Hey folks! I’m not sure if this is a great place to ask this, but I figure it’s worth a shot. Lately I’ve been hoping to find some people with whom I could share ideas, plans, and sneak peeks of the stuff I’m working on so I can get honest feedback from those who are most likely to appreciate my work. (This seems kind of similar in concept to the “mastermind group” I’ve heard about in a few places, but I haven’t delved into that idea yet, so I’m hesitant to apply that label even if it seems right to me.)
Who I Am and What Interests Me
You probably guessed from my username that my name is Nathaniel Mott. I’ve been writing about technology, startups, and various things related to those subjects for the last seven-and-a-half years. While I’m still interested in those topics (and they still allow me to make a living) my passion lies with the concept of “mastery.” This obsession has taken several forms, which is why it escaped me for so long, but I don’t think that’s a bad thing. Broadly put, I’m interested in A) people who do great things in B) fields that encourage some level of expertise, C) how people reached their current status from a physical, psychological, and philosophical perspective and D) how our brains and bodies work.
Most of those categories are often lumped in with “productivity” or “self-improvement.” But I don’t think those labels capture the core of any of those areas; they’re simply means to an end. (Or umbrella terms under which these concepts might stand.) The topic is broad, yet that’s a boon for me because it gives me enough guidance to figure out if something is worth covering and enough freedom to write about something without feeling guilty for stepping outside of my niche/beat/lane/what-have-you.
What I’m Doing
Right now I’ve been getting into the habit of writing for myself again. That’s surprisingly hard after nearly a decade of writing professionally; it’s almost like I need to picture a dollar sign before I can string words into sentences and paragraphs and so on. Most of my work on my personal site has thus far been stream of consciousness blog posts waiting to be refined into what I call “articles.” My goal is financial independence from traditional publishers that rely on increasingly unstable monetization methods; my plan is to eventually write articles, create online courses, and publish at least one podcast. (At least in the near-term; there are even wackier ideas just waiting to be explored.)
What I’m Looking For
I love the idea of having people willing to bounce ideas around without judgment. So far I’ve been bugging my wife, friends, and family about some of the subjects I’d like to write about. I appreciate their input, but there’s a difference between someone reading what I write because of their relationship with me and someone reading what I write because they’re hoping it’s valuable. It would also be great to discuss these subject areas with folks who are actively interested in and experimenting with them rather than forcing the people around me to imagine what it’s like to be into these particular subjects.
I’ll confess that spending so much time having my writing vetted by editors (albeit of varying quality) has made me somewhat paranoid about publishing things without external validation. I’d like to work on that, but I think getting an outside opinion is also a great way to make sure my head isn’t too far up my own ass. Steven Kotler said in an interview that he has a writing buddy who makes sure his work isn’t boring, arrogant, or confusing. I’d love to establish those minimum requirements for my work.
Of course, my intention wouldn’t be for everything to be about me. Despite owning the domain name for my actual name, I’m not that narcissistic. The goal would be to bounce ideas off each other in a way that benefits everyone, not just one member of the group. (Which is where–again, to my knowledge–the connection to a so-called mastermind group would come in.) I’ve said before on this forum that I find more and more value in conversations with people instead of text-based communications. My hope is that some of us could provide that value to each other whenever we possibly can.
I hope I’ve clearly explained what I’m looking for here and that it doesn’t seem too weird to make these desires known. Right now I have limited contact with all but my closest friends and family because I have a several-months-old son. I want to provide for him the best I can by applying my trade (writing) while also demonstrating the importance of passion, grit, and societal connections; the financial independence from a crumbling media infrastructure is important but secondary to those goals. I believe something like what I’ve described would help me achieve both of those goals.
If anyone’s interested, I’d love to talk about how this could work. (My guess is that email would work well, as would weekly or bi-weekly meetings via a platform like Zoom.) If not, I totally understand, because this is an admittedly self-serving request for help as I embark on a (somewhat) new chapter in my life. Either way, I appreciate anyone who’s stuck with this post to the very end. You the real MVP.