Sneak peek: HTTS Ultra bonus (partial)

How To Think Sideways is all about digging in, tipping everything you thought you knew about writing on its side, learning techniques that will make your writing FLY.

It takes time, but you get amazing results.

When you’re sitting in the MIDDLE of a writing problem, what you really want is a quick fix to get you over THIS hurdle, right now.


You told me where things were going wrong—what your writing problems were.

Now take a look at what that turned into…

I recognized your problems as I read through them. At one time or another, I’ve hit them. If you write long enough, you will.

I didn’t have time to live with them or suffer through them, though, because if I didn’t write, we didn’t eat. So I fixed them. And I was willing to try some pretty strange shit to do it.

Now I’m going to show YOU what worked.

Here are just a few of the high-speed, maximum-intensity workshops you’ll be getting in HTTS Ultra—crunchy little morsels you can plug into your worst writing problems instantly—no theory, no fluff, just the fix you need whenever you need it:

  • Get Beyond The Blinking Cursor
    Get words—good words—on the page in just minutes, without anxiety, without dread, without second-guessing yourself, without struggling for the ONE perfect word, or sentence, or paragraph your mind insists you must have.

  • “But I’ll Never Be Shakespeare…”
Stall out because you compare yourself to writers you aren’t and never will be? Here’s a quick and dirty solution to stop THAT little problem dead in its tracks.
  • Defenestrate The Dwindling, Superfluous Self-Aggrandizement Of Perambulating Verbosity
Description dragging your story through frozen molasses? This quickie will pitch the blather out the window in a hurry.

  • “I Can’t Make Myself Write.”

    If this is your problem, I have a fix. I call this one the “Ice Water” exercise. It’s a shocker.

  • Cure Hummingbird Brain
Write, delete, backup, fidget… New idea—“Hey, that’s cool,”—new character magically appears… “SQUIRREL!”—glass of water, check the email… 
Sound familiar? This frikkin’ defines me. Here’s how I fight it—and win—every damn day.

  • Fix Day-Week-Month Stalls
You’re moving along at a steady page, getting your daily word count…until you hit a story problem. And you stop to figure it out…only the quick stop turns into a day…a week, a month… This one is an EASY fix.

  • Conquer Wild Bob, The Plot Destroyer
So you have this out-of-control character, and he insists that your story is going to go HIS way, in spite of the fact that HIS way bears no resemblance to the story you want to write. You have some new alternatives to get him to toe the line. He won’t like them. But you will.

  • Create Lightning Conflict for Every Situation
Struggling with what conflict is, how it works, or how to get it into your story now? I once plotted an entire novel using JUST this trick. (Deadlines, again, and howling desperation).
  • Break the Perfectionist Freeze

    Can’t write anything because it doesn’t turn out perfect the first time through? Yeah. I remember that. You may have to repeat this exercise, but you’ll get wonderful first-draft words when you’re done.

And many more…

But not today. 😀 The rest will wait until the launch.

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70 responses to “Sneak peek: HTTS Ultra bonus (partial)”

  1. Elmi Avatar

    Holly, you are just amazing! I’m one of the “Day-Week-Month Stalls” people. I started out great and held a steady course for a while; I knew the ending; I even had enough main conflict scenes plotted out – I thought for sure that was enough to beat any stalls. Apparently not. The story got bigger than my original outline (in a good way), and suddenly I don’t know where to go with the next bit. It’s not a big issue, except it is, and now I’ve been waiting for an aha! moment for two months that just doesn’t come. ULTRA is an answer to a desperate prayer!

  2. Amazingrace Avatar

    In the early 90’s, I so wanted to defenestrate my computer! (I looked up my trusty Concise Oxford.)
    Am looking forwards to these exercises. Am I? My need is most definitely strong. Thank you.

  3. Vera Lamb Avatar

    I have managed. somehow, to mess up the passwords to your sites. Once I leave a site, after a password has been reassigned, I can never get back on. Is there a way to have one password that will work on all your sites? I was ready to give up trying but the HTTS course sounds more than intriguing. Help!

    1. Holly Avatar

      Yep. Make a list of the courses you have that require logins, your usernames and email addresses for them, and post a ticket at:

      I don’t do tickets on the weekend—I’m getting ready for the launch and the list of things I have yet to get done is terrifying. 😀

      But I’ll help you on Monday.

  4. Jass Avatar


    While this looks awesome, I’m getting confused by all your “classrooms.” There’s HTTS Legacy, Premium and now Ultra. Do we continually pay for “upgrades?” Are they bonuses for members that already exist? Do you have to upgrade from Legacy to Premium To Ultra? What info overlaps?

    Confuzzled student,

    1. Holly Avatar

      Legacy students will be in the class BEFORE it opens. They’ve been upgraded for free.

      Premium students get a MASSIVE discount which will be available when they log into their classroom on launch day.

      I’ll post a notice here and on Twitter and include instructions on the sales page for folks who get the huge upgrade discount.

      Legacy is going to disappear from the login once the Legacy students are moved in—it’ll be a menu item in the ULTRA classroom.

  5. C. K. Crouch Avatar
    C. K. Crouch

    Hi Holly I shared via twitter and facebook. Looking forward to the Ultra.

  6. Angela Avatar

    Hi Holly! I’m looking forward to checking out HTTS Ultra, but when I tried to subscribe to the list you posted to your newsletter just a while ago, it told me I was already subscribed (when I hadn’t yet, not to that list).

    1. Holly Avatar

      Actually, you probably already are. I had some folks who signed up back in 2011 on the “I’m interested in HTTS list,” but who didn’t join. (People who join are automatically moved to the lesson reminders, which come weekly.) The list has been dormant since then except for notices of HTTS-related stuff.

      You probably signed up then, but didn’t join. So you’ll still get the Q & A session, and you’ll still get the pre-sale bonus. 😀

  7. Andrew Avatar

    Yeah. Cool, But…

    Am I going to get trounced for suggesting that all these issues could be resolved by a healthy dose of professionalism?

    1. Holly Avatar

      Yes, actually. Professionalism is the use of an entire toolkit of acquired skills. If you don’t have the skills, you cannot simply will yourself to be “professional.”

      1. Andrew Avatar

        I’m referring to professionalism as an attitude.

        “I didn’t have time to live with them or suffer through them, though, because if I didn’t write, we didn’t eat. So I fixed them.”

        ^THIS^ is what I’m talking about.

        When you talk about working through your migraines; that’s what I’m talking about.

        A pro doesn’t allow herself to get stuck at the blinking cursor; doesn’t waste time worrying about if she is as good as so-and-so; doesn’t let himself get stalled for a month, or get stuck trying to make every word perfect; she doesn’t know the meaning of “can’t make myself write” and could write in the midst of a tornado if needed, let alone a squirrel invasion.

        A pro doesn’t sit around and complain, or point fingers, or search for someone, or something to blame. If a pro has a problem, he focuses on finding, or creating a solution. Why? Because a professional commits; he keeps promises; he finishes. No matter what.

        That is professionalism.

        1. Holly Avatar

          Unfortunately, you have to have the techniques before you can have the attitude. I initially had the same stallouts as other new writers. And while some folks are simply looking for excuses not to write, many folks who genuinely want to write hold bad techniques in their minds that actively prevent them from succeeding.

          Saying it’s all attitude is like telling someone who has pneumonia if he just thought positive thoughts, he’d be fine.

          The real world—and real people—don’t work that way. First, you clear up the pneumonia. THEN you think positive thoughts.

          1. Andrew Avatar

            I said attitude; I meant approach. Sorry. Kind’a confuses the issue when I mix my terms. Sigh…

            Anyway, the bottom line is that we can choose to do the work, or we can choose to make excuses and not do the work. It’s that simple and using a professional approach keeps it that simple, because complicating it means, excuses and excuses mean, not doing the work.

            I realize the following might seem a bit of a contradiction in the context of professionalism, but I’m just talking about approach, so: forget results. The results will take care of themselves. Focus on the approach, do the work and the quality will come.

            I’m also just referring to the particular issues that revolve around some form of mental baggage (i.e. stuck at the cursor). I’m not referring to the ones that revolve around things like plotting techniques, or description.

            1. Holly Avatar

              You’ve said the same thing in three different sets of words now, and your premise is still wrong. The blinking cursor is, in fact, a technical problem caused by a complete misidentification of what a writer is doing when he writes a book.

              A writer can bang his head against the brick wall of insisting his problem is just attitude or approach until he dies.

              But “think happy thoughts” is not a solution.

              If you want to FIX a problem, you actually have to KNOW what’s causing it, and in this instance, you have to know exactly what you’re trying to accomplish when you sit down to write.

              The workshop is live now, though. You’re welcome to take a look and see EXACTLY why people stare at the blinking cursor, and how they can fix it.


              1. Andrew Avatar

                Technically, the blinking cursor is not a problem; it’s supposed to do that. (smiles)


                Seriously, though; it’s a bit ironic that I can’t get you to see my point, because you’re a perfect example of what I’m talking about.

                You didn’t start out with the tools and skill you have now, right? You started out stuck with all the same issues that everyone else has. But, you approached your writing differently and as such, instead of staying bogged down and stuck by your writing issues, you dug in and figured out ways to work around, or solve those issues.

                Now you are offering those solutions for the benefit of other writers and that’s great, but behind the techniques is the (approach) that facilitated their creation and that is where I’m saying the true value lies.

                Anyway, I hope this clarifies. I won’t take any more of your time by belaboring it further. If the rest is mud, let me be clear about one thing; I’m not attacking your work here. I say this, because it occurs to me that, that’s probably how I’m coming across. The truth is; I think you do a great job and provide a great product.

  8. Cheryl Avatar

    Thanks Holly — that sounds beyond fantastic — I’m so glad I bothered to post so you could spend days fixing my stuff! haha
    There’s SO much new content there!!
    Thank you!

  9. Shelia Avatar

    This sounds like exactly what I need for so many of the instances listed. I’ve gotta go read back because I got so excited that I missed the price.
    Can’t wait!

  10. Sandra S Richardson Avatar
    Sandra S Richardson

    I know hummingbird brain very . . . Oh, look! My cat’s being cute!

    A lot of the other ones (Day, week, month stalls) are also way too familiar. I’m looking forward to getting the cures!

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