Breathe. Write. Breathe. - 18 Energizing practices to spark your writing and free your voice by Lisa Tener

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Breathe. Write. Breathe.

18 Energizing Practices to Spark Your Writing & Free Your Voice

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Create Your Own Low Budget Writer’s Retreat

This is where I teach my Bring Your Book to Life classes in Narragansett. Peaco and I also created a home-grown writing retreat here when working on The Ultimate Guide to Transforming Anger

The last two posts have been in anticipation of my personal writing retreat next week. Carol posted a comment saying she’d never been on one and can’t wait for her own turn.

This post is for Carol and anyone else who thinks they have to wait for their turn. I will attempt to address every concern that may prevent you from getting your writing retreat…NOW. If I don’t address what’s stopping you, make a comment and tell me what it is. I’ll do my best to find a creative solution for you, so that you don’t have to wait for your personal writing retreat. By the end of this post you should have your own writing retreat planned.

What’s stopping you?

* Money: If money is holding you back, don’t worry. There are tons of solutions for a free or cheap retreat house:

*  Hold your retreat at a friend’s house: Is your friend going on vacation? Or do they have a private guest room where you can retreat from the world?

*  Turn your home into a sanctuary: Unplug the phones. Disable your e-mail. Clean your office, sun room, guest room, or wherever you plan to retreat, the day before, so it’s conducive to flow. Light a few candles for ambiance. Hang a few affirmations up about writing flow.

* Network: Ask friends and family if they know of nearby vacation cottage that might be available for a day or two at free or low cost for your retreat. When you have a whole lot of people working on the “problem” you’re much likelier to find a solution.

*  Time: No one really has time to write their book, but those who succeed find the time anyway. The key is to schedule the time in your calendar and make it sacrosanct. You can:

* Take a weekend away: If you have children, ask a  relative or babysitter to help out.

* Take a vacation day: What a great way to spend a vacation day or floating holiday. Your retreat doesn’t have to be long. Even one day once in a while can have an impact.

* Try a mini-retreat: Even a few hours at a time can serve as retreat with the right frame of mind.

* The Right Place: Oh, look. We addressed that one already above. You can turn any space into a retreat sanctuary with a little forethought–post “do not disturb signs” if others will be in the house; use candles and aromatherapy for ambiance and inspiration; go for a walk in nature before writing.

* Afraid of Writer’s Block: Creativity usually comes from a combination of gestation, or quiet time, and creation, or time in the flow. Make sure you create some quiet time with yoga, a walk in the woods or on the beach, tai chi, meditation, dancing or anything else that feeds your right brain. Then you’ll come to the writing refreshed and your mind will have been able to work subconsciously before you even begin the writing. If you still feel stuck, you can find some great tools for writer’s block, including my audio Writing in the Zone.

I hope I’ve helped you see how you can have your own writer’s retreat or mini retreat with just a bit of planning ahead. Your retreat is really a state of mind that will allow you to write with inspiration and ease. Have fun. Schedule it now and start planning. And if I haven’t addressed your concern, post a comment and I’ll try my best to find you a creative solution.

Lisa Tener

Lisa Tener is an award-winning book writing coach who assists writers in all aspects of the writing process—from writing a book proposal and getting published to finding one’s creative voice. Her clients have appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, CBS Early Show, The Montel Williams Show, CNN, Fox News, New Morning and much more. They blog on sites like The Huffington Post, Psychology Today and WebMD.

Reader Interactions


  1. Carol Denbow says

    Thanks Lisa, you’re so right! I spend so much time marketing my books that I no longer take that time out to do what I love…write!
    I have mega ideas for my next book and I dwell on them constantly, but never seem to set aside the time to pick up the pen (or laptop nowadays).
    There’s a great hotel on the beach just for writers and just a couple hours from me that my friend told me about; Sylvia Beach Hotel. I’m reserving a date in November. Thank you for the inspiration!

  2. Karen Hodges says

    Hi Lisa:

    Yeah for you taking a writer’s retreat. I was given this “assignment” at my coaching/mastermind group and I spent 3 glorious days in The Berkshires at Kripalu. I heartily agree that the retreat does not have to be high-cost or luxury driven (although it certainly could be)……but they key element to success is
    “unplugging”. I find that I seem to unplug with more ease when I’m not at home — seeing pesky things that can grab my attention like laundry that needs to be done, food that needs to be brought in………yep, you’ve got the picture.

    Can’t wait to hear what happens (I’m going to subscribe to your blog too).


  3. Jeannette Samanen says

    Hi Lisa,

    I love what you said about how a retreat doesn’t have to be a big deal.

    The idea of just taking a day or a half-day or even a couple of hours makes the whole thing seem much more doable.


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