Dear EhMaFraud #2

What does every fraud want? That’s right, to be taken seriously. And you ladies have taken my desire to dish out advice very seriously. I thank you from the bottom of my artificial heart. This week’s question comes from Sarah. I chose it because I can relate to it in a MASSIVE way.

Dear EhMahFraud,
I’m a freshman in high school, and have been working really hard all year to do well in school. It’s been working, I’m a strait A student, but I’m finding I have no time for anything else. When I do get the chance to go out and DO stuff, I just worry about not getting my homework done and stay home instead. I feel like I’m missing out on everything. My friends have gotten distant, and its almost like I forget how to interact with people. (I know, I sound like such a nerd living in my basement.) I’m embarrassed to admit it, but I don’t know how to balance a social life with school! Help!

Dear Sarah,

I am nawt kidding when I say I have the EXACT same problem as you. So much so that I had to hire a professional named Candace to help me deal. I, like you, have put a lot of pressure on myself to hit my deadlines and write bestselling novels. I equate that with your drive to get straight A’s. Congratulations on that by the way. What an incredible accomplishment!!

In order for me to achieve my goals I have to say no to a lot of people most of the time. I have had to smile through recaps of great beach days that I couldn’t be a part of. If I do go out I am usually the first one to leave so I can be fresh for work the next day.  I have seen friends move on. I go through phases when I get really bummed out because I’m missing out on everything. And I know that’s how you feel too. Everyone who pushes themselves to excel shares our feelings. It’s lonely when you have lofty goals. So what’s a hard-core girl to do? Here are a few things Candace taught me. They changed my life.

1. First, know that you work this hard because you are passionate about (writing, straight A’s, sports, dance…)  You are lucky to have this passion and should continue to honor it. You love what you do and are successful because you have devoted so much time to it. Would you feel fulfilled if you gave it all up to hang out with friends? Would you? I wouldn’t.

2. When it feels like you’re saying “no” too often, write a letter. Don’t email, send it in the mail. It’s more meaningful and sincere. Tell your friend how much they mean to you and how grateful you are to have them in your life. Explain that you are on a mission to (insert goal here) and that knowing they support you means everything. I’ve been doing that lately. My friends think I’m crazy. They tell me they knew all this and that I didn’t have to write it. But deep down inside I know it made us both feel better.

3. Designate one day per week as a no-work day. No matter what you can’t do homework. For me that’s Wednesdays. This is my day to blog, pay bills, have lunch with a friend, catch up on emails, get a hair cut…whatever. Giving yourself permission to take a day off will give you a sense of balance. It’s a day for friends, family, and you. Make plans with people you miss. It will help you feel connected and a part of things. If you can designate two days and still reach your goals, go for it. Make it the same day each week. This helps you stick to it.

4. Those who don’t get invited, host. And if they don’t they should. Host a monthly sleepover. Start a book club. Organize a clothes swap. A movie night. Whatever. The point is to host an affair that allows you to be socially efficient. Instead of making five sets of plans host everyone at once.

5. Remind yourself that your goal is an incredible one. Sacrifices are part of success. And you’re doing this because you can’t imagine doing anything else. It’s your ego that’s making you feel like you’re missing out. Your heart is happy. And that ticker is what keeps you alive so keep giving it what it wants. Except on your day off, of course.

Thanks for all of your questions. Keep ’em coming.

I’m listening.










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  • Mayde says:

    This was just what I needed to hear/read. Thank you!<3 xoxo

  • clueless. says:

    Dear EhMaFraud,
    Since I’d like to keep this anonymous, I chose the best adjective that could describe my current situation- CLUELESS. My problem isn’t as nearly as important as some others on this board (And FYI- I totally understand about the stress of school- I’m in three AP’s and 1 Honor’s. But in all honesty, being in clubs and taking breaks feels like it helps with the time management and stress. All of you need to take a deep breath and relax: you’ll do great(: ) but I’m going to ask probably the most asked question in the universe- how do I iniate a conversation with a boy?
    I mean, this guy is near perfection. He’s atheltic, dresses so nicely, and cares about his family and school. Before I start drooling over his characteristics, lemme cut to the chase- I have no idea how to have a full-fledged conversation. Sure, we’ve had short banters to one another and I swear we lock eyes at least five times a day. I can’t decide whether or not I’m making up all of this in my head or there really is something there. How do I know if he’s even interested, or better yet, how do I go about talking to him more?

    With love,

    P.S- You’re an amazing author. Like, amazingly amazing. I’m way too excited for your two new series!

    • Maggie says:

      I have some issues starting conversations with my crush too, but I’ll try the best I can. In fact, I’ll say some ways I score some covos that you could bend to your use.
      Ok, my locker is next to his. Sometimes I complain in a humorous way as I set my stuff down next to his like “I need to start bringing my fluffy robe to social studies! It’s so cold in there!” or trash the math teacher everyone hates. (He never teaches us anything! One time he was talking about a stripper party in class!) “Wow, that was weird in Mr. Jones’s.” or random updates on my weirdness “I’m grounded so I had to hide in a box to watch the new Adventure Time last night. SO WORTH IT!!!!”
      Basically, just say weird things that seem random and it will most likely start an actual coversation.

    • Kathy says:

      My brother and a friend of his just had the longest Facebook chat ever, it’s actually still going on. She’s a girl, BTW. She wrote “So imagine there’s an apocalypse, like a zombie outbreak, and you’d have to form a survival team with 10 people from school, our year, who would they be?” You count as one of the 10 people. Pick 9 people to survive with you, say why. Don’t just pick friends, think logically. People who are strong, mentally & physically, and can handle a crisis. Then you can go on to where you’d stay, what you’d bring… They’ve literally been having this convo for over 2 hours, and they aren’t done yet. Then pick a group leader and stuff. It really works, and I’ve decided to do this if there’s ever a long awkward silence with friends or anything.
      Trust me, it’ll work. And if you run out of time and can’t finish planning your apocalypse, tell him “Sorry, I have class now, but we HAVE to keep talking about it later!!” And that gives you a great excuse to go talk to him again!!!

      I know this was long, but I really hope it helped!!!

      • Maggie says:

        THAT IS GENIUS!!!!!!!! Lol, I didn’t even ask the question but I’m gonna try that!

  • lillie says:

    Dear, EhMaFraud
    Lisi, i have a problem. I am a Fifth grade girl and i have a twin sister. I LOVED the clique books and they are written so well! I am so exited for ‘The Pretenders’ so come out but i’m not so sure about the dirty book club, because i’m in fifth grade.
    Anyways, i first want to put down that i don’t really have a social life. Everybody but my best freind and my sister are mean to me. My sister once said that i am ‘ruining her rep.’
    it makes me want to cry when people call me fat or act like I’m stupid. The three popular girls are just so perfect! they have nice cars, nice houses, nice juicy couture sweat-suits. They all make me feel like nothing when they turn up their noses if I’m walking by them in the hall.
    i don’t know what to do! I’m so, so sike of being treated like nothing by my peers!
    please, please help me!


    • Maggie says:

      It seems as if you have it fixed in your mind that it is a given people will treat you that way. Instead of thinking of having no life as a bad thing, embrace it! That’s what I do! I don’t have a social life and all of my friends are self proclaimed nerds but we all embrace it! We don’t care if popular peeps can’t handle our weirdness, we look down on them for that. They seem to be so fake, and keeping their exteriors like everyone else popular when I embrace it and don’t care if no one else likes Adventure Time, that just makes me wear AT hats, shirts, jeans, shoes, gloves, and necklaces to school all like “Deal with it biatch!” lol so as I was saying, make yourself not care what anyone thinks about you and embrace yourself.

    • Sylvia says:

      Hello! I totally agree with Maggie. :):)
      I am in the seventh grade and I know exactly how you feel. I have never had a real friend even now, and I feel scared to go to school everyday. I’ve never seen you before, but I know already that you are a beautiful person. You have courage to write down your feelings and you have common sense! What more can we ask for?
      There is this new girl in my class and she is friends with my closest friend. She’s pretty, smart and athletic. I don’t think she likes me very much. Admittedly, I am a nerd and I read books 24/7. Literally. Two popular girls in my class and one cold girl whom I’m trying to befriend. The two don’t make a good combo. They turn their noses up at me because I read books, do my science homework, and I’m my science teachers pet. But who cares? Next year, I’ll be going to high school, with a population of 1500 minimum. I have already made a friend that I will see next year, and I’m still seeing her in track meets. And I’ll probably never see the girls in my classes. Who cares if I read books or do my homework? I’m ME. and as many times as I wish I were dead, I like looking at my mirror and thinking, “so this is who I am.”
      The only thing you need to do is remind yourself that you will be forever beautiful like you already are, and that those girls have lost their chance at befriending a wonderful person. You are you, and you are beautiful. And nothing can change that. Certainly not those girls.
      Sorry for the long post, and I hope this helped!

  • Kathy says:

    Gawd, comments are slow this week!!!
    Great advice Lisi!!

  • Sarah says:

    Thanks so much, Lisi! The advice really helped, and I’m going to start putting it into use straight away. Just seeing that you, one of the idols, could relate to my difficulties, made me feel better already!

  • Rebecca says:

    OMGoodness, Lisi; (Mrs. Harrison?) I feel like an EhMaFraud! I want to be a writer someday, but my friends, some family members, and myself tell me I should stick to being a lawyer. But am I not good enough? What should I do? I’m confuzzled!

    Sincerely; Becka S. Sent from my iDevice(;

    • Maggie says:

      I think that if you truly want to be a writer, follow your dreams. You shouldn’t drop being a lawyer right away, though. You should try writing more and if you really do think that’s what you want to do, attempt a full published book. (I wouldn’t advise dropping lawyering (not a word? it is now) until you finish and publih one. Just so you’re not stuck without a job.

  • Good advice about taking a day off! I always feel when I’m out doing something that I *should* be home writing. It’s hard!

  • Julia says:

    Dear Ehmafraud,
    There is this guy (that’s how everything seems to start out these days.
    anyway, I like him. Shocker! We always are ‘hurting’ each other, and lately he’s been running up to me in hallways. It makes me feel so good!
    I don’t know if he likes me, back, but it seems like he does. He bumped into me today and called it a ‘love tap.’
    My question is, do you guys thinks he likes me back? And how can I tell him that I like him?
    P.S. I usually answer a lot of people’s questions, but I can’t rely on myslef on this one. Open to everyone!!

    • Kathy says:

      Hi Julia!!

      Remember when I was having boy troubles, back before you proposed to boy fast? I said I was going to ask my crush’s best friend if he could find out whether he liked me or not. I’m close to his friend so it wasn’t that big a deal for me to tell him I liked his best friend. I told him over text, so it wasn’t awkward. I think if your crush has a best friend (which for his sake I hope he does) you should text/e-mail/IM him and ask if he can find out for you. If you two are close, then it shouldn’t be that big a deal!!

      I hope this helped, cus you’ve helped me so much before!!

      • Julia says:

        Hey, Kathy!
        Yeah, I do remember. That’s a good idea, I think I’ll try it. I just don’t know if I trust his best friend enough to tell him. In the summer I really can, because his best friend is one of my best friends and even though he’s a joker, he surprisingly good at listening. But, as we can all tell in The North-East, it’s not summer. 🙁
        Anyway, thanks for the advice. Maybe I’ll try it! 😀
        P.S. Didn’t you have a blog?

      • Kathy says:

        Ya, I just forgot to add the link in my name 😛
        I added it again this time though!!

  • thanks for the tips. there helpful.

  • Jenna says:

    Dear Ehmahfraud,
    I’m stuck in the same situation only a little bit different. I too, am a freshman in high school, I write for the school newspaper, (I’m a sports editor) I work so hard in school, I’m always trying my best for outstanding grades, I’ve never missed one homework, but my grades are yet not where they should be. I get average A’s, B’s and C’s, but I work for just A’s. My parents are very strict so they don’t allow more than one C. I don’t understand Lisi, what am I doing wrong? I try to get exercise once in a while instead for being stuck in a book, but that’s rarely. The only extra activity I do after school is school newspaper and volleyball. I have no friends anymore because everyone thinks I’m socially deprived, so all I can do is school work or writing. I’m getting pretty lonesome and I don’t think I can handle it anymore. Your advice did help me, except for number three, if I miss even miss single piece of homework, I’ll never see tomorrow. What do I do, stick with being a socially deprived nerd, or act like the rest of the crowd as in never doing work, going out partying and not caring what your parents say.
    Thank you,

  • Laila N says:

    I could have used this last year. Now I have wayyy too much time, to the point I’m asking for more homework, and I still have space to Do Things. And so, I stress over what I should do in this space.

    Your advice is priceless, Lisi ♥ Even if I don’t need it at the moment, it makes me happy the answers (:

  • DisneyGirl says:

    Dear ehmahfraud,
    Please help me! Iv hated this guy since elementary and now all of a sudden I feel like I’m head over heals. I feel like dropping my boyfriend like last seasons guess jeans. Harsh, yes, honesty, more so. I like them both but I really feel like its wrong to still go out with him. if I’m thinking about another guy like that. I’m 15. Even if I don’t go out with the guy I used to hate. Which brings me to the 2 and last question, why did that happen? I hated him with my heart and soul and all of a sudden boom I like am crazy for him. So to tell u my 2 questions. One) why do I like him now? Two) should I dump him? Thanks

    • Julia says:

      1) Horomones? Just kidding. Probably because something realized. Have you really just ‘hated’ him so you could rant about him to your friends or talk to him? Think really deep down.
      2) I think it’s more cruel to keep him going tahn break-up with him. But if you do like him still, make a list of pro and cons for each boy.

  • kat10235 says:

    For me, When i’m not doing homework, i’m writing and watching Law and Order SVU on DVD or the USA network or a combination of the two. I’m not really the type who likes to go out and socialize. I’m more quiet, shy and to myself. I have friends but not many, more quality over quantity. I like to go out some times don’t get me wrong, I just got a driver’s license and a car. My best friend and I love to go to Taco Bell. It’s just that my ideal Friday night involves my laptop open to a word doc and me typing away! There’s nothing wrong with that and I am proud of who i am 🙂

    • Jenna says:

      You’re a hero! I love hearing that, it’s great! I have so much respect for people like you who are proud of who they are and does not care what people think. Thank you for this, I mean it. My day has been made. (:

      • kat10235 says:

        You should be proud of yourself! It took me a while to get there but now that i’m 17, I just don’t care what others think of me anymore. I’m glad I made you’re day because your response made mine <3

  • Maggie says:

    I’m in the opposite situation as Sarah. I made new friends and my grades went down. (I’m grounded for it :P) I really admire you for having straight a’s, Sarah. And as always, Lisi dished out really good advice. ^w^

  • Caitlin says:

    Dear EhMahfraud

    I have only one major problem. Bullys!! Everyone in my class has a new obbsession with your clique books. Girls in my class like to tell each other which character they are most like. I got “assighned” the character claire. I told them that massie and claire ended up being friends and some point so i got reassigned to a nina! Grr nevermind people in my class are gonna read this and i cant take no more bullys! Ahhhhghggnrhakdhksjdjdkdj

    • Maggie says:

      You should take it good naturedly and tell them “Ok, then I guess I can steal your clothes :p” or something like that. No matter who you get assigned, find good in that character and tell it to them. Don’t get hurt by it, it will drive them crazy if you act invincible.

  • You really do give the best advice Lisi. I manage my time well with school and friends (at least, I like to think so) but I have trouble balancing my two groups of friends. Both groups known each other ,so I eventually realized that I could just host instead! 😛 I was a bit slow with realizing that though…

  • Brittney says:

    ugh, this is bugging me… my computer is messing up to where it won’t load the new Chihuahuawatch photo but it will everything else, haha 🙂

  • Brittney says:

    this is awesome advice lisi, i sorta have the same problem so that really helped!Also I think you should make a seperate page on here or something just for EhMaFraud questions/advice, that would be a good way answer anyone’s questions while also being able to do seperate blah-g posts about anything else. and do you think you could give me advice on my first/second comment that i put on the last blah-g post? it doesn’t have to be on a new post or anything, if you want to answer back to it you can just do it in the comments section if you want, i dont mind at all 🙂

  • this means so much to me cuz I struggle with the stress of school work and sports everyday! I started creating this fashion blog to start following my fashion dream and relieve stress, its called Ruby Slippers & combat boots on word press if people would follow it would mean the world

  • lilly says:

    dear, EhMaFraud
    I have this friend (ill just use the name Jill) and she can be fun to hang out with, but she is all drama. And she is really mean to some people too. All she wants is to cause drama and get into fights and she makes me feel like im her servant. if I don’t follow her and do what she says, she will make everybody in my grade hate me except my two best friends. she did it in the beginning of the year, and no one wanted to sit by me of talk to me and people would talk about me and pretend im not there. so its either do what ever she says and feel bad for ‘agreeing’ with her about the people she gossips about and feel bad OR have no one but my two best friends like me at school and have her glare at me and say rude things about me to people behind my back?

    please help lisi!!!

    • Maggie says:

      Maybe if you just talk to her about these issues than she might stop. If she does end up taking another swig of haterade and tries to get everyone to hate you, it might not truly be that bad. Your true friends will stick beside you and everyone else; just forget about them. If they turn on you just from ONE girl, they are just as bad as her.
      Hope this helps ^u^

  • Roxie says:

    could you please answer my question I asked you on Twitter, Lisi? 🙂 and how do I address a question to EhMaFraud?? (feeling dumb for not knowing how to) 🙂

    • Hi Roxie,
      Just write “Dear EhMaFraud” at the top of your comment in reply to this post–easy as that. And could you please ask your question again? I’m not seeing it in my Twitter interactions so maybe it didn’t make its way to me. Thanks!

      • Roxie says:

        Oh, sorry!!! 🙂 and just realized that; (again feeling so dumb :P) Ok so, Dear EhMaFraud, I am doing a project about you in my English class because you are an awesome realistic teen fiction and I chose you!! 🙂 so, I wanted to know the history behind you changing your name from Elyse E. Gottlieb to Lisi Harrison and the main theme you use to write most of your books and the central message and advice you use to impact teens. Also, I would be grateful if you could give a little info about your family like your husband and kids. 🙂 ( but if you wanna keep that personal, I understand) oh, and I <3 your books!!!! 🙂 big fan but hate Massie!! (her personality; not the character ; no offense 🙂 oh and it would really help if you cuould reply today, Wednesday April 24, 2013 because this is due TOMORROW!!! 🙂 thanks in advance

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