As writers, we tend to live in a bubble. We’re shut off from the rest of the world, writing at our desks or in our writing caves, enjoying time alone as the words flow from our fingertips to the page.
Days, weeks, and months can pass without anyone verifying that the work is getting done. Whether you are self-publishing or approaching a deadline for a traditional publisher, there is no daily accountability for what happens (or doesn’t happen) during your work hours.
Many writers, myself included, struggle with personal accountability. When you have a day job, or you are working for an employer, you are always liable for the work that must get done.
This level of personal accountability doesn’t apply when it comes to writing. If you do not produce words for days or weeks at a time, your ability to hit the deadline is severely compromised. And if you cannot, you will not be able to make any money as a professional writer.
Some writers can hold themselves to a daily word count or to a certain number of pages. They do the math and figure out how much work has to be done before the deadline is reached, and they schedule their days accordingly. But those types of writers are not common.
When you are part of a mastermind group, accountability shifts from an internal to an external motivational power. Whether it is the person who is running the mastermind or the participants inside of it, you know that you must get the work done to be an engaged member of that group.
Accountability within a mastermind group can manifest itself in different ways. For example, there is an accountability of the other members to participate in the sessions. When you only have a small number of people in a group setting, it becomes critical that everyone engages all of the time. Therefore, if you show up in the group, the expectation is that you will be held accountable for participating.
In an author mastermind group, such as the one that I run, there is a writing accountability component built into the experience. Authors are expected to write a certain number of words or a scene per week, which is then analyzed on the call or during the subsequent week. In this situation, participants of the mastermind realize that they are expected to produce words that will be seen by the person running the mastermind group or those who are part of it.
And yet, another type of mastermind accountability is the “hot-seat” experience. When a member is on the hot seat, the other members are expected to contribute with questions, suggestions, and helpful stories. If you are the person on the hot seat, you are expected to come prepared to talk about a problem or issue that you are having. If you show up without an issue to discuss, you are letting down every other member in the mastermind group.
On an interpersonal level, there is an unspoken accountability to the other professionals who are part of the mastermind group. Everyone has invested time and money in the experience, and people get to know each other. The better you get to know someone, the more likely you are to become friends, and therefore, an additional layer of accountability is created. Authors develop friendships with other people in the mastermind group, and because of that, they feel a certain level of accountability that goes beyond what one might experience in an online group or video course.
An added benefit of the accountability aspect that occurs in the mastermind group is that the skills that you build through habit and systems can then be transferred to all of the solo activities required to run an author business. Time management, writing process, systems, marketing, word-count targets—all of that can be learned through the accountability that is built within the mastermind group. Once you have come up with a habit that ensures your words will get done for the weekly call in the mastermind group, you can then extrapolate that skill to whatever other projects you happen to be working on.
Whenever I’ve been a member of a mastermind group, I’ve always felt accountability to the person leading it. I know the amount of time and energy it takes to structure a positive and encouraging group experience, and because of that, I feel as though I need to bring my best energy every single time. And in the mastermind groups that I have been running, this has been very clear to me. Participants respect the effort it takes to structure and run the mastermind group, and that in of itself builds in another layer of accountability.
Sometimes I call it a promise to myself, but I also think there’s accountability to oneself within a mastermind group. There is an unspoken commitment, a realization that the money and time spent should be utilized, and that I should make the most of my opportunities. Because of that, personal accountability can then turn into something we might call discipline or willpower.
When you add all of these elements of accountability together and stack them like layers, it is not hard to understand why people who join a mastermind group regularly become so much more productive. In much the same way a coach in the gym will make sure you’re doing your workout every single day and doing it properly, a mastermind experience can provide the same structure and accountability that might be lacking without it.
Want to take your writing chops and business savvy to the next level? Check out The Author Success Mastermind group at https://theauthorsuccessmastermind.com/join/