What Would You Recommend About Joining the Writers’ Boot Camp Community?

Holly Lisle's Writers' Boot Camps

Holly Lisle's Writers' Boot Camps

Since my last birthday, when I decided I was going back to writing full time, Margaret and I have been working on a way for folks who haven’t taken How to Think Sideways, How to Revise Your Novel, or How to Write A Series to join my private writers’ community.

Professional Plot Outline is coming out first, NOT How To Think Sideways, because I’m still not done writing the Self-Pub lessons, but I’m finally getting ready to take the first little section of the roll-out live.

So anyone who has taken Professional Plot Outline will receive an invitation to join the writing community in the next few days to a week. (As soon as the course becomes available no Kindle, Nook, iBookstore, and shortly before it will be available in print.

Following them, I’ll open the doors for students who’ve taken the Clinics (Character, Plot, Language, Culture, and Scenes) and the motivational courses.

And then I’ll switch HTTS over to Kindle, Nook, iBooks, and print, followed by HTTS and HTWAS. As each course rolls out, people will be able to join the boards for that course.

There are a lot of writers who are eligible to join the writing community who don’t yet know why they’ll benefit from it.

I know what I love about the community. I love watching writers “get” the process and start succeeding.

But what do YOU love?

If you’re current member of ANY of the Writer’s Boot Camp sections (HTTS, HTRYN, or HTWAS), would you please take a moment and use the comments below to tell other writers why you’d recommend joining?

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About the author: Novelist, writing teacher, on a mission to reprint my out-of-print books and self-publish my new ones.

44 comments… add one
  • LisaM Mar 5, 2012 @ 6:20

    Having a group of writers to go through the courses with was a wonderful support. I had someone to share my experiences and challenges with, to share my breakthroughs with. And all this no matter what time of the day or night because we were spread all over the globe!
    Writing is a solitary pastime, but having a support network is a must, if only to remember that there are others who are going through the same things I am. We’re not alone!

  • David Nevin (@DavidNevin88) Mar 3, 2012 @ 18:41

    I was lost and felt that the task of revising and rewriting was an impossibly difficult feat. I felt overwhelmed and under-qualified. I didn’t know where to start or how to tackle the 168 pages I had written. Thanks to #HTRYN I feel capable, encouraged and driven to complete what I believe to be a great story in the making. Thank you Holly Lisle for the tools to see me through the storm and moreover for the faith in every writer willing to work to make the dreams come through. I whole heartedly recommend the course offered by Holly for any writer willing to work for their art.
    David

  • Brandy Mar 1, 2012 @ 18:19

    I love how supportive and helpful the community is. Many of the discussions add extra details to the lessons.

  • Lisa Mar 1, 2012 @ 13:31

    Writing is a solitary endeavor. At times you think you’re crazy, deluded, and completely lacking talent or ability. Sometimes all in the same day. Other times you think you’re brilliant, gifted and amazing. One thing that stays the same through this mental see-sawing is the solitude. The biggest benefit for me of the boot camp community is the community. As little as one post by someone experiencing something similar can change your outlook. There is help, generosity and clear-eyed support when you need it, and the opportunity to give it when you have it to spare.

  • Sylvia Mar 1, 2012 @ 9:03

    I found Holly Lisle years ago. I’ve hung around as often as I can since then. Holly is at the top of the heap and in a class by herself in writing instruction. If I had to choose between keeping Holly’s Clinic printouts or all my other writing books, I’d choose Holly’s Clincs. I usually lurk on the Boards but as many have said, they are a very valuable resource. You won’t find put-downs of even the most basic question. Writers who are drawn to Holly are genuine and very willing to help in any way.

  • Marti Verlander Mar 1, 2012 @ 5:33

    Camaraderie, friendships, support, answers and ideas — all are wonderful aspects of Holly’s Boot Camps. A huge bonus is a chance to interact with people from all over the world, one of the advantages of the online world. Underlying all is the integrity of the people responsible for the Boot Camps. You get what you pay for — and more. The bonus material is every bit as helpful and appreciated! Best of all, some of what we learn doesn’t just change our writing; it changes our lives. Even the non-writing part.

  • Melissa Volny Mar 1, 2012 @ 3:39

    I’m a lurker. I love the sense of connectedness (is that a word??); knowing someone else is out there struggling with the same word blocks, or enjoying the same thrills of creating a new world.
    When I was doing the lessons and a question popped up, I knew I could go to the community forums and there would be a section for my lesson plus someone else usually had my same issue.

  • Reetta Raitanen Mar 1, 2012 @ 2:06

    Holly’s How To Think Sideways course and clinics have been the most important step in improving my writing so far. The forums add huge extra value to the courses because there you can discuss what you have learned with other people who know the same process. The insights other students offer have helped me to understand the lessons better and to tailor them to suit my writing.

    I have also made real friends among the other forumites and found a critique partner to spur my writing.

    Reetta Raitanen (Arette on forums)

  • SJ Collins Feb 29, 2012 @ 15:04

    I’ve been lurking on the forums since I joined HTTS. So regretfully, I have not done much in way of participation to help make it the invaluable place that it has become. Having said that, any time I feel as though the writing is going no where, or I’m just having a bad day, I know that as soon as I go on the forums, I am guaranteed to find at least one person with a similar problem. And then at least five people who have commented with really good solutions to that particular problem. Not only are the resources endless, the community itself has such a warm and giving atmosphere. Even though I don’t post much, I always feel a sense of kinship reading what others have posted. Even if it’s just sharing in their triumphs, woes, and crazy cat stories.

    This is one of the only places on the internet where you can really sense that people respect one another and genuinely want to help one another out. And I don’t know about you, but that does wonders for my faith in humanity.

  • Eva Gorup Feb 29, 2012 @ 11:55

    The community helps in a myriad of ways. You realise you are not alone. People have a number of surprising insights into nearly everything, but definitely a huge collective wisdom about writing and how to get through the courses. And sometimes there’s a moment when you’re bursting with the need to talk about something concerning your novel – that can be anything, from success at a particular point where you’ve struggled for months, to utter despair – and here there are the people who will GET IT. They know exactly what you are talking about! To me, more than anything, this is invaluable.

  • Susan Russell Feb 29, 2012 @ 10:47

    I am a member of the community currently working on HTRYR.

    To me, the biggest benefit of the community is knowing I’m not alone. We writers tend to be solitary types anyway, and the friends I have are supportive of my writing. But they don’t really know what it means when I say “I finished eight pages of re-write today!” Particularly now that I’m in the intensive “cutting your manuscript phase,” I love following along with other people who are going through the same process. And I love sharing with others who will “get it” when I post my own progress (or lack of progress!)

    A secondary benefit is getting questions answered and seeing how other writers personalize the lessons to work for them. HTRYN is perfect for this — very structured, but open-ended at the same time. I’ve taken in many ideas from the community on how I make the process work best for me.

  • Lisa Sisneros Feb 28, 2012 @ 23:26

    The Writer’s Boot Camp community is an invaluable place to get honest feedback, useful information and real support–things all writers of any level absolutely NEED. Even if you just lurk, it’s impossible not to learn something. More than that, there’s a sense of ‘we’re-all-in-this-together’, making the solitary process of writing seem a little less lonesome. Writers NEED other writers, people who really understand the pains and joys of writing, and the Boot Camp community is where you can find them! 😉

  • Gail E. Feb 28, 2012 @ 21:04

    I am an artist as well as a fledgling writer. As such, I tend to become distracted by the pretty colors rather than sitting down and actually writing. All those great ideas I have in the shower would be lost if I didn’t get email reminders in the way of tips and have this community support group.
    It is much easier for me to get feedback on my art than on my writing so this is a place where a writer’s issues may be shared and understood.

  • Elaine Milner Feb 28, 2012 @ 20:14

    I really appreciate Holly’s community forum. I can get genuine encouragement without being told nice lies. All suggestions come with the understanding that there are many ways to write and that I get to make the decisions for my story. Since there are so many writers on this forum, I can get quick responses to questions about my story, the course I’m taking, or general writing without being required to respond to a certain number of posts in payment. Even course graduates freely help and encourage. I’ve not yet read a post where anyone puts another down for any reason. Thankfully Holly doesn’t allow that. We are all working to do our best writing, and we all have room for improvement.

  • Pj Feb 28, 2012 @ 19:35

    Holly’s course(s) <— I've taken several, are the most approachable, non-threatening classes I have ever found. Her lectures are a gift to which I can return for the rest of my life and work through thanks to her forum. She is the Goddess of patience . . . More? She's gifted with an amazing ability to teach with efforts and tools that keep on gifting. Her courses are the best gift I've ever given myself. Note: RUN, don't walk to her site and her courses. Best, best, best, BEST gift I've ever given myself.
    Pj

  • manekochan Feb 28, 2012 @ 17:23

    I didn’t participate in the community as much as would like to have. It seemed very friendly and helpful but I hadn’t finished typing my manuscript yet so I felt kind of like an imposter there. The comments I did receive were supportive and helpful.
    For me, the most impressive thing about the course was the ebook that it came with. There was a ton of insight in it about editing and, this is important, though it realizes that you will come up with your own methods, IT GAVE EXACT INSTRUCTIONS. For someone who has read a lot of writing materials, exact instructions are invaluable. People gloss over the how and the why of things, treating you like you should already know or shouldn’t worry about the little things. Having them explained to you helps you grasp them quicker, helps you get into it more. Why am I not looking for spelling errors right now? Why am I not doing this? Why am I doing this? You don’t feel confident doing things you’re told to/told not to do unless you’re told why you should or shouldn’t be doing them. With answers come clarity, confidence, certainty. And a feeling like you’ve been hit with a two-by-four.

  • KenB Feb 28, 2012 @ 17:14

    The lessons learned from the courses, and from the interactions with fellow writers, have been indispensable. With the help of Holly and those in the community, I have been able to MUCH better translate raw ideas into more than just mere thoughts.

  • Globi Feb 28, 2012 @ 16:33

    Revising a novel can be hard, frustrating and time consuming. It’s a journey, and it’s great to share that journey with people you meet on the forum. People from all over the world are working on the forum perfecting their novels too.
    The sense of support and community is inspiring. All those hours spent alone in a corner doing your work seem worthwhile when you see others with similar or different struggles and discuss how to approach issues you’re working on.
    It’s also great to see others getting published and know that we’re all heading there.
    Thanks Holly for giving so much time to writing “How To” courses for us. I’ve enjoyed both “How To Revise Your Novel” HTRYN and “How to Write a Series.” HTWAS

  • Kirsten Feb 28, 2012 @ 13:46

    I visit the Writers’ Boot Camp every day. I mean that–every single day! So more likely than not, if you look down to see who’s online, you will see the ‘Larkk’ lurking. For a super-shy writer like me, the forum is a little slice of writing heaven, where writers of all levels discuss topics ranging from punctuation foibles to plotting dilemmas. I don’t post much (even though every time I do I am warmly received by this great community) but that doesn’t matter, because everything I need to know about Holly’s courses, and by extension, everything I need to know about writing novels, has been discussed and dissected in the Boot Camp.

    The Boot Camp is my opportunity to read and learn from some of the smartest people I know: Holly’s students.

  • Jennifer Feb 28, 2012 @ 12:30

    I love the writer’s bootcamp community most for the comfort of finding supportive, non-judgmental, like-minded writers who are more than happy to put down what they are doing to step into your problem for a while. So many creative minds toss out solutions that I alone could not have come up with; and I personally find the “Eureka” posts to be a pick-me-up on slow days when I falter in my climb!

  • Bill Feb 28, 2012 @ 11:44

    When I joined the community by taking the How to Think Sideways course, I was a complete neophyte. Just being in the community, watching the sorts of questions that participants ask, learning from Holly’s answers, and working out the various recommendations have given me a real sense of what a writer’s life is actually like. And how satisfying it can be.

    I will always be grateful for that.

  • Storm Weaver Feb 28, 2012 @ 11:16

    Holly’s course and community have been infinitely beneficial to me, but the most critical aspect, for me, has been the reassurance that it is critical to write the story you want to write — and to be thorough, persistent, and diligent in recognizing what that story is, why you want to write it–a surefire cure for “writer’s block” and pointless storytelling (both of which my writing has been afflicted with upon occasion). This is just one of the thousands of reasons I have recommended (and would continue to do so) these courses and this community to a newcomer.

  • michelle Feb 28, 2012 @ 11:05

    The thing I love most about the community is that it’s filled with people who “get it”… they know what it’s like to be a writer in any and every stage of career from professional to hobbyist, prolific and writer’s-blocked. Every one is different and has their different way of doing things, and you can learn from those differences because ultimately everyone has the same end goal- to write good stories. Better still, the community collectively has another goal- to help other people write good stories.

  • Texanne Feb 28, 2012 @ 10:49

    Novel writing is not for sprinters. It’s not even for milers. It’s for determined folks in Conestoga wagons. Holly’s community is the wagon train. At any time, some will be strong and exuberant while others will be so worn out as to be almost broken. Writing is like that. Also, honestly, life is like that. So, today if I am strong, I can make a strength deposit that someone else can draw from. Tomorrow, I may have to draw on someone else’s strength. If we just stay on the trail that Holly has broken for us and watch out for each other, we’ll reach our goals. That’s what I love about this community.

  • Jessic@ Feb 28, 2012 @ 10:29

    The on-line communities offer a great resource of real people who have gone through or are in the process of going through the same lessons as you. You can ask questions and get feedback or just a different perspective. The absolute best part in my opinion is just the fact that the whole place is crawling with WRITERS. When you’re feeling less than inspired, there’s someone there who will root for you to pull through.

    • Scarlett Feb 28, 2012 @ 10:37

      Holly’s courses and the on line community have been invaluable for me as a writer. If there was anything I needed to ask the boot camps always provided the answers. I have been through both HTRYN and HTTS and a lot of the smaller courses. Every single course and respective boot camp has improved my writing and I am thankful to Holly everyday.

  • Prue Feb 28, 2012 @ 9:30

    The HTRYN course requires taking on a whole bunch of new concepts, and I found it a challenge to get my head round some of them. When I got stuck, people on the forum gave help, unstintingly.
    Having answers coming from slightly different perspectives was such a help. If I didn’t understand one person’s comment, there was someone else’s I did understand. Having help on the Forum was invaluable.

    People on this online community are great, and incredibly supportive. So when I get discouraged someone is there to cheer me on and help me to keep an optimistic view of my writing – and I do it for others. It takes a writer to understand what it is like to be a writer. We all need to feel understood at times 🙂

    Honesty, sympathy, advice, fun, friendliness, and community spirit are all to be found on Holly’s online Forum. It’s a great place and they are great people.

  • RLK Feb 28, 2012 @ 9:19

    Holly’s courses have revolutionized the way I create stories. Instead of pursuing a story idea until I hit a brick wall, then either starting over or breaking through the wall, I now start writing a story with a clear idea of what I want to say, plus lots of ideas on how to say it. No more fumbling around to figure out what “the point” of the story is when I’ve got it half-written!

  • Felicia Fredlund Feb 28, 2012 @ 8:44

    What I love is that if you have any problem, you can just ask on the forums and you will get many different answers. The key here is different. Every one is unique and each technique will work a little differently for everyone. Being able to reach so many writers with each question is a blessing when trying to understand what you are supposed to do and find the way it works for you.

    Do join the community, not only will you make friends, but you’ll be able to ask writing question without getting one-size fits all answers. (One-size fits all…very badly. 😉 )

    I’m a HTTS, HTRYN and HTWAS student.

  • Charlotte H Babb Feb 28, 2012 @ 8:08

    Holly gives clear, usable tips. She makes it easy to understand what to do. You feel empowered and encouraged, and that is important to me. She’s helped me overcome the overwhelm I sometimes feel when I am working on a synopsis or an outline.

  • Cameron Feb 28, 2012 @ 7:47

    Don’t let the “artist” inside stop you from following a proven process to success. Holly breaks writing and revising down into manageable pieces and focus areas that you can accomplish and use to develop a repeatable and successful writing process for yourself.

  • Kayelle Allen Feb 28, 2012 @ 7:38

    Being a member here gives me 24 hour access to advice and helpful suggestions from other members. This group has been through the courses that I’m taking, and I’ve found answers sometimes by simply reading through the material already posted by others. Good writers help one another, and you find the best right here on Holly Lisle’s forums.

  • Nathalie Hamidi Feb 28, 2012 @ 6:59

    I am a HTTS and HTRYN student and got a lot of insight with the writing courses. The community is great and I enjoy reading about everyone’s process on how to write, what they got from the courses, how they applied it to their own writing. I learn a lot by example, and that is what Holly provides with every course. I really recommend participating!

  • Rabea Hofmann Feb 28, 2012 @ 6:56

    There are so many things I love about this community that I don’t know where to start. First, it’s so refreshing to be part of a community of writers who are more or less ‘serious’–in this case, they are all willing to take courses in order to further improve their writing. They are supportive–understand the problems we all run into and are willing to help rather than put you down for not following ‘their’ rules of writing.

    Seeing other people’s opinions on the course instructions helps immensely. Not that the instructions are unclear, but especially for a course as overwhelming as HTRYN, it’s helpful to see how others approached the lessons and what results they got.

    Hope is next. Whenever I momentarily lose hope in my writing or the learning process I’m going through, I find other writers here who have gone through the same and come out the other end with shining results. That keeps me going.

    It’s a place to ask writing questions and get responses from writers at all different levels and from all different backgrounds. It being a fairly secluded and, again, serious community, the comments are always helpful, constructive, and given with good intentions, which is something you really don’t find in just any writing community.

    The courses are great as they are, but better yet for having the support of other students!

  • Joseph Carlin Feb 28, 2012 @ 6:26

    Holly has a very direct way of teaching the nuts and bolts of writing. I have purchased and worked through all of her courses. I have also worked through many other book and online courses, but none are as good as Holly’s. If you seek to improve your writing and enjoy the experience, her courses are the best.

  • Rose Feb 28, 2012 @ 6:12

    I truly enjoy the courses and that I can go back to them as a resource. There is always something that will get me back to writing when i hit a block.

  • Danzier Feb 28, 2012 @ 6:09

    There are several things I love about the Boot Camp Community. First, there are the courses. The material is presented logically, with explanations as to why and how it works AND when we’ll need to use it again. When something about the instructions doesn’t click, I can go on the Boot Camp Forums and ask about it, and there are usually either several people with the same question, or there’s a whole discussion already about the issue and how to approach it differently so that it makes more sense. Since we don’t all think the same way, finding others who think like I do in some way is of great value to me.

    I love that there is a place I can go to talk about my writing where I don’t have to a) prove I’m a writer before posting, b) take flak from people who don’t know how to differentiate between *being* a writer and *doing* the writing. The Boot Camp Forums are one of the most encouraging on-line groups I’ve ever seen. I know that I’m talking with other writers, too, and not posers or spambots. And the other writers are writing from all over the world, and have their own views on topics which are different from my worldview, and they are a huge resourse group. I love that I can ask, “What are some ways my character could get to point x, three miles from his house?” and get answers like “Hang-gliding” and “Take the train?” (I made that question up for this post, but I know that if I asked it, I’d get more varied responses!)

    It’s also very good to have a place where I can be really specific about my questions, or in my encouragement of other writers, without breaking Holly’s copyright. Most of us need to be able to talk about our work at some point, and the forums are a great place to do that. It’s hard to be a writer facing a day job, and knowing that there are people out there who’ve been here and done this and who will kick me in the pants if I ask ’em to… it’s priceless.

  • Ruth Ellen Parlour Feb 28, 2012 @ 6:03

    The best thing for me is the resource providers. I’m a resource provider and I’ve become friends with all of my clients which was the beginning of my online writing network. It’s given me the opportunity to use my skills to help people and start working as a self employed editor.

  • PD Singer Feb 28, 2012 @ 5:37

    The novel revision class was exactly what I needed to be able to turn my sprawling manuscript into a coherent and salable novel. It’s a daunting task, but clear instructions from Holly plus support and clarification from the group made it possible.

  • Ann Feb 28, 2012 @ 5:16

    Confidence to keep going. Even though you hope with every fiber of your being that what you’re writing is somehow worthwhile, the community gave me the confidence to (most days) believe in myself, in my writing, and in the process. (It even gave me the confidence to switch from “you” to “me” in the same sentence and feel okay about it!)

  • Joan Coy Feb 28, 2012 @ 5:13

    The content of the courses are packed with useful information and the worksheets are invaluable. I have finally learned how to edit a manuscript. Priceless.

  • Sue Santore Feb 28, 2012 @ 4:35

    The community is a great place to receive support both for understanding and completing the lessons. I’ve found that any writing related questions always get helpful responses. Writing is such a solitary occupation and the companionship found here is wonderful. Thank you, Holly!

  • Cat (from HtTS) Feb 27, 2012 @ 23:48

    The courses are great. They help you to avoid many pitfalls and teaches you to deliver quality manuscripts. The community is absolutely stunning, helpful and supportive. I met many lovely people there. It’s a place to find help if/when you’re stuck, or to vent about things that don’t go right. And there is always room for one more.

  • M-C. Houle Feb 27, 2012 @ 16:58

    The community is a good place to meet like-mind writer who read the same books and took the same classes, but who may have understand and apply the techniques differently. This increases exponentially your chances to find what’s works for YOU since you can have so much more insight.
    MC Houle (Sweela on the forum)

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