frivolous if unpaid for." I looked up the definition for the word "frivolous" because while I know what it means, it always helps to look it up, you know? So here is the definition of frivolous "not having any serious purpose or value" I feel that one deeply. How often have we felt that our writing had no serious purpose or value?

One of the most important shifts in my own thinking happened when I realized that writing, for me at least, is essential. 

It isn't frivolous. It has significant value and purpose, even if only for my own happiness. I am a happier person when I am writing, and my happiness is not something frivolous.  I am a better all-around person - a better parent and partner - when I am happy. So doing things that make me happy has value. Whether that is signing up for a yoga class, ordering painting supplies, or joining a writer's mastermind. 

What this group is not:
This is not a rush-to-the-finish-line type of group. There won't be tons of pressure to finish your project before the end of the summer. Writing isn't a sprint. It's a marathon. I have no interest in pushing you to write fast. Good writing takes time. Instead, I hope that you will learn some processes and habits that help you continue to make progress towards your writing goals, whatever those might be.

This is not a push-my-agenda-on-you type of group. My experience is with self-publishing, but I would love to support you as you work towards getting a traditional publishing deal, or launch a course, or create a workbook. Writing is writing and I am here to cheer for you in whatever you decide to pursue.

Who is this group for: 
This group is for you if you are tired of saying "one day I'll get around to writing my book" or writing that course, or creating that workbook, or journal. You daydream of holding that book in your hands and feeling a swell of pride in finally bringing your vision into reality. You'd love to have other writers read what you've written, but you don't know where to start. You feel lonely in your writing journey sometimes and long to be able to have open, honest conversations about what you're thinking and how you're feeling about your writing.  Some days your brain feels so crammed full of ideas you sit down at your computer to try to write and don't even know where to start. You have notebooks full of ideas, and folders on your computer with the start of something you have not been able to finish... yet. You want to keep making progress towards your dreams but you find yourself discouraged by the two steps forward three steps back dance.

So what will this Mastermind Group be like?

The group will run from May 18 - August 31. It is hosted on Mighty Networks where I'll post weekly writing prompts at the beginning of the week and an end of the week accountability check-in where we can share how things have gone so far for us this week. The prompts will revolve around monthly themes of Vision, Resistance, Process, and Release. We will also use the group feature in the video chat app Marco Polo (which is like all of the benefits of a video call but on our own schedule). With my beta group, this was one of our favorite things. This was where we really connected and got to know each other. I'll also be available for monthly coaching calls - I noticed that the participants in my beta-group that made the most consistent progress were the ones that checked in each month and had the opportunity to work through some of the stuck places in their thought process, which is why I am including the coaching calls into the price of the group and not offering an option with a lower price without the coaching.  I want you to make progress on your writing goals and I want to offer you a process that sees results. If you'd like to schedule additional writing coaching calls they will be $25 each. The group will be limited to around ten participants.

The price for the group is $200 (or $55 per month x4 months).


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