So both my older son and my daughter are in college right now. Wanted to share the video that my daughter made for one of her courses. I loved this.
I’m sitting up for the first time all day. Managed to answer the HELP DESK. That’s it.
I’ve been working through the damnable migraine for the last three weeks, but yesterday around 2:45, it turned worse, and I’ve been doing the dark-room-eyes-closed thing since then.
I’m up briefly—Tylenol plus buffered aspirin has taken the edge off. Am hoping to be functional again by tomorrow.
The ‘Welcome to the Upgraded Site’ sale I’d hoped to hold this week had to be postponed, though—I’m hoping to be able to do it next week, but it depends on whether I can sit up and work or not.
The good news, and it’s really good news, is that all the SANE worldbuilding chapters in CREATE A WORLD CLINIC are now done. I have to do the material on massive worldbuilding, but am developing a better-structured conceptual model for my process, and hope to be able to cut what I’d planned for five chapters down to one that covers everything better.
Hoping I’ll be back soon.
The R&R last weekend, plus the chance to rethink my approach to the final chapters of Create A World Clinic, have helped me tremendously with the progress of the course. I’d gotten bogged down in minutia, and stepping back and asking myself not HOW I world build, but WHY I world build, got me back on track. Finished the Container Universes chapter today, will start into Knowable Universes tomorrow.
I’m 5000 words over my intended link, and am probably still looking at another 10K to 15K before completion, but it’s lovely to see the progress bar stretching again.
If you want to receive EarlyBird notification when the course goes live, you can sign up here. This is the HTTS Boot Camp list, so if you’re already on it, you’ll receive early notice without signing up again.
This Saturday, I’m going to get back on track by writing and producing the next How To Think Sideways Quick Fix: I think the next one is #18 (but am on the wrong computer right now to verify that.) In any case, during the Epic Site Update Slog, everything but the site work fell by the wayside.
And in the next couple of days, I’m going to put together a brief coupon sale for the books and courses on How To Think Sideways. More on that later, though.
Long-distance runners (and a whole bunch of of other folks who do long-term intensive things) talk about hitting the wall. I’ve done it with novels.
Yesterday, I hit the “build a better website and get everyone and all their stuff into class” wall.
Big wall. Very hard. I spent most of the day horizontal with the Nightmare Migraine. Read a little, played a little Terraria on my laptop, (yay, Halloween version).
Work, though? Not so much.
I realized that I could not remember the last day I had off. (Didn’t even take off on my BIL’s wedding, which we attended. I worked on the site in the morning.)
Funny thing is, I took a day off, and the world did not come to an end.
And I got a chance to do the two things I really needed: Rest, and think.
I realized that:
- The new HowToThinkSideways.com site is live.
- It mostly works.
- The parts that do not work are things like buy-now links in the Flash Fiction classroom that are broken, and the missing BIG COURSE student discount shop. These are fixable, and they’re on my list…
- BUT they do not get to preempt my writing.
- I will do them as I can get to them, AFTER I have written.
So today I came back, and for the first time in a little under a year, I cleaned off my desk.
There was significant shredding. (Matt got me a shredder for my birthday. I’ve always wanted one.)
(Have I ever mentioned my thing for office supplies and office equipment?)
I’m going to do the HELP DESK stuff today, but nothing on the site. Instead,
I’m going to lay out my plan for finishing up the last part of CREATE A WORLD CLINIC.
Yes. I’m getting back to writing.
Tomorrow is the kid’s birthday. I’m taking the afternoon off. Saturday and Sunday, I am going to be gone, gone, gone. I may stretch out on the couch and knit. I may do a little playing around with my world-geek demos for WORLD CLINIC. But if it isn’t play, I’m not doing it.
Monday I’m back to writing CREATE A WORLD CLINIC in the morning.
With this is mind, if you have any burning questions about:
- HOW to build worlds,
- WHY you must build worlds for your fiction to work (and here I’m talking directly to every romance, suspense, mystery, and and other non-SF/fantasy writer out there)
- When you build worlds,
- Or any other worldbuilding-related question…
…Please ask in the comments below. I want to make sure I don’t miss anything.
Whether you bought from the old Shop.HollyLisle.com site, or any of my various classrooms, I’ve added your purchases of my work into the new HowToThinkSideways.com site.
It looks like my son, Watson, and I will be taking the new site live over this weekend (which means forums and classrooms will be unavailable while we’re working on the site).
Everything you’ve ever purchased from me from any of my old websites or from the old shop, as well as the new shop, SHOULD be available to you immediately in the new classrooms. And once we’re live, you’ll be able to do some nice upgrades to old purchases.
In order to reconnect with all your old purchases, you’re going to want to know how the new system works.
Here’s the link to a handful of 1-minute to 3-minute videos I’ve put together to show you how things work on the new system.
Here are the videos:
Pay special attention to the “get a new password” video. EVERYONE will have to get a new password in order to get in.
If you purchased from Shop.HollyLisle.com, you’re going to need to remember your old email address in order to get your new password.
If your old email address no longer works, then AFTER we upgrade the site you’ll need to create a support ticket at the HELP DESK and let me know both your old email address and new email address so I can update your email for you, so you can get a new password.
P.S. Here’s a short link to the same page in case the link above breaks:
The Google+ Live Chat will start Friday at 12 NOON ET.
THERE IS NO SOUND on the first 45 or so seconds of this video. Skip past those. I caught the error quickly.
I’m going to answer questions you post here.
This is pretty wide open. Your questions can be professional or personal, and can be related to nonfiction or fiction.
Do you have a writing question I’ve never answered anywhere? A question about one of my novels? A question about me?
I’m not expecting a lot of questions, but if I get a lot, I know I won’t have time to answer everything in this one chat.
If there are a lot of questions, I’ll organize the ones I don’t answer into categories, and do a few more live Google+ chats to answer them.
I’ll post the link in this space once I get Google+ set up and know that it’s working. If some of you wouldn’t mind using the link in the top right corner to post it to Twitter once we get going, I’d appreciate it. I’m working with
I’m going to print off the existing questions right after I have everything set up, and I’ll either go down the list, or pick and choose, depending on how many there are.
Is there anything you can’t ask? No.
Is there anything I won’t answer? Probably.
Use your best judgement.
I turned 53 yesterday. Birthdays always make me think of the meaning of my life.
And because I was building the new classrooms and the community, I ended up thinking about the WHY of the HTTS Boot Camp, and all the people in it, and why I and the other people there are doing what we do.
- Why have so many of us come together to pursue writing,
- why do we want writing so much,
- why do we want to bring other writers with us into this shared dream we have of creating fiction people will love,
- why do we want to get that fiction into readers’ hands,
- and why do we need to be paid (and thus validated) by the people who love what we do to keep creating?
And the answer wasn’t simple. It was every individual life story (or shard of it) that has appeared in the Boot Camp forum, hundreds upon hundreds of emails I’ve received, countless posts from the old Forward Motion forum back when I owned and ran it…
And all of those stories don’t even boil down to something simple.
Between the joyous exuberance of finding something you’re good at and the ugly pain of finding a way to exorcise the demons abuse, torture, and malevolence lies the entire realm of human experience.
But that—human experience—that is the point of why we come together. Because no matter how we get there, we arrive at wanting to write successfully, and wanting to see our colleagues write successfully, to do this very human thing with each other…
…because we understand that words matter.
That was the footer on my blog for a long time.
Words define what and how we are able to think.
Words—and the act of stringing them together in meaningful ways—matter to us…to who we are and how we live our lives because they allow us do decide who we choose to be and how we choose to define our selves and our lives as human beings.
Words—and the act of stringing them together in meaningful ways—matter to our fellow writers, who also discover and determine the value of life to them and the way that they choose to be human through this exploration.
The words that we put together matter to the readers who are or someday will be in places like those we have come through…but who—unlike us—arrive there with no words to help them find their way through what faces them.
If our readers find our words, they will find the path we have created to the courage and the strength, the humor and the understanding they’ll need to be the people they choose to be.
Words and their meanings and how we use them are the foundation of being human.
Getting our words right, and getting them out there for others to read, is worth doing.
So while I was gutting code and setting up classrooms, I started thinking through who we in the HTTS Boot Camp are.
HTTS Boot Camp writers are a very small subset of the writing community.
We are not representative of all writers—not by a long shot.
- We don’t view each other as the enemy to be conquered, but as allies to share this journey with.
- We aren’t looking for taxpayers or other people who will never read our work to pay our way through life—we’re reaching out directly to OUR readers, the people who will love what we do, and who will benefit from what we have created, whether with joy or laughter or release from pain or deeper understanding, and we are saying, I will trade fairly with you: we have made friends with the concept that making money is GOOD, that writing is a real job, and that we deserve to get paid for our work.
- We do not think that to be a great writer, you have to be unappreciated in your lifetime, starve to death in your garret, and only be discovered once you’re a corpse: We want to be read and appreciated—and paid—now.
- And we do not think the purpose of fiction is to point out how worthless and meaningless fiction and life both are. We know our lives matter, both to ourselves and to each other. And we know that writing, done with intent and imbued with what matters to us, is meaningful and worthwhile.
As I thought all of this through, I put together a short creed that I think is representative of who we—the members of the HTTS Boot Camp—are.
HTTS Boot Camp Writer’s Creed
This year, I will write a story I love.
This year, I will connect with the readers who will love it too.
This year, I will be paid for my creation by the people to whom it matters.
This year, I will live my dream.
This isn’t carved in stone. Yet.
Let me know what you think.
And write with joy.
MemberMouse, iDevAffiliate, and bbPress: MOSTLY Done
- MemberMouse is awesome, and Mark and I are about done setting up everything.
- bbPress has some strange issues that we’re still working out.
The iDevAffiliate folks are installing iDevAffiliate because 1) I’m sick of software installation, and 2) They won’t screw it up and I’m so fried at this point that I might.
Too many loose ends yet to go live tonight. We’re looking at October 11-13 as both reasonable and reachable.
As I promised, UGLY BABY, the free PLF-based workgroup—which will run for the next twelve months—is now live in the writing community and is open to all members. Sign in at https://howtothinksideways.com/ and get started.
There are two challenges I recommend you sign on for, and I’ll be putting up a BONUS VIDEO wash-rinse-repeat process for a free way to get your work out there and selling, doing Seed Launches as described by Jeff with my added quick turn-around for getting feedback you can use.
Write with joy, and kick ass in the next 12 months.
P.S. It’s free to all my site members. If you’re NOT a site member, that’s free too. Sign up for your account here:
P.P.S. Until Friday, we’re still on the old site. Folks sometimes have problems with the current account creation and sign-in process. If you do, go here: http://novelwritingschool.com/support/
I do all my own support right now, so you may have a wait, but I’ll get you in. — Holly
If you buy Jeff Walker’s course through my affiliate link below, you will get the massive course and bonuses he’s offering, plus you will also get the following for free, FROM ME:
BONUS ONE: The UGLY WORKSHOP
My adaptation of the PLF course to work specifically for writers, put together from my working notes as I write both fiction and nonfiction and launch the work. But this is not WATCH and learn. This Is DO-AND-LEARN.
UGLY WORKSHOP includes:
- Raw First Draft Mostly-Finished CREATE A WORLD CLINIC
- My launch materials for the following upcoming launches: World Clinic, How To Write A Series Expansion: Modules 1-6, The Longview Series Stories 1-6, HTTS Walkthrough Completion. You’ll get these as JPEG and PDF downloads
- My launch data: PDF downloads
- My explanation (probably in really ugly video) of what I’m doing with each step of each launch and why
- Live brainstorming—me, the other PLF owners on the board, and you—on getting YOUR launches and FICTION put together
BONUS TWO: The DO IT-USE IT CHALLENGE
If you put together an awesome product and a great launch, I will JV with you and mail MY list, promo your book on MY blog, and notify MY Twitter folks on your launch day.
BONUS THREE: DO IT-USE IT VETERANS’ LIST
Permanent, private, invitation-only email discussion list for members who, by the end of the 12-month workshop, have:
- Published 3 projects (or more) that you create in this workshop. My bonus includes the step-by-step technique that will let you do this.
- Built a 250 person double-opt-in mailing list (or better)
- Maintained a 25% or better average open rate (this proves you’re meeting your readers’ needs by sending quality information)
- Completeh three launches
At the end of 12 months, I’ll delete the UGLY WORKSHOP board, and the list will go live with ONLY the people who have used the course and done launches with it, so you’ll be working with other course veterans.
BONUS FOUR: UGLY-WORKSHOP-ONLY Live Teleconference with Jeff Walker and Me
- You ask your most pressing questions about YOUR work. We’ll answer them.
- And we’re going to be focusing on promoting fiction and other creative arts.
This is the LAST DAY. At 11:59PM Pacific time TODAY, the course closes for at least another year.
IF you want the course and want my bonuses, go now.
IMPORTANT: New PLF OWNERS, go to:
the instant you join the course.
NAME: (Matches what you used when buying PLF)
BOOT CAMP USERNAME: (So I can put you into class)
EMAIL: (So I can let you know that you’ve got your bonus.)