My author life and artist’s business would NOT work without MailerLite. Period. That’s how integral it is to my business as an artist.
But what IS MailerLite?
MailerLite is an incredible email marketing tool that all authors, filmmakers, game designers, and artists should be using to manage communication with their readers and subscribers. I use MailerLite, and I LOVE all their services. More so, I love how low their prices are compared to their competitors!
It’s literally one of my FAV marketing tools, and because I just recorded a tutorial for an author friend of mine on how to use it, I decided to share that same tutorial with you guys! Consider it a mini FREE masterclass on how to start using this awesome tool!
If you’re interested in using MailerLite, you can try it for FREE here: TRY MAILERLITE FOR FREE!
And if you’re itching for a simple and straightforward tutorial, you can check out the video below! 😉
A Badass Introduction to MailerLite
SO! 2016 was a whirlwind year for The Bohemian Badass, despite the fact that there was little happening on our website.
I spent a LOT of time behind the scenes working on some fundamental and foundational aspects of the blog and business, and now in 2017?
WE’RE READY TO ROCK!
Before we blast off, I just wanted to offer you guys a super sneak peek at what I’ve been working on for y’all. (And, of course, there’ll be some awesome hints (or not so hinty hints) on what is coming for 2017!)
Check out our creative achievements for The Bohemian Badass this year.
1. Grew The Bohemian Badass site, scope, and skills (slow and steady)!
The first year was a big “learning-on-the-job” year for me.
I not only tweaked and evolved The Bohemian Badass, but I also tweaked and evolved as a creative coach! I realized what I enjoyed doing and what I didn’t, and I also dove head-first into new kinds of “coaching” methods, including giving masterclasses and boot camps! (Which I LOVE, by the way.)
Some of the chief things I accomplished with/through the Bohemian Badass included:
- A stark website rebrand and evolution
- A BRAND rebrand, chiefly with a font upgrade! (you’ll see more of this when I officially transition in 2017!)
- 6 blog posts written and published (yes, sad, I know! But I’ll get better this year!)
- Soft launch of the B-Badass Podcast + 2 podcasts recorded and published
- 4 live masterclasses given on Writing Badass Metaphor
- 1 15-day Periscope Bootcamp launched on “Crushing Writers’ Block”
More blogs, more podcasts, more evolution, and more courses are going to be the push for this year at The Bohemian Badass. I’m focusing on making the posts, blogs, vlogs, and podcasts more consistent every week with the occasional FREE upgrade goodie included for you! Stay tuned!
2. Developed a production protocol for the courses I’m building for The Bohemian Badass!
This was exciting! I tend to be pretty methodical, and while I do dive headfirst into most things, I also tend to do a lot of research, testing, and tweaking until I develop a process for creating a product.
This might seem like a waste of time for most folks, but for me, having a solid method and protocol for building a product allows you to assess your progress and mark that product’s milestones on the way to completion.
So I’m introducing you all to MY protocol for creating courses.
Here it is:
Concept —- Outline —- Course Diversity Plan —- Course in Beta —- Course in Alpha —- PUBLISH!
- (Concept)ualization is that I have an idea for a course that I’d like to create, and I’ve fleshed out and brainstormed that idea. I’ve identified a gap in the market or an unfulfilled need or my community merely tells me what they want, and I develop a course concept to fill those needs.
- Outlines represent the courses that I have enough material for such that I can start creating modules and lessons for them. At this point, each module is just a one-line title of what will be covered in the course and each lesson is a step-by-step roadmap towards fulfilling the title’s goal.
- Course diversity plans are ideas of the different formats I’d like the course to appear in. Will it be just a masterclass, a workbook, a full course, or all three? Can this course be combined with another course to give you guys maximum value? Etcetera.
- Course in Beta: this is where I’m developing the actual material and lesson plans for the course. Rough drafts and idea dumps are common in the beginning of this phase; the worksheets and materials haven’t been prettied up yet, either. The focus is mostly on getting the content of the course on point and on providing the best, clearest, digestible information and materials possible. This is where my courses spend the MOST time in production. The final part of this process is that I invite beta-testers into the course for free so that they can go through it and give feedback!
- Course in Alpha: After the feedback has been received by the beta testers, I polish the content. Then, I bust out the graphic design skillz and start making all the materials pretty! I design a logo for the course, build a brand board, choose brand colors, form a hashtag, create the webpage and hosting space, record the presentations, edit videos, and WAY more. I like my courses sleek and chic in their physique, if you get what I mean.
- PUBLISH! The course is ready for its students! Come one, come all, and upgrade your skillz to the max!
So yeah, looks intense and complicated, but this is what it takes to produce the highest quality work (according to my own standards). Plus, as I push my courses through these phases, the process gets faster and easier. Maybe if you’re considering being an infopreneur and course creator yourself, you might want to adopt a similar protocol! 😉
3. Conceptualized 18 craft courses for The Bohemian Badass School for Creatives
Now that you know more about my production process, I can introduce you to my production pipeline!
One thing I learned? I. LOVE. CREATING. COURSES. Love it! So that’s going to be a major method of delivering you guys the best craft material out there. Courses + masterclasses. I love creating courses SO MUCH that I conceptualized 18, yes, E-I-G-H-T-E-E-N, of them this year. Yowzas, lol.
I’d love to give you a peek as to what those are, but there are WAY too many to list out here. Plus I don’t want to give away ALL my secret sauce! You’ll just have to stay tuned to our blog, podcast, and masterclasses to find out what they are! 😉
Seeing what direction I wanted to take our Badass content was loads of fun. Of course, I have my own ideas, but more importantly, I’ll be asking you guys about YOUR ideas and concerns in the not so distant future.
In order to better serve you, I need to know what you’re interested in learning, right? So stay tuned and, when I start asking, let your voice be heard!
4. Developed 9 in-depth course outlines & diversity plans for The Bohemian Badass School for Creatives
Of the 18 craft n’ course ideas I conceptualized for The Bohemian Badass, I actually moved 9 of them up the production pipeline and created outlines and diversity plans for them!
Here’s a hearty list of the courses that I’ve outlined and diversified:
- Metaphor Maven (full course)
- Writers UnBlocked: The Pre-writing Edition
- Writers UnBlocked: The Chapter Writing Edition
- Breaking Badass
- Novel Kickstarter
- Plot Like a Badass
- Description Deity
- Write Badass Action Scenes
- Writing the Cinematic Novel
5. Moved 3 courses into BETA!
Over this past summer, I hosted a live masterclass on creating amazing metaphors, and I also held a 15-day Periscope boot camp.
I had to produce the materials pretty quickly, but after all was said and done, I ended up with a LOT of course material that I fashioned in BETA-level courses. So NOW, I have three courses on the horizon for this year, included:
And, of course, I fashioned that material into BETA-level courses.
So NOW, I have three courses on the horizon that I can offer you guys in 2017, including:
- Metaphor Maven (masterclass)
- Writers UnBlocked: The Pre-Writing Edition
- Writers UnBlocked: The Chapter Writing Edition
And the best part? Two of them are 100% FREE! Stay tuned! 😉
6. Moved 2 courses into ALPHA
Writers UnBlocked: The Pre-writing Edition and Metaphor Maven (masterclass) are the two courses that I’m currently working on turning into alpha-level courses. And as soon as they are done, you’ll hear about them and be able to join them!
Now, how is that NOT badass?
Yeah, bruh. Courses, courses, everywhere! But this year, it’s also time to get some consistent intel up on on the website. So starting THIS WEDNESDAY, with a brand new podcast, I’ll be seeing you guys on The Bohemian Badass and giving you the best intel on novel writing, screenwriting, filmmaking, and game design EVA! In the meantime? HAPPY NEW YEAR! And…
Let’s face it, both writing science fiction / fantasy and publishing independently is a lot of work. Most people treat these two paths as completely separate careers because there is so much to be done for each, so much to learn. Sometimes, the work load can be overwhelming, and if we aren’t seeing instant results, we can get discouraged. Other times, we get so discouraged, even, that we think what we’re doing just isn’t working.
Well, I’m here to call BS on that, and to tell you that what you’re doing IS working! You just have to be patient and consistent. I’ve been watching successful authors and other artists out here, both independently and traditionally published, and you know what I’ve noticed?
Except in truly unusual circumstances, most authors, bloggers / vloggers, and anyone else who has ever made it big in life do not hit big time until about 4-6 years after they first debuted in their market!
(And sometimes, even longer.)
I kid you not. Unless you’re already a celebrity, do NOT expect overnight success in much of anything. Actually, even celebrities (most of them) had to start small and work hard for a long time to get where they are. Think about the actors and authors we know well: George Clooney, Shia LeBeouf, J.K Rowling, Stephen King… none of these artists walked onto the silver screen or into the literary arena and wowed the world instantly. It took time, effort, grit, and good ole fashioned elbow grease.
“Overnight success” is never overnight; it just seems that way because we don’t hear about most people until they make it big! Also, the movie or publishing industries have a knack for creating these “instant sweetheart” images while leaving most of their clients’ histories in the dark. Don’t believe everything you see! Trust me, most of the big timers nowadays didn’t start off that way and took quite a while to get where they were going:
- Clooney started off in television in 1978, and no one even sneezed his way until he played Dr. Doug Ross in ER almost SIXTEEN YEARS LATER!
- Shia LeBeouf started off in comedy clubs when he was 10-years-old (because his family was broke), and then he hit the Disney channel for a while. Point is, he didn’t have a career breakthrough until ELEVEN YEARS LATER, when he starred in Disturbia. Now his career is taking off, and neither he nor his family will ever be broke again.
- Stephen King, the prophet of horror writing and one of the most successful fiction writers alive today, wrote his first novel, Carrie, in 1973 which HE THREW IN THE TRASH because he had been discouraged about writing altogether. His wife fished it out for him and urged him to finish it, and as we all know, the rest is history. Mind you, he was also an alcoholic at this time, and so he had the double burden of forcing himself to keep going while dealing with his illness and with his mother’s passing.
- J.K. Rowling could barely get Harry Potter published anywhere, and even when she did, it took five years and three whole books later for the world to pick up on her brilliance. I need not go further as 99% of us know and love her work all too well!
But the bottom line is that these artists that we love so much had to work at their craft, keep their noses to the grindstone, keep trying things from different angles, and most importantly, they had to BE PATIENT. You shouldn’t expect to do anything less, either. Expect to work hard, virtually round the clock, for a few years (maybe even a decade), branding yourself, marketing yourself, strengthening yourself and your skills, and producing good, quality work, in order to get that “overnight success”.
Let me share a secret with you: “Big breaks” and “overnight success” are planned, ladies and gentlemen! Very few people ever stumble accidentally into a “big break”, and even if they do, if these stumblers aren’t really about anything, or if they aren’t doing anything worthwhile, they sort of fall into ridicule. (Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton, anyone? Stunningly beautiful women, but not really doing anything valuable or attention-worthy, in my opinion… but I digress!)
So, how do you plan your “big breakthrough” as an author? Well stay tuned, because the very next post is going to list out my personal observations of how very successful people have successfully planned and executed their big breaks, what I’m going to do to model them, and some action tips on how you can do the same! Stay tuned!
Keep it indie,
So, you want to be a writer, or a filmmaker, or a game designer. Or you want to be some other badass creative doing boss ass stuff.
But you’re still not able to find time to get your work done.
And honestly, with all the responsibilities you probably have on your plate— work (and maybe school), bills, kids, errands, family, and just general #adulting— it’s unlikely that you have HUGE blocks of time on your hands for brainstorming, fleshing out ideas, or just straight up creating.
Well, guess what? You’ve just entered a holy battlefield where a divine war has been raging for literally hundreds of years. Yes, it’s a LITERAL war that Steven Pressfield brilliantly coined as The War of Art. (More on this brilliant, boss ass book later.)
The best part, though, is that you aren’t alone in this war.
Welcome to The War of Art
“Don’t hate the player, hate the game.” — said some pimp somewhere
So goes the war of art. I didn’t make the war, and neither did Steven, but we are all certainly players in it.
Like I said, you’re not alone!
Some of us ran onto this battlefield and were taken out pretty early. Others of us fought valiantly, got injured, and are either cauterizing wounds, limping back to camp, or are being helped out by our fellow comrades. Others of us stormed into the skirmish, guns and swords blazing and dominated, like King Leonidas of the Spartan 300.
But most of us?
Most of us have learned to pace ourselves. We’ve learned how conserve our creative ammo, be steady in our aim, set bait in the trenches, and press forward one step at a time. We keep ourselves refreshed and inspired by taking care of our minds, bodies, and spirits. We learn to collaborate and work together to secure hills and reach milestones. We begin to understand what kind of fighters we are, and we adapt our strategies to our fighting styles. We build skills, train, and execute on our knowledge. We keep our eyes on the prize, keep moving forward, and we realize that winning the War of Art is a long game. A veteran game. A lifelong game.
So, what’s our main tactic, you ask? How do creatives survive and dominate the War of Art?
Creative. Guerrilla. Warfare.
But what exactly IS creative guerrilla warfare? Well, keep reading, my soldier of art. And, yeah, welcome to your first day of bootcamp! 😉
Creative Guerrilla Warfare: An Intro
Before we get into the nitty gritty, let’s look at what the traditional definition of guerrilla is:
guerrilla |gəˈrilə| (also guerilla)
a member of a small independent group taking part in irregular fighting, typically against larger regular forces: this small town fell to the guerrillas | [ as modifier ] : guerrilla warfare.
• [ as modifier ] referring to actions or activities performed in an impromptu way, often without authorization: guerrilla theater.
Guerrilla warfare is a form of irregular warfare in which a small group of combatants such as armed civilians or irregulars use military tactics including ambushes, sabotage,raids, petty warfare, hit-and-run tactics, and mobility to fight a larger and less-mobile traditional military.
Jazzy, yeah? So when I talk about CREATIVE guerrilla warfare, I’m talking about the people involved in the War of Art and tactics we all use as indie creatives to win the War of Art. Specifically:
A creative guerrilla is: “a member of a small independent group taking part in irregular creation, typically against larger regular forces, otherwise known as procrastination, time-crunches, self-doubt, fear, and “haters”.
Creative guerrilla warfare is: a form of irregular creation in which a small group of crazy artists such as writers, filmmakers, painters, dancers, and other “inspired” beings use off-the-wall methods—including creation ambushes, procrastination sabotage, inspiration raids, faking-the-funk, write-and-run tactics, mobility-and-mobile-phone-ninja-warrior-stuff, and just plain ole making shit up– to get their art made, no matter what the cost and cut, and to fight the larger society that is unforgiving of our cray-cray way of life.
Creative Guerrilla Warfare: The Three Rules of Engagement
So, you might be saying, “Well, that’s all well and good, Colbs, but I have NO CLUE how to actually fight in this art war thingy!”
General Writer-Creator Boss here. I’ll teach you everything you need to know to be the best indie creative freedom fighter that ever walked. The first step, though, is to get your mind right and to learn the rules of engagement.
Three rules, to be precise.
1. Rule #1: Shit ain’t always gonna flow the way you want it to. In fact, they NEVER will. And if they do? You got lucky.
As a writer / screenwriter / filmmaker / game designer / creative entrepreneur / whatever, you need to understand that no one is going to care more about your career than you do. It’s still your job to get your work done, hit your word count, or finish developing your concept. Otherwise, you can’t call yourself a creator. Because in the end, creators CREATE. Writers write. Filmmakers film. Entrepreneurs entrepreneur— er, you get what I mean.
SO make with the making, and no excuses!!
2. Rule #2: You’ll never “have enough time” to work.
Let me repeat myself.
You will never “HAVE ENOUGH TIME” to work.
Notice that “have enough time” is flanked by quotations? “HAVING ENOUGH TIME” here could mean a variety of different things, like “having enough time” to:
- brew a coffee,
- cook a garden omelette,
- read the newspaper,
- respond to emails,
- play Candy Crush,
- mess around on social media,
- screw your husband / wife / partner,
- make a gourmet dinner,
- clean the entire house,
- work on your abs at the gym,
- attend PTA meetings,
- go shopping,
- and also have 6-8 hours of uninterrupted writing time.
While having a day that’s chock-full of these things would be ideal, it isn’t realistic, especially if you have kids not yet in school (like me) or you have other commitments, like work, life, family, and more.
So get this in your head: you will never “have enough time”, but you will have all the time you need to get down to business and to actually create.
Meaning that you will have time to get words on paper, or write a line of code, or storyboard a scene… while you’re waiting for the bus, while feeding the kid, while on your daily commute, while in the doctor’s office, and while pretty much running any other errand that needs to be run.
These little things you create during your time crunches, will not be perfect. Hell, they might not even be good at all. But they will be DONE. And done is the proverbial EMP on the battlefield of Art. Done is progress. Done is motion forward.
And that’s all that matters.
If you don’t think so, then please watch this video, and take it from a well-known pro:
3. Rule #3: Stasis = death.
Like I said, if you’re a writer (or any other type of creative for that matter, i.e. a filmmaker, painter, dancer, etc), then you’ve automatically been drafted into one of the biggest wars ever known to Earth’s history, whether you want to be there or not. So you must fight this war to survive!!
Yes. I said it.
No lazing about or fluffing around here. If you chose to be an artist, you’re a part of the war, and you need to fight the damn thing. Otherwise, you will stagnate and stop creating. Once you do that? You can no longer call yourself a creator. Perhaps you can deem yourself a “retired” or “veteran” creator, and maybe you’ll even be a legend for the rest of us. But you won’t be able to claim that you’re a “creator in active duty”.
Remember, creators CREATE. And they must do so in spite of obstacles and fatigue.
Surviving the War of Art is difficult, mostly because this is not a war wherein the casualties are human. It’s a war of the mind and soul, where skepticism are the bullets, no-sellers are the bombs, haters are the opposition, and the ever-scary critic or review is the happy land mine just delighted to blow you to bits. (Little fuckers…)
The two main casualties on this battlefield are your soul and passion for creation, which, if lost, mean the death of the Creator.
But you need not kneel to death, dear Creator. You can and will survive this battle. I know you must want to succeed, because you’re reading this post. And now that you know the three rules of engagement, you just need to supplement those rules with a little knowledge, training, and community.
That’s where The Bohemian Badass comes in!
As a fellow Creative Guerrilla, I’ve been in the trenches for three years (+ a year in creative basic training, lol!), and I love to share my growing knowledge and lessons with others. I hope you stick around at The Bohemian Badass, not only to learn, but to also impart your knowledge as well. Trust me, we’ll learn and grow and then win this crazy War of Art… together!
In the meantime, definitely check out Steven Pressfield’s book, The War of Art. (Just click on the cover to get it!)
This book, and the man who wrote it, is amazing, inspirational, and educational. Pressfield truly is brilliant, battle-scarred, and definitely a wildly successful veteran as a creator, writer, and entrepreneur… pretty much the General Badass we all hope to be!
In the meantime, what say you, soldier? Do you agree that being a creative is a sort of day-to-day “warfare”? Do you feel that being and staying creative is a fight? If so, what are *your* rules of engagement, and how do you show up on the battlefield? Share your thoughts below! And, of course, in the meantime…
Keep it indie,