Is 2019 the year you take your writing seriously?
The Writer’s Mastermind is a 10-month intensive peer, learning, and coaching incubator for writers of non-fiction and memoir projects who are deeply committed to their vision and themselves.
Is this you?
You have a personal growth, business or thought leader book waking you up at 3 a.m. crying, “It’s time! Write me now!” - and the sinking feeling you can’t create it alone. (Secret: You can’t; nobody can.)
Your computer and notebooks are bursting with fantastic material you endlessly try to shape into a coherent, compelling whole narrative but aren’t quite getting there. (That’s so normal.)
You’ve been writing scenes and insights about a particular time in your life (a.k.a a memoir) for
months, or even years now, and you are wondering, “What does it all mean?” and “Why should a reader care?” (Great questions which we will carefully kindly address in this mastermind!)
Your body of professional work is begging to be shared with - and to help - a wider audience, but you aren’t sure in what form or how. Is it a blog? Or maybe a course? Or perhaps it’s even a podcast? Or is it all of the above? Or...or...or…? (I know how to help you choose.)
There may be lots of things you don’t know about your project just yet, but one thing you do know is that you must heed your call to write it and you must share you work or you will forever regret it.
I’m going to be real with you here. There are dozens of “channel-a-book-in-a-weekend” workshops where you can generate a ton of pages quickly. You can go to Bali and write for a month while doing yoga. You can do free writing exercises for the rest of your life and yes, the prose will flow. All of these are fun, but they will never shape a cohesive piece of work somebody else wants to read.
To take your writing where you yearn to go - where your readers cry in recognition, constantly share your ideas, experience a spiritual renewal, or print your blog post for twenty friends - requires a high level of support, learning, and, most importantly, fierce devotion that relatively few people are willing to commit to.
Crafting a project (book, blog, series of articles, a course or a podcast) that others want to read and share is incredibly hard work, but will be one of the most rewarding things you will do in your life. And it’s impossible to do it alone.
I’m delighted to announce
The Non-Fiction Writer’s Mastermind
begins March 25th, 2019
PLEASE read the requirements and dates with care.
This mastermind is the right fit for you:
Here are results from last year’s Writer’s Mastermind:
What do you want to accomplish in 2019?
Here's How It Works
We begin March 25th for 10 weeks of learning, taking the time to get clear on our projects, and craft a strong plan. You will be writing, receiving coaching, and giving and receiving peer feedback with the main focus on getting all your project’s pieces in place. Of course, this will be adjusted to fit you. This is a highly personalized program!
By June 14th, you’ll be writing with purpose and joy at which point we will take a break from our monthly calls and individual coaching to allow more time for writing and summer travel. You’ll continue to exchange writing with your peers every other week and we will check in online weekly to stay on track. You will feel held and supported the entire summer.
On August 26th, we return renewed and ready for our final sprint, restarting our live calls, individual coaching, and weekly page swaps. With fresh energy and focus, we will zoom to our respective finish lines, creating more together than we ever could alone!
When you are accepted for membership (which does not involve a writing sample but does involve saying “I’m all in, I’m ready to do thrive bigger than ever before, and my writing deserves this!”), I’ll send you a detailed questionnaire to fill out. We will use this as a living document throughout our time together to create a project map for your first three months. Project planning like this will make a huge difference in what you get done!
By April 15th, you will share your vision and goals with the group and be assigned a buddy to check in with each week about your progress.
Each Monday for our first twelve weeks, I’ll give you a short assignment (via video or reading excerpt) that will lead you through a potent process to shape your material and create a project with focus and clarity.
WEEKLY ASSIGNMENT EXAMPLES:
Week One - Finding Your Deep Why
Week Two - Owning Your POV & Designing Your Hook
Week Three - Meeting Your Reader / Student
Week Four - The “Back Cover” copy exercise (or equivalent)
Week Five - First Draft “Table of Contents” (or equivalent)
Week Six - Seeing How That All Fits Together
Week Seven - Your Writer’s Basic Tool Box
You’ll share your responses to the assignments with two of your peers every week via carefully structured feedback questions. We never critique! Of course, you may also be writing in addition to doing the assignments, depending on where you are in your project and your needs.
Ask me questions at any time. We will be using a private member forum to host everything, which is super easy to navigate, is private, and much better organized than Facebook.
Every month (except during our summer break) we’ll jump on Zoom (a simple to use video conferencing platform) for a live coaching / stay motivated / share what we have been learning & celebration call. These are SO fun, as well as comforting and useful.
The live call dates are:
All calls are 10 a.m. Pacific
(11 a.m. MT, 12 p.m. CT, 1 p.m. ET)
and will be recorded.
Please allow up to 90 minutes
for each call.
COACHING AND INPUT FROM ME
In addition to everything I’ve just described (wow!), you‘ll receive developmental edits from me on your writing and private coaching. How much of each depends on what you need at this stage in your project.
Writer, Leadership Coach, and Editor
"There’s a whisper from down deep in your soul that urges you to take a chance, jump at the opportunity of carving out time solely for you and your writing. I’ve been a part of many mastermind groups as an Executive and Leadership Coach, but nothing compares to a circle of writers expertly led by Jen. As a life coach I’m constantly urging my clients to covet their creative space and nourish it with intention and time. Jen’s Mastermind was exactly what I needed most, but I was always afraid to truly honor my instincts and jump in. The million excuses cluttered my brain, “’but my memoir isn’t finished yet’ or ‘I’m not a real writer’ or ‘everyone else belongs in this group, just not me.’ Jen created a safe and loving space where all my fears and limiting beliefs were supported. She believed in my story, along with the other talented writers who took the plunge. Her joy and authenticity shone through, not only as a gifted teacher, but also as a vulnerable writer herself. The beautiful structure of check-in calls, private coaching with Jen and curious and supportive peer comments each and every week, held my vision high. I was able to create very doable deadlines that seemed realistic and achievable. More importantly, I developed a practice of writing that felt natural and unstrained. Even on those frustrating days of writer’s block, our group virtually held my hand and told me it was going to be okay. There was a credible intimacy with such a sacred space, a true feeling of sisterhood. As a tribe member of Jen’s Mastermind, we were all in this together and boy did we SHINE! Hands down THE best thing I ever did to jump-start my memoir! I’m forever blessed in the magical light of Jen Louden."
Syndicated Columnist, Author & Speaker | LostInSuburbia.com
"Jen Louden is a magician, or maybe a witch, I’m not sure. But if she is, she’s a very good witch. After attending one of her Vermont retreats, I decided to plunge into the Mastermind to help me hold myself accountable for finishing my third book which had been languishing for several months. All of the elements of the Mastermind were exactly what I needed to develop my narrative and write a story I was proud of in the time frame I had set for myself. Between the group reviews, and the one-on-ones with Jen (who by the way, is the most fascinating, knowledgeable, and enthusiastic writing coach I have ever had the pleasure to know), I faced down my fears about failing and learned places I didn’t even know needed more dialogue, less dialogue, story structure, and so much more. I definitely feel like I got a Master’s degree in book writing from the Mastermind and would certainly recommend it to anyone who is in the throes of writing, at any point in your project, who needs a group of knowledgeable cheerleaders and a team captain who is just profoundly good at what she does.
support level one
In our ten months together you’ll receive:
After your initial deposit, 10 monthly payments of $840 |
10 1 spot available
support level two
In our ten months together you’ll receive:
After your initial deposit, 10 monthly payments of $1340 |
6 1 spot available
support level three
In our ten months together you’ll receive:
After your initial deposit, 10 monthly payments of $2640 |
1 spot available
Muriel Rukeyser wrote: “What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life? The world would split open.”
Participating in Jennifer Louden’s Writer’s Master Mind split open my writing life to a deeper honesty, courage and trust in my process. One of Jen’s most precious skills is to teach and model the power of being a steady companion to your creativity, so that through ebbs and flows you learn to stay with your project. I also learned to give feedback to other writers that was supportive and encouraging - based in curiosity not criticism- and then found myself being able to do the same thing for myself as well. Jen is gifted at creating a container for writers to write the most true versions of our work and to know that our stories matter to our world. There is a quickening that I witnessed not only in my project, but in the projects of the others in the mastermind. I came out of the mastermind more clear about and committed to the completion of my memoir. Jen’s intentional way of creating layers of support through the group calls, virtual gatherings and written feedback adds up to an exceptional experience. I highly recommend working with Jen.
Classics Professor USCB and Author
"I am an academic who is writing a book for a broad non-academic readership - the Mastermind Group was hugely helpful to me. It gave me regular feedback on my writing from a diverse group of committed readers, as well as from the brilliant and wise Jen. It also held me accountable and gave me support which meant that I was able to prioritize my writing even during a busy teaching term. I will finish my book by my publisher’s deadline, and it will be a much better book (less stiffly academic, better written, more of my voice, and more fun) for my time spent in the Mastermind course"
Sarah Flick, M.D.
Author of Desire, Mystery, and Belonging
"Dear Jen, thank you, thank you, thank you. I can’t begin to tell you what my experience has been like from the very first time we shared pages in the Mastermind group until now. As we finish this wonderful year together, I am filled with gratitude and amazement. The whole experience has been transformational, honestly. Please please know that I am so grateful. My biggest struggle as a writer has often been my doubt, thinking "Is this real?” and “Can I be seen?" Working with you in the Mastermind group has taught me yes! I am a happy writer. There is no way to tell you how much difference you and this group have made in my writing and in my life. You are a true sign of hope in these times. I count myself so lucky to be in your tribe and I will always be thankful for this experience."
Writer, Speaker, Business Woman
"I began Jen’s writer’s mastermind course having a story to tell but not confidently knowing how. I’ve had a lifelong passion for writing, but I’ve never felt comfortable calling myself a writer. Through Jen’s encouragement, resources, and thoughtful guidance, I completed the first draft of my memoir and developed a hunger to learn how to tell a better story. It wasn’t easy, and at times I wanted to quit, but luckily Jen’s cheers were louder than the doubting whispers in my head. Her gentle yet butt-kicking way of guiding a writer is attuned to what the writer needs for improvement and also sprinkled with a lot of love."
Dr. Lara C.C. Pence, MBA, PsyD, CDWF, CEDS-S
"A few years back I stepped into the Jen Louden world holding just a seed of an idea. Barely even that. One visit to the Taos Writer’s Retreat left me with a planted seed. Then came Jen’s MasterMind program and my seed grew into a full fledged story with flesh and substance. The MasterMind group not only gave me structure in my writing schedule but it gave me support. Two S’s I learned that my writing couldn’t live without. Not only were Jen’s prompts and inquiries incredibly helpful in fleshing out my story, but the support from the other women was invaluable to my sense of self - writing and otherwise. I will be forever grateful for the group, including Jen, in seeing me through to the near-end of my novel, but more in debt to the process which changed the fiber of my being as a writer."
writer and women’s circle leader | sonyaJoy.com
“Perhaps the reason I’ve always resisted writing a memoir, even though I wanted to, is that I knew deep down how much writing one would change me. Change can be hard. But this is where Jen’s gift is—guiding writers through the tumultuous territory of bravely becoming themselves through true soul writing. The writing resonates because it’s real. It matters because it’s real. It changes you because it’s honestly who you are. Jen saw it before I did, and gently and patiently guided me through my own discovery of this realization in her Mastermind class.
I don’t know how Jen came to realize that taking care of yourself while writing was a thing, but I’m sure glad she figured it out for us. She helped me transform my loose first draft into something with a real heartbeat and lots of potential. We’ve talked story, and structure, and how to back the hell off when I needed room to breath so I wouldn’t become lost in it. I’ve kept myself to a schedule, consistently shown up for both myself and others, and discovered that I really do believe I’m writing a memoir that matters.”
author of Community Chest and Shout Her Lovely Name | NatalieSerber.com
"Working with Jen and the wonderful women who formed our MasterMind cohort was just the creative, supportive, call to action that I needed. Weekly check-ins, video calls, an ongoing honest and open (yet private!) conversation via a FaceBook group, plus the weekly exchange of pages kept me going and made me feel less alone in this lonely business of writing! Man, it's hard to expose yourself on the page! Jen and the MasterMinders gave me courage and inspiration. I can’t wait to go to one of Jen's writing retreats but this extended format of working with Jen and peers was a huge gift. We all have a story to tell. Jen’s MasterMind inspired me to get more of mine out of my body and onto the page."
Author of Creator of Curvy Yoga
"When I began writing the proposal for my book, I had no idea how to get started -- what should go where? How do I share my ideas in a way that makes sense? How do people DO this? Jen's spot-on insight helped me figure out a structure for my book, and that was the turning point that changed everything. It made me go from "there's no way" to "Oh, I can see a way now!" Her kind, thorough support made me feel seen and supported, which is exactly the container you need when undertaking a process as vulnerable as writing. I can't imagine having written my book without Jen's encouragement!"
Author of Zen Under Fire & Poltical Activist | Marianne-Elliott.com
“Jennifer Louden has the clarity to see through the smoke screens we use to avoid the true challenges of our lives and our age, the courage to face those challenges herself, and the compassion to help us all face them with her – as a teacher, a guide and a friend. I’ve learned so much from Jen about the essential connection between creativity and change, between savoring and serving.”
Author of The Tarot Coloring Book
"When I was getting ready to write my book, I found myself suddenly paralyzed. Even though I had a strict deadline and I knew my material, the thought of actually writing the book seemed like a task I wasn’t up for. I decided to enlist the help of Jen Louden - and I’m glad I did. Jen helped me to understand my fears and set up a strategy that would help me tackle this job like a pro. With her skillful guidance, I not only finished the book but delivered the manuscript one month early. I couldn’t have done it without her sage advice and loving support. If you find yourself standing before a mountain that seems insurmountable, connect with Jen. She’ll guide you right to the top!"
Sarah K. Peck
Writer, Entrepreneur & Yoga Teacher | SarahKPeck.com
"Joining a writing retreat with Jen was a gift: a nourishment to my creative self, to the words and the mystery on the page that was beckoning me, and to the story that I know needed to be told. One of the best parts of the experience was finally carving out enough generous space to do the writing I know I need to do in this world.
She is smart, wise, and truly an expert in not only storytelling, but in leading and guiding you through your own writer’s journey. She held the space and created a container for us to be open and honest and brave. I’m so grateful for her wisdom and skill at leading groups of people—she makes it seem easy (it’s so not!) and lets you step away from whatever life is beckoning you with to finally, for a moment, for a day, for a week: get to tell the stories that only you can tell."
Potent Expression Business Coach | SoundbiteShaman.com
“I’ve been lucky to work with Jen for about a year and a half on my memoir.
I did well banging out a first draft, but once I’d finished, I ground to a halt. I knew something needed to happen to make the second draft better than the first, but I wasn’t sure what. I kept tweaking and fiddling without feeling like I was getting anywhere. And because what I needed to do was nebulous, it was hard to get focused or make much progress.
First, Jen gave me solid practical advice: to print a hard copy of my first draft. Just having that hard copy of the printout of the first draft made the accomplishment of that first step feel much more real and continues to be a source of inspiration.
Then, we worked on story structure. I knew I could write vivid scenes with poetic language, but I didn’t really know how to craft a story that would move readers forward, that would build tension, that would have a payoff. As a result of our structure work, I realized I could cut about a third of my story out and make the resulting material much stronger.
Talking to Jen each month helps me renew my energy and enthusiasm and focus for this big project. I like celebrating what I’ve accomplished. She is encouraging without being pushy. Enthusiastic without being glib. I feel like she genuinely cares about my project and its potential. She holds the themes and threads of my piece, and defines new areas to explore, or ways to tie new material with what I’ve already written. Best of all, she helps me define very specific next steps to take, small milestones to accomplish before we meet next which helps me focus and use my limited time more efficiently.
And because of her background in personal growth and self-care, she can step back and help me sort out how and when my writing fits into the bigger picture of my life, and when to prioritize family or my own self care over pushing forward.
Thanks to my work with Jen, I continue to make steady progress on this big project. I am excited about what I am creating. I am becoming a better writer, little by little, and I feel confident that I am on track to accomplishing what I most desire: to create a book that I can be really proud of.”
How to Join
To join the Writer’s Mastermind, fill in the application & pay
your deposit of $750 to hold your spot.
The application doesn’t ask for a writing sample. Please don’t allow questions of talent to enter your head. This has nothing to do with talent. It’s about you being willing to step up and do what you really want. Thoughts of “I’m a fraud, what if everybody is a better writer, I won’t fit” are actually a sign you’re willing to stretch and get what you want. That’s who belongs in this group.
I will accept writers on a rolling basis until all spots are filled. Your spot is held only after you apply and your deposit has been processed. While I don't anticipate this happening, please know that if you are not a good fit for the mastermind, I will refund your deposit immediately.
It depends on your goals, how fast or slow you write, and what else is going on in your life. I write slow, but read and process fast, so I would give myself an hour four to five days a week. You could certainly do more and, some weeks, you will do less.
Reading your peer’s work is a bit slow at first, but picks up as you get more confident. I guide you through the process and we limit how many pages we share.
I hand select every writer to be sure there is a level of emotional maturity, strong commitment to doing the work, and ability to speak up and ask questions.
Will you allow that voice to stop you from getting what you want? I hope not. And we will work with those thoughts and our inner critics as part of our work together. We all have these thoughts and always will. Join the Writer’s Mastermind and they will never dictate your future again.
No worries. The live calls are for troubleshooting, community building, and staying motivated. The Mastermind is meant to work with your schedule with maximum flexibility so you can do the assignments, write, and respond to your fellow writers’ work on your own time table and around your other commitments.
Please do make the live calls a priority, but know missing a few is expected.
I’ll ask you to schedule all your coaching calls early and to keep those appointments unless you have a true emergency. We can reschedule, but my schedule fills up quickly and it can be harder to find a time that works for you. All coaching calls must be used in 2019. There will be no carry-over to the next calendar year.
I wish I could. Nobody can do that for you and if they say they can, run away. What I will guarantee is this: I will help you get very clear on what you want your project to do for you and your reader. I will always be kind and completely honest in my feedback and suggestions. I will tell you when I don’t know something. I will use my experience, contacts, and resources to champion your project, and I will help you keep going when you want to quit. That’s what a powerful writing coach can do.
Nope. That’s impossible, too. But without a plan and without support, I can guarantee it will take you a lot longer to finish. I’ll help you design a project plan with guideposts along the way, because writing is as unpredictable as life. It may well take you quite a bit longer than you think to finish - or not. But if you show up, you will make incredible progress while creating a much clearer project.
This is an eight-month commitment, to yourself, to the group, and to me. Please only say yes and apply to this invitation if you know you can stay with the process as it’s imperative everyone’s success. I will not grant any refunds or excuse you from the payment plan expect in case of a medical emergency. I can’t stress how important the success of the whole group depends on each member being all in for the entire time.
My Wish For You
I want to support you to make your biggest, juiciest, most important writing and creating goals a reality.
I want to offer you my highest level of knowledge, commitment, and energy.
I want to nurture you, push you, and cheer you to go farther, make more progress, and to see your voice beautifully, truthfully expressed more than ever before.
I want to help you take all that is inside of you and share it with your corner of the world.
Over my 28 years of being a professional writer, I have cobbled together so many resources and so much knowledge to support myself and other writers in thriving and succeeding. I cannot wait to draw on all that I have paid to learn - in money,confusion, and time - to help you flourish faster, farther, and more than you can possibly imagine now.
That is what happens when you work with me and this group. You will look back and be amazed, proud, and glowing with accomplishment.
I so wish someone had offered me a group like this when I was writing my first book, my first novel, or creating my courses. I cannot wait to see the genius that this group will create together, for one and for all.
Decide with care, but don’t delay. Spots will fill quickly and then, we are off!