Even though creativity can often be a solitary journey, it can be immediately enhanced, inspired, challenged, or made more efficient by collaboration and discussion with others. As Scott Dinsmore shared in his TED Talk, “There is no bigger life hack in the history of the world from getting where you are today to where you want to be than the people you choose to put in your corner.” With whom you discuss your creative endeavors can play a major role in shaping your work process or outcome. Be intentional in choosing the individuals with whom you share your craft, blog, or business by finding and forming a creative tribe.
What is a Creative Tribe?
A creative tribe is a group of like-minded individuals pursuing a creative venture who support, challenge, and motivate one another. A tribe can be as formal or informal as the group deems, but they meet with the intention of listening, sharing, and helping to better each member and assist one another in achieving goals. You may also hear it referred to as a mastermind group, networking group, club, or in my fabulous creative tribe’s case…the Pittsburgh Blogger Mastermind Tribe Ninja Maven Gurus. Yeah. We’re legit. (In Pittsburgh? Join us!)
Tips for Forming a Creative Tribe
- Aim for a smaller group who share some common interests. Amy Lynn Andrews suggests between 5-10 people. I am currently in a group of four and so far it is working out fairly well, but I could see it being a little more serious and productive if there were more members involved.
- In most cases, blogs should be of a similar size or in the same “stage” of creation. While similarities in niches can be an added bonus, it is not totally necessary.
- All members should be dedicated to helping one another, not just looking to better themselves. Consider people who are generous, thoughtful, kind, and willing to share and accept constructive feedback.
Finding Creative Tribe Members
Finding a creative tribe does not have to be an overwhelming process. You can find like-minded individuals in a multitude of places if you know where to look.
- Participate in Twitter chats and create a list of tweeps (tweeters? twits?) who interest you. Some of my favorites include #createlounge and #ellechat. Interact with your list of potentials and, if they seem like a good fit, reach out and pitch the idea of forming a mastermind.
- Pay attention to your blog or Facebook challenge group comments. Notice if the same bloggers are commenting on one another’s posts or make note of those who might mesh well together. Send out a personalized email to each blogger and form a private Facebook group.
- Form a mini-group in your local mastermind or networking group. For example, Pittsburgh boasts a number of awesome mastermind-esque opportunities in groups such as Propelle and Levo League. These communities are rife with educated and ambitious individuals who are likely looking for further ways to connect.
- Utilize your personal and professional networks. Reach out to other like-minded young professionals in your area and see if they might be interested in meeting up for coffee.
What to Discuss in a Creative Tribe
While every group has its own thoughts on formality, providing some structure to each “meeting” will ensure that you are maximizing your group’s potential. Here are some tips and suggestions for what and how to discuss:
- Start or end your meeting with a mini Mastermind session. The rules are simple: everyone gets a turn to share their current success, failure and need. Through this open and honest discussion, the group can provide feedback, support, and celebration.
- Pitch ideas for a potential collaboration. Allow everyone the opportunity to contribute their thoughts and ideas. You’ll find what was once a small idea has now grown to something big and exciting for all.
- Mindmap ideas for upcoming blog posts, series, workshops, eCourses, eBooks, etc. Don’t be afraid to whip out big sheets of paper and markers.
- Plan an upcoming retreat or trip to a blog conference. Built-in roomies. Road trip. Blog talk for an entire weekend. What could be better?
- Host a vent session, but enforce some ground rules first. Never leave without focusing on the positives or finding a solution.
- Call for a working meeting. Sometimes getting away and being in the presence of other creatives is all you need to crank out those blog posts. If getting together with some seriously awesome people is the only way you can be productive, then so be it.
Need even more? Braid Creative wrote a great post about building the layers of your creative tribe.