I received a message from Dani yesterday with a question that’s so blah-g worthy, you’ll feel like you’ve asked it yourself. That’s because many of you have, and it has to do with moving on after a relationship ends.

Here’s what Dani said about her situation:

Hi Lisi! You always give the most ah-mayzing advice…and I could really use some. So, I’m a competitive high school bowler, and so is my ex. I have to be with him about 3, sometimes 4 days a week and its been really tough on me and my bowling game. The break-up is still fresh and came out of no where and its just really hit me now, I think I was in denial for a little while. It’s giving me major anxiety to the point where I don’t even want to leave the house. Any advice of forgetting him and focusing on myself and my girls?

Thank you!

1) Laugh your balls off: Dani, in the world of bowlers you are now considered a free-baller. I know I should probably SPARE your feelings and lay off the jokes but sometimes making fun of those moments in life when we STRIKE out can help. So try to keep a sense of humor when you can and see how many other bowling terms you and your friends can come up with to describe your feelings surrounding this break-up. It might feel like a corny exercise but at least you’ll be laughing. Let me know what they are.

2) Channel surf: Make like Sheridan Spencer from Pretenders and channel a focused bowler who also happens to be seriously over this breakup. That’s right, fake it. Get into character before the game and act. I used to do that in high school in front of my crush after he dumped me. I would cry ever night but at school I acted like I had never been happier. It freaked him out and I got some joy from that. Your game will improve and so will your mood–at least until you get home.

3) Journal: Write about your sadness. This is the place for drama so let it rip. You can also write about the qualities you want in your next crush and ask yourself honestly how many of those qualities this guy had. Or write letters to the future love of your life. Talk to your next boyfriend like he really exists. Manifest him.

4) Put gum on the bottom of his bowling shoes: Yep, that’s what I said.

5) Focus: Part of being an athlete is tuning out the world and outside distractions. I’m not an athlete but I know one and I happen to have a lot of distractions. I downloaded The Art of Mental Training by D.C. Gonzalez and I listen to it on my phone when I need to get in the zone. There are a ton of helpful tips about staying focused and playing your best game. I believe his philosophies could apply to the dating game as well.

Now go bust some balls!!


Boy Bound


I’ve received a number of comments and messages from readers having trouble in the crush department. So today I’m addressing Lily in hopes it will shed some light on a few of the situations I’ve read in your questions.

Here’s what Lily said:

Hi Lisi!! ur advice helped me a lot!! from ur guy advice to having a better self esteem! love you! i have a problem tho… i like this guy who i guess i talk to sometimes. but he tells me he doesn’t like anyone, so im afraid that i cant ‘catch his attention’! we’ve ‘bantered’ and people constantly say we’d b a good couple but i dont know how to get him to like me! I’m too shy to step up and ask him too.

Lily, first, my heart goes out to you. It’s not easy waiting around on a crush to make his move. I will cut to the chase–he may not make it. At least not right now. I’ve alluded before to the simplicity of the male brain and how it’s almost like a mini vacation writing from the POV of Duffy and Jagger in my Pretenders series. That might be a little harsh, but boys are certainly more straightforward in their thinking than we are. While us girls are layered in complex thoughts and emotions happening simultaneously, guys home in on a singular goal, whether that’s making the basketball team, doing well in school, figuring out how to solve a problem–you get the idea. I’m not saying one way is better than the other; the approaches are just different. You might be thinking that when your crush said he doesn’t like anyone he was fibbing a bit and it’s only be a matter of time before he confesses who he has feelings for (hopefully you!). But there’s a very good chance when he said he doesn’t have eyes for anyone in particular right now, he meant it. Don’t waste too much time trying to analyze everything else around the situation. If a guy likes you, he will be sure to let you know it. Again, his focus will be entirely on you as you are now the target prize.

For now, his attention might be on his grades or his friends and that’s perfectly fine. My advice is to keep bantering in a lighthearted way when you do see each other. Be his friend. Develop a connection slowly, but without expectation for an end result. I know that’s difficult, but give it a try. If something transpires in the future–great. If not, journal about it. Get all of your complex, simultaneous thoughts and feelings down on the page so you have a safe place to vent. In the meantime, don’t tie yourself down to the belief that your current crush is the only boy available to you. Keep living your life and having fun with your friends, but keep your eyes open. If your gaze is fixated on the one boy who isn’t coming your way, you might miss the cute, exciting guy who’s been interested in you all along. You’re bound to find him.

Hope that helps.



Down with Wifi

internet distractions


I’m back on the Q&A kick and was moving down the line of your questions when I  noticed this one from Mandy.

Mandy says:

lisi, u always give the best advice. i need time management help! i always have a project a teacher gives halfway through the year and i do it completely last minute. its so hard! and i dont know how to eliminate distractions because research on the internet gets me to go to youtube or something and then im wasting one hour of my homework time!! any advice??

Mandy, you know just how to ask me for advice. I couldn’t pass up your question, mainly because I feel your pain with this one. The struggle is all too real. It’s gotten even harder to stay on target and keep procrastination at bay when a lot of what you’re doing in school (and as a writer) has you researching online. What I’m going to propose to you might sound preposterous at first, but bear with me. Let these marinate for a while and see if they’re things you can try out.

1) TURN OFF YOUR WIFI - That’s right. I said it. Go up to the wifi symbol in the upper righthand corner of your computer and click ‘off.’ This won’t be easy. Try it for twenty minutes at a time and see if you can make it without going into Internet withdrawals.
1a) If you truly can’t turn the wifi off because you need to do legitimate research AKA you’re so addicted the thought of breaking your wifi connection causes you to break out in hives, then get a program blocking app like SelfControl. This app is free for Macs and will allow you to block out any distracting websites (READ: YOUTUBE, FACEBOOK, TUMBLR) for set periods of time so you can get straight down to business without the constant itch to check your social media notifications. Have a PC instead of a Mac? There’s an option for that too. Go Cold Turkey.
1b) Turn your phone on silent and put it in a place you won’t constantly be checking it. Again, use the timer method by not letting yourself check texts and Instagram likes for 20 or 30 minutes until you can go a few hours without thinking of it.
1c) If neither of the above work, then take the old school route and do your research via books checked out from the library. Doing this has provided some invaluable research material for the Dirty Book Club that I’m currently writing.

2) GET CLEAR ABOUT YOUR DAILY GOALS - Whenever you sit down to work on a paper or a project, jot down specific goals you need to hit to complete it. Prioritize accordingly. The simpler the goals the better. It’s much easier to tackle smaller tasks like writing your thesis statement than to go head first into finishing a 15 page final paper.


3) DE-CLUTTER, REFLECT, REFOCUS - Take some time at the end of the night to clear all the clutter off your work space from that day so you can start fresh in the morning. Then think back on what you accomplished, what still needs some work and what you can do to hit your mark. By now, you’ll be on the right track.


I hope these tips help!




Clique Picks


Last week I asked you to tweet me some of the lessons you learned reading the Clique series. I asked you to make me proud and you didn’t disappoint. In no particular order, here are my top five favorite #CliqueLessons.

1) Hayley

It was my biggest insecurity in the past, but the Clique has taught me to never worry about my body image.

2) Twitter Claire

The Clique taught me that people like Claire Lyons have more strength than most people in the world.

3) Kimberly

I learned that sometimes the best friends come in unstylish packaging.

4) Kaitlyn

I learned that being in the “in crowd” isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

5) Kathy’s is a three-parter but her lessons were so good I included them all. She learned…

If people don’t like you for who you are, they’re not right for you. Don’t ever change to suit them.

Wit and wisdom can take you a long way.

Never lose sight of the people who really matter to you.


Want to know what I learned from writing the Clique? Here are my personal top five #CliqueLessons:

1) People, regardless of age, connect with the idea of wanting to fit in.
2) Young adult readers are far more intelligent than most old adult readers assume.
3) True success comes more from knowing I’m connecting with an audience than the number of books I sell.
4) The fact that I can make myself laugh hysterically while writing is the coolest thing ever. Also the weirdest.
5) Stop a series when you feel like your characters have learned their lessons. If you keep going after that, you risk being known as the series that used to be good before it jumped the shark.

Now who’s learned from Pretenders?



Calling All Cliques

Claire is not excused

Massie Block doesn't speak loser

It comes with being a writer, or human, I guess. Some people get me, some don’t. Thank Gawd for those, like Alex, who do.

(Foul language has been censored for your reading pleasure)

Caroline says:

Lisi Harrison,
I would love to know what the f$*& inspired you to write these books for young girls. I read every single one in middle school and looking back I realize they were garbage for my mind. They put out the idea that materialism and expensive things make you cool and popular. They glorify bitchy behavior and in no way promoted love towards anyone. I remember thinking I would be respected and feared if only I saved up all my money to buy a Coach purse. It wasn’t until later that I realized that people respect you when you are confident, empowered, and show genuine love for all other people. I can’t imagine what it must be like for the people that never grow out of the petty ideas spread from your books. I am so glad I have now discovered feminism and all the girl love that exists out there. I only wish those ideas would spread to the younger girls, instead of the catty bulls#*& ideas pf competitiveness and hate reinforced by books like yours and other media. I just want to know what you think you are doing for girls who read your Clique books.

Here’s what Alex said in response:

Alex says:

While you make some very valid points here, I think it is equally important that we observe the importance of parental guidance. A book series should never be where you learn how to be a young a woman. These books are meant for entertainment purposes, not learning valuable life lessons.
And while bitchy as she may be Massie did have some great qualities that maybe you should have taken notice of, rather than her money and clothes. Massie was headstrong, and determined, and if her mother and father had found a productive way to focus that energy she’d have been better off.
The Clique is a clever, witty, and extremely addictive book series, yes. The main character is very ill willed and immature, yes. It focuses on material things a lot, yes. But it is a BOOK, not a guide. It is well written and funny as hell. If what you needed growing up was a role model, you’d been better off reading the Hunger Games or Uglies. Do not harp on Lisi for writing this book, it was not meant to teach girls how to be justified in their self worth. But rather to paint a picture of an extreme situation.
Again, I get where you’re coming from. I ABSOLUETLY understand what you mean here. But, let’s put blame where it due.


I ah-dore Alex’s reply. She kept it classy, articulated her point of view, and did it in a respectful way. This is a moment when I’m so proud of the Clique fans who read my books and stand by their central messages.

My point in writing the Clique was not to glorify hate and competitiveness and superficiality among girls, as Caroline said. Rather to satirize it and show what real strength is though characters like Claire and Layne.

And I feel compelled to mention that not a single one of my 31 books uses the f-word, bs, or bitchy so I can’t take all the credit for Caroline’s outpouring of “girl love.’ Instead of me spelling it out, I’d love to hear what all the Clique fans reading this right now have to say.


Tweet what you learned from the series to @LisiHarrison #CliqueLessons. I’m looking forward to reading your tweets!





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