Fiction is my passion. Stories that matter and that have something to say were my earliest independent love, they have been the focus of my creativity for a quarter century now, and I have made them my career.
Now, a few months from fifty, I want to tell you about the vision I have for the future of writing and great storytelling, and ask you where and how you might choose to join it.
My vision compresses down to three words:
Create, Teach, Produce.
I want to bring meaningful stories to discriminating readers, viewers, and listeners.
This means I’ll continue to write my own fiction. Working on novels 34 and 35—with 32 published novels behind me—I’m pretty well established in that part of my vision.
Beyond writing my own work, I want to help more good stories make it into the world. To me, this means offering powerful tools to writers to help them write stories that are the best work they have in them—not just filler for bookshelves, but stories that come from their heart and passion, and that, when written, move, inspire, and enrich the lives of the readers who discover them.
To this end, I’ve created all the free writing resources on the Forward Motion pages of my site, all the short writing courses in my online shop, and my first two comprehensive writers’ training courses, my how to write your novel and build your career course, How To Think Sideways, and my novel revision course, How To Revise Your Novel.
Those are a start. I have a stack of notebooks full of other ideas, and am simply working to make the time to create what’s in those notebooks. (Create A World Clinic is next.)
Even beyond that, though, I want to create a publishing enterprise where editors come up with their genres and themes and are directly rewarded for their success, where writers create stories that matter to them and are directly rewarded for connecting with the readers who long for the stories they’re telling, and where people whose creative passion is storytelling can make a good living doing what they love.
Rebel Tales is the start of this part of what I want to create. Rebel Tales is still in a holding pattern while Margaret finishes and tests the backend that will allow me to pay each writer and each editor monthly their percentage of their work’s monthly gross income.
Because I think direct, perpetual monthly royalties on works created are the best way to encourage great work, and because building a way for people to be able to make their passion into their career matters deeply to me, it’s critical that I be able to pay my writers and editors in this fashion from the start.
Four: Help Out
While not immediately connected to the production of great storytelling and the creation of an expanding body of fiction worth reading, making sure that my readers, writers, and editors don’t starve is a big deal for me.
I’ve done some work to this end. I created affiliate programs to pay 50% of individual sales to anyone whose recommendation of my courses (or my writers’ courses) leads to the sale.
I created the 33 Worst Mistakes Writers Make publishing program for people who had deep knowledge in a subject to create writers’ guides on subjects writers frequently get wrong and sell them through my shop.
I want to create a site that will allow these folks and other specialists to teach regular courses and offer information in their areas of expertise to writers who need a one-stop shop for research.
Sitting in a holding pattern, I have Money To Write (how to create monthly “royalty” income that will allow you to write full-time). I have an enormous amount of material for this program, but no time to get it into the software or do the necessary promotion.
I have discovered to my chagrin that I cannot do everything.
And the reality is that I’ll be fifty in October, and no matter how much time I have left, it’s running out at a hell of a pace.
I need help.
I have never longed to change the world. In fact, I’m utterly and ferociously against anyone whose stated goal is to save the world.
My objective is and always has been to work with those people who dare to dream that they could create, who dare to act to pursue their dream, and who want to make their own lives better—for them I create the tools and the training and the community that will allow them to do this.
To fulfill my own dream, to build my chosen vision into reality,
I need people for whom bringing great, unique stories to readers tired of “canned fiction product” matters. And if you aren’t a writer, a reader, or an editor of any stripe, I still need artwork, web design, data entry, product finishing, contract and rights assistance, and other things I guarantee you I haven’t even thought of yet.
If my objective strikes a chord with you, if my vision resonates with you, and if you can see yourself as a part of this, then look at what I want to do, and tell me where you fit in—what you can do, why you want to do it, where your passion lies. What is YOUR dream, and how could working with me help you achieve it?
Wow! That was one heck of a post, Holly. I love your vision, “move, inspire, and enrich.” It’s what I live to do, every day. The only thing I would add is empower. But, you “said” that, too, as it the very essence of what you are doing.
In previous careers, I’ve had the joy of developing “soft” skill curriculums (leadership development, ethics, team building) and teaching adults (in the corporate world) via the classroom and the web. I am also a certified corporate and executive coach.
In the world of “simply writing”, I am an ex-journalist trying her hand at paranormal time-travel romance. Having placed in some contests, I am now a trained and active contest judge.
I also have a myriad of other oddball talents and skills from creating and wearing Regency dress to wrangling and training horses.
If I can help you, in any way (even if it is just to bounce around ideas) please let me know.
I consider myself still in my writing ‘apprenticeship’ as I work through HTRYN and HTTS, with the goal of becoming the kind of writer who could contribute to Rebel Tales and other publications.
Your vision is so exciting, and very much in line with my own dream of writing stories of significance that would be a respite and a joy for people who are living their own significant stories.
In the mean time, I could be available for up to 12 hours a week doing data entry, copy writing/editing, and I’m great in front of a crowd if that’s useful!
Sign me up.
Thank you for the free advice you’ve given.
I already have the full story (romance) written but have to make a
first draft of it.
What I lack…is the beautiful scenery discriptions. This novel won’t need a whole lot, I think.
What advice can you give me? I had not thought of writing more, just this one book is on my mind. I have written notes from thirty-five years ago. Procrastination has been mt downfall. I took lessons in creative writing, but the teacher only wanted to play his guitar and sing to us!
You are, by far, one of my favorite teachers. So far, all my other instructors have been… well… They don’t care about what I do, what I dream, the way you do. Sure, you have no idea who I am and I am new to your classes, but there is something that I have recieved in your emails, that I have read in your discussions: passion. One of my friends whom I have known since birth is an excellent writer (born a prodigy) and I recently had her over for a workshop. Waste-of-time. I began searching the internet, scanning several sites of useless and repetitive information. Then I stumbled upon yours and fell in love with it. I still have horrible grammar, spelling, and puncuation, but now my ideas are flowing more smoothly. I am able to see how my stories should begin and end. I’ve never had a writing teacher like you before.
I am not sure what help I can be, but if you need someone to talk to, someone to rely on, someone who can listen and (hopefully) give sound advice, know that you’re not alone. A lot of people have already offered their help and I don’t think I am qualified to do the same. Nevertheless, I am here if you’d like to ask for my assistance, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to talk to you personally. ^_^
although (sadly) I can’t say I’ve got lots of time, I’ve got some skills that could help out. Probably.
– I’m a copywriter at my day job and have decent English knowledge, I can help with advertising,
– I’m an ESL writer, not professionally published yet but still published, so maybe there are some insights I can offer,
– even as an ESL writer, I have an eye for editing (probably because I had to learn it before writing it).
– last but not least, my own writing tends to have a literary fling with it and since I know that you, Holly, don’t like literary (frankly, neither do I), but I can give some insight from the other side of the barricades.
If there is anything I can help with, let me know.
Your vision is amazing, and I’ve loved taking your HTRYN course. I would love to help in any way possible. In my day job, I’m an instructional designer for computer systems, and have experience with editing, course design, adult learning, web design, simulations, etc. I also write sci-fi, fantasy, and paranormal novels on the side, though I’m yet to be published 🙂 That’s what HTRYN is for!
I think it would be fantastic to be involved with any of your endeavors and it would be an honor to help!
I too must join the countless others who love your dream and passion in reaching them. I am also new to your information and have been too busy to actually put them to work = frustration. So in thinking about this I just wanted to let you know I support all the things you are doing and about to do.
I am 56 and living with a disability. I have limiited energy but still manage to do a lot — just can’t seem to do it all (much like you and probably most people out there — meaning we cannot do it all). So we pick our “battles” or what we are willing to fight for. I have lots of ideas in my head but no real story or plot line for any. They gel more when I read and follow your courses. (I just haven’t had time to do that with everything else going on in my life.) I didn’t mean to make this about NOT writing. What I want to offer you is this: I am an artist by formal education and early work experience. (I changed careers when that was not paying the bills. Not a bad thing – I found I loved working in the legal field and that I am actually very logical in additon to being creative.) I have illustrated a published children’s book, worked in the commercial art field for 20 years before I switched careers, always continued to draw and paint (and continue to sell it), taught graphic design at the local community college for a few years part time too. I am supposed to be retired (on disability) but have found I am still learning to do things connected to art in some way. I just created three separate ad campaigns for three different small businesses. So if you think you can use my artwork, designs, or ad campaign ideas, let me know. That’s what I have done and know I can do. 🙂 I am also becoming pretty good at networking (at the local level anyway) and if you need to simply consult with someone or bounce ideas around, I can do that too. 🙂
I share your vision 100% and echo was the others have said. You are amazing in what you write, what you teach and how go about doing bot are wonderful.
My day job is as a technical writer. I happy to help out anyway I can.
I’ve been working to improve my writing for about eight years now, have submitted my work, but never been published. I want to make writing my job, and your courses have made more sense to me and taught me more than any other online classes I’ve taken. Although I haven’t tried writing SF or Fantasy, I love SF stories, and I’d be willing to try writing one. Currently, I’m working on two contemporary YA stories, but I don’t see any reason why I couldn’t write for adults.
Holly, I think I like you. I recently enrolled in one of your free character and plot development courses, and it has already helped me tremendously. I loved to write as a kid in grade school, but my focus moved more closely to music and songwriting and further away from writing stories. I have recently come back to my first love, writing, and man, it feels good to be here!
I am an experienced web designer & editor. I am completely self-taught. I was a virtual assistant and assistant to a virtual assistant in the past. I am a college student, 23 years young. I have a lot of dreams. Mainly I want to a) continue to follow God wherever he leads 2) finish my book and go on to write more 3) finish my project (@ ayearofpracticingprayer.blogspot.com) and hopefully come out of it a believer. I don’t know how any of that fits into what you’re doing, but if you think I can be of help in the slightest, please contact me. I love helping people. As a pastor’s wife, it’s kind of in the job description–haha!
I love and share your vision of bringing “unique stories to readers tired of “canned fiction product” matters.” In my writing I’m aspiring to get to an originality so much now that story often suffers (though I wish it didn’t have to), but I’ve got a conviction that in the long run it’s way better to write something unique and truly matters to me (and hopefully others) than attempt to start out with formula.
I appreciate all the free courses you’re giving out, and the small bits you give out in your newsletters. They’re really great for new aspiring writings such as myself to get daily bits of advice and reminders to keep in mind certain things as we bumble through our first novels, stories. I hope to be able to afford one of your writing courses one day. I’d love to help out with your goals. I can offer my writing, editing/coaching, ESL, (I worked at the university writing center for most of college), minor web-design/technology skills, willingness to learn, and lots of free time as I’m currently an unemployed fresh college graduate. I’d love to be part of a project with such an inspiring vision.
I live to write and I love helping other writers whenever I feel I have something to offer. I make my living as a writer/editor and am trying to get my fiction career up and going beyond a few short stories published. I truly appreciate your vision and would be happy to help out if I can.
There must be something in the air:
I have fast internet and literate kids. Summer’s coming up, so they’ll have time on their hands. Let me ruminate. Even after school starts, two of the kids will be home-schooled via internet. They typically finish their work in about three hours, but they’re not early risers. I’m sure we can contribute, but I don’t want to commit till I’m sure we can follow through.
This sounds like a lot of fun! Who hasn’t wanted to do this?
I can help with data entry depending on the program.
I have always believed in following your dreams and reaching for the stars. I have always enjoyed your passion and willing to help others. This sounds like an great project. I am not sure I can be of any help but I have some experience with 3d Graphics, Photography and Video Editing. I also read constantly and try to write a little.
I am a High School Computer Teacher by trade.
What an inspiring email! I have this story I have been working on since November. I finished it as a short story, and have numerous people read it. IT IS A GOOD STORY!(you probably get that a lot!) I’m not just saying that either. (You probably get that too!) These characters came to me in a dream screaming “Write about me!” That took me to a darker place than I am use too. I finished it as a short story, 18,000 words and have been trying to get an agents attention to no avail. The other night it came to me to rewrite it. Keep the original story in there just add more and that is what I am doing now. I am obsessed with this rewrite! It is going well.
Now exactly how can you help me? I have no clue, but I liked that you put yourself out there and I thought I would do the same!
Anyone who can write as you did about not saving the world, and then offer a pip for those who agree gets my support. Consider me a Not Saving The World acolyte and devoted follower of your cause. I will not kill anyone for you, but as I am just about done with the rewrite on my novel, and am lucky enough to be able to write full-time, I am at your service. As my favorite dentist/gunslinger used to say: “I’m your huckleberry.”
I’m a senior web developer, and I’m writing a fantasy novel. Of course, I don’t have a mean to publish. I have been looking for an established writer to co-write or sponsor me. So maybe I can do your web development and you help me with my writing.
Although I am a professional writer, and book reviewer working on his first book, a non fiction book about breaking into freelance writing, writing fiction is also something in my future, as well as creating a free writing workshop for those with an interested at the local library. I donate the reviewed books to the local library.
My problem is that living on a fixed income which leaves little income for courses, books, or programs.
Hot diggity! Holly, that last email got me all jazzed up.
Right now my writing has been focused more on technical papers (day job) than fiction (self-inflicted night job) but I’m more than happy to help out.
I work at an astronomical observatory doing instrumentation, machining, mechanical design, and just about anything else that’s thrown my way. I’m happy to consult with any writer on these topics.
In my free time I do photography, so I’m more than happy to contribute artwork as well. Most of my photography is low-altitude aerial photography in Hawaii. Not sure how useful that would be, but it’s there.
Keep creating, keep teaching, and keep producing!
I have been following your Rebel Tales project since you first announced it, and I still stop by the website periodically just to make sure I haven’t missed the announcement that you’re accepting applications.
I am a technical writer, editor, and IT manager by trade, but I am really hoping to get in on the ground floor as an editor of Rebel Tales. Although I mostly work with technical reports, I have also edited fiction.
Holly, between you and a few other good writers, I am totally ruined on mediocre fiction. I constantly read with at least a small part of my mind asking if the dialogue makes sense for the time period, do the characters’ motivations fit with their personalities (or in some cases, do they even have personalities), would the book be better if this scene were axed, and all those other things that go toward good fiction writing.
So, in summary, I would love to help with any editing or critiquing that you need.
Here’s to your success in all your endeavors Holly!
Holly, I have messaged you before in thanks of your remarkably helpful writing tips, and if it would serve you, I pledge my writing and my imagination to your cause.
I’d love to help, too. Unfortunately, I’m not good at editing and only half decent at web-design. But I’m really good at user-friendliness of websites and German (I don’t know if that will ever come in handy though). Also, I like to interact with people and might be helpful for user support (should you plan something like that). Since you selected me to be one of your moderators, I think you are aware of my writing goals – sorry but I’m just too tired (and too lazy) to write them down again.
Wow! What a wonderful vision. I wish you success (actually more success, since you have done so much already).
I may not qualify as the writer candidate that you describe. I am retired engineer and 75ish. But, I have been doing an on line critique group for about 11 years now (Writers Village University). It is where I heard about Holly Lisle, whom I have come to admire. I have one small publication and a whole bunch I should probably submit. Still not yet where I want to be as a writer –maybe coming close.
What could I contribute: In my eleven years, I have gotten to be a pretty good critic, mostly focusing on story structure and the dramatic hooks in sentences, paragraphs, and chapters. I could see myself performing that service for others.
If you think I could contribute, I would be pleased to do so.
I took your course on revising your novel at Savvy Authors and since then have been an advocate of your materials. I am an urban fantasy writer, and would love to contribute to your dream, and in turn, my own.
What a bright future you have, and the guts to follow your heart!
For me it is always inspiring and enjoyful to have a Holly-Mail in my Inbox: wow! This is what the craft is about: produce, yes, but also share your knowledge and your dreams and your goals.
So, yes, I’d like to help you: in writing stories (although I mostly write in German), in helping with editing, and helping with Social Media and spread the word, and helping in teaching “Hollys Way” because I also love to share
I’m not a writer but I know I just love to write. I’m from a foreign country and I think I might bring some kind of help to this project. It would be also a great opportunity for me to grow and enrich my writing.
Hi Holly – you always come up with such interesting stuff. I’m very far away from publishing at the moment, but I have an art background and I can do some way awesome nitpicking editing (performing Whereforectomies on lawyers for 30 years).
I’m very interested in your books about insider information. I was thinking there were some things that don’t warrant a whole book, but might warrant a chapter. One of my writing buddies wrote a story about a lawyer and his secretary and she didn’t have a clue. I had a nose snorting moment when she had the secretary break out the White Out. I’d be happy to write a chapter or two.
Best wishes on the Big 50.
Holly, I wish I’d discovered you and all your courses long ago. I marvel that you can write so many good books and teach as well. Most writers, no matter how good they are at writing, are very bad at teaching (as I found out to my cost in the days when I had money to spend on writing courses). I’ve seen enough of your little videos to know that you can definitely teach. I wish I could help but at 65, with yet another elderly in-law dumped onto me, I’m having trouble coping with ordinary life and have had to put my writing on hold. I get frustrated enough seeing so much food that I’ve spent hours preparing go out to the henhouse and I was having too many of what I call my private temper tantrums.
Holly, this is why I love you. Your willingness to teach and help those of us who want to live our dreams of being paid to write full time. Your HTTS class has taught me so much. My ultimate dream is to be able to make enough by paid writing that I wouldn’t need to have the disability checks anymore. Before this class, I wasn’t sure if it were possible. Now I’m determined to make it a reality. I really would like to be part of any project like this you do however I can.
Hello, Holly. I love your vision and would love to be a part of it. I would welcome the chance to work with/help you in any capacity that I could offer. I am an aspiring author, but I have come across some other good ideas in the writing world that would be awesome if developed further (such as audio short story downloads that would INCLUDE young adult fiction – unlike some others – what are they thinking!). I am good at locating the right person for any job or project. I know an awesome superwoman web designer. I can handle any administrative functions (with over 16 yrs of experience in various capacities). I love writing myself. And I am a grammar nerd when it comes to proofing other people’s writing (including websites).
Please do contact me regarding any assistance I may provide. I would love to be involved. When do I start?!
Hi Holly, I would very much like to work with you on any of your current or future projects. I am a writer and photographer, and I like to work with graphics and images. I can also proof read and polish written work. I did all of the design and programming for my website – http://www.birdingandmore.com
There is a good selection there of my writing and photographs. Perhaps you’ll have a chance to check it out.
Hope to hear from you soon, Garry
Thank you for living what you believe. I’m at the start of my true journey. I’ll write it and see if it fits. I’m sending you all the ass kicking karma I can muster. Just knowing that there are others out there is priceless.
What a wonderful email you sent out. I really loved hearing about the dream. I’m a writer and it’s my goal to have more minority characters main characters in fantasy. It’s a hard and long road, but one I think is worth pursuing.
Good luck in your endeavor and If I can help in some way, Please drop me a line.
I’ve been giving some thought into writing short fiction for fun, but I want it to reach an audience. This is a side project to my novels, which haven’t sold quite yet.
I’m currently on a mission to help aspiring writers find relevant, current content that can help them perfect their craft and find representation (and eventually publication). That’s really the mission of my blog (and I’m thinking about expanding to include readers).
I want to help. I’m very active on your forums (jollygreen23) and wouldn’t mind being a moderator or something if you decide to expand the boards. I don’t have big chunks of time (and if I do, they go toward my own fiction), but I have frequent moments (glimmers, sometimes) of free time to collect data, visit forums, etc…
Worthy goals all! As for me, I’m taking your HTRYN course (way waaay behind, at this point) and plan to take your How to Think Sideways course soon. I’m also getting back to writing, finishing two novels that have been languishing in the virtual drawer of my computer’s hard drive for months (well, years for one of them) and reading, reading, reading. Not sure I can do much more than support your ideas by buying your courses and books and how-to books, but, if you think of something else I can do, let me know.
Honorable goals, each and every one of them. I’ve been a long-time fan and recent student of your courses. I’m still working on writing the dream novel. Otherwise, I’m a few years older and recently retired from 33 years in the workforce. I have time and ambition to keep doing something. I have a small handful of people I do web design for and am studying all the time to keep up with current standards. I’d love to help you reach your dreams. Data entry, web design or maintenance, even 3d artwork are all in my realm of interest and skills. Call on me if you need help.
Your objective strikes a chord with me!
I write, teach, edit and critique. It is a pleasure for me to see beginners grow into confident and prolific writers. I enjoy the technical aspects of writing – grammar, syntax, pov etc. I am passionate about helping others to realise where their talents lie. I hope to do this full time in the future. Please get in touch if you’d like my help.
While I write for myself, I am a voracious reader of most genres and have edited online fan zines for many years. In my former mundane life, I’ve done data entry, product finishing as well as operations and quality management. If you need a keep-it-organized-behind-the-scenes person, I’m your girl.
I’d love to help. Fiction, data entry, I’m okay with some web design and backdoor programming stuff. You can count me in hon.
Holly, this really strikes a cord with me and I admire your vision and your ability to see your limits. 🙂
I’ve been through your HTTS course once and am going to use the graduate board to go through it again because I’m a slow learner. I don’t know if my writing can help you, but I would love to see if it can and how.
I’m also a coach and a trainer. I have facilitated online discussion and courses at an online university and I coach people toward realizing their dreams using action plans, working through limiting beliefs, etc. I don’t know if any of these can help you either, but if they can, please let me know.
This is a beautiful dream and a dream come true! I am also an aspiring writer and I would love to help in any way I can. You can count me in.
Hey, I am not a professional editor or professional writer, but I have edited several smaller stories for websites and am working on a full length novel and would love to help out however I can.
I don’t just want to write – I *do* write, every day, in various genres and styles. I want to find a style that works and that people want to read, and my talent seems to lie in romantic fiction, but that’s neither here nor there.
Your vision resonates because it fits with mine – it’s something I could potentially use to help me springboard my own career. I would like to help you in any way to get this launched. I’m good with data entry and I have a lot of clerical experience, and I tend to be pretty good about coming up with ideas of how things can be done. Let me know if you’re interested in having my help.
Holly, I’d love to come along for the ride. I’m in awe of all you’ve accomplished and excited about all that’s yet to come — if anyone can make it happen, you can. I’m skilled as an editor and proofreader and would love to help you turn your dream into a reality.
Im the epitome of taking a leap of faith and watching your dream unravel into something you had never imagined was possible. I’ve created a steady and reliable business teaching Yoga while editing yoga books for an estimeed orthopedic surgeon in the US. But within me is this nagging voice that keeps calling to me, again and again, to write my story. I just don’t know where to begin, how to start, whether to brainstorm etc. etc. . . I figure if I can get my feet wet with some financial incentive and strict deadlines, the words will appear on the page. Other than that . . . Im a professional editor. Let me know what you think!
I want to help with this, too! This is amazing, and I want to be part of it. I can create, edit, and possibly help with the web side of things. I’d have to check on that. My web-guru is sleeping. 🙂
I’m interested in hearing more!
I’m just starting to try my hand at this writing thing, but could offer data entry and other sorts of background organization support. I’m an avid reader, so could perhaps help there somehow.
My own dream is to just write a book. Or perhaps a few books. I’d love to work alongside an author and observe their process, perhaps to fuel my own.
Hi Holly, I’m still really early in your HTTS classes, but I’m loving every moment of them. My real-world talents lie in web marketing, social media and Search Engine Optimization. And I’d love to help you!
A worthy goal, Holly. I’m here to help if you need me, whether it be for writing or anything else.
See, this is exactly what aspiring writers – such as myself – want to hear. An experienced fantasy writer who wants to help others and who tries to write novels that are fantasy, but not standard. I can’t tell you how much I loved the Secret text series. It really inspired me to get back on track with my writing, when I had put the pencil down for a few months.
I too would like to touch and inspire people with my stories. I want to be that writer who blows all minds away! The way I would measure my success is a tricky one: children who have been inspired by me to write down their dream stories.
If my writing can help you in any way, I will take that chance. Because I want to be able to reach out to people, whether they’re in the Netherlands, or Hong Kong.