It’s often difficult to find clarity whenever you’re deep into a story or project. As writers, we become so passionate about our work that we sometimes struggle to see the big picture. We get so close that we hyper-focus on the details.
Sometimes, you can overlook things on the macro level, meaning you have problems with the global story, the plot, or major elements of the book. And sometimes, you miss things like continuity, physical actions, or even words.
But knowing what you’re doing extends far beyond the page or project. Entrepreneurs and freelancers can often take their projects and careers on tangents, or lose sight of the reason why they began doing this work in the first place. Money can change how we approach our work, as can fame or success. The reason we started doing this work in the first place can become lost once external forces begin to shape our path.
When you are working by yourself or within a siloed environment, it is easy to justify any choice you make, even if that choice is not consistent with your mission statement or purpose.
Asking for help from those closest to you doesn’t always work. Spouses, siblings, children, or friends have a vested interest in the relationship. For a variety of reasons, these people in your life may not have the ability to be completely honest with you and provide the clarity that you are seeking. There’s too much at stake in these interpersonal relationships, and therefore, the advice isn’t always solid. Also, the people in your life who are closest to you might not be professionals, and therefore, are not qualified to answer the questions you are asking.
There is a laser-like clarity that develops within a mastermind group. Whether you are participating in one or running one, you learn how to focus on a specific task or problem that arises within the group.
In most circumstances, the people in the mastermind group are not directly related to you. They are not your friends or colleagues, and in many cases, you’ve never met them before. Even though you will begin to build relationships with these people, you are starting a relationship on a foundation of honesty, integrity, and clarity.
When you are on the hot seat, and you share a problem with the group, many of the attendees will begin to poke at underlying causes of the problem that you simply can’t see because you are so close to it—a problem that your friends or relatives might not see either because they are so close to you. For some reason, health and financial issues tend to be the most difficult ones to discuss with friends and family members. But this is not the case in the mastermind group where everyone will share their own experience and express their opinions on what they think you should do to solve the problem.
Clarity, however, is not limited just to the hot seat in a mastermind group. When doing scene analysis with members of my mastermind group, it’s very easy for me to put on the editor’s hat and zero in on the issues or problems with the scene. The person who wrote the scene is wearing their writer’s hat, and that is a different part of the brain than the one that is used when editing or revising.
Many times, I’ve had mastermind participants stumble upon a eureka moment, a breakthrough on an issue they had been struggling with for days or possibly weeks. An outside perspective by someone who is just as passionate about writing, and qualified to help, can make all the difference in the world.
Clarity also comes in the form of aligned aspirations and goals. Chances are when you join a mastermind for a certain profession or industry, like writing, you find other people with the same aspirations and goals. Therefore, there is a collective energy and problem-solving mentality within the mastermind group. Even though the problem brought to the hot seat in that particular session doesn’t apply to everyone, it might apply to someone else at a different time. If the meetings are recorded for the benefits of all the participants, it is easy to go back and listen to the recordings whenever you have the same or similar problem.
Over time, the mastermind group evolves and can almost work as a single, collective consciousness. Although not explicitly stated, members of the mastermind tend to write more, market more, and do the work because they know the other members are doing the same. It becomes easier to eliminate distractions to find clarity. It becomes easier to turn off the television or put down the phone and focus on what you know you must be doing because other people in the mastermind group are doing the same thing.
The clarity that comes from the mastermind group is cumulative. Once you have solved the problem of why your first act doesn’t work, and that is discussed in the mastermind group, you’re far less likely to make that mistake again. If you are working alone, you might not even see the mistake, and if you’re working with a single editor, you might be tempted to think that you simply disagree with that point in revision. But when you are in a mastermind group, it is almost impossible to deny the power of the consensus.
Although a mastermind group will not solve every problem presented in it, over time, your participation in a small group of like-minded people will hone your troubleshooting skills, which will result in greater clarity. 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/