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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Is 2009 the Year for Your Book?

How to Write a book in 2009:

You’ve pictured yourself on Oprah and run through the interview a million times. Now it’s time to actually write the book that’s going to prompt the interview.

1. Make the commitment: Hey, if you don’t commit, it won’t happen. Good intentions are like snowflakes. They eventually melt. Commitments can birth stars–you can count on them to sparkle for a few billion years or so–provided you follow steps 2-5, as well.

2. Enlist accountability: Who are you accountable to? Find a writing buddy (someone else who’s writing a book), a supportive family member, a writing group, a course, a writing coach or a social networking group online to help keep you accountable.

3. Make it fun, so you actually do it: Create a fun ritual around writing–envision your success before beginning the writing, light a candle, pick an angel card, treat yourself to a double latte or some simple luxury after you complete a couple of hours of writing, a few pages or a chapter.

4. Find the time: What will you cut out of your busy life to make it happen? Shorten e-mail time, chat less on the phone, cut out video games…you decide where the time will come from. Then schedule it into your calendar and make it sacred.

5. Write a plan: Put your plan in writing for added power. When will you start? When will you write each week? How much? When do you plan to have a first draft? How will you edit the manuscript or book proposal? How will you publish? Your plan should answer all these questions. Your plan may also include hiring an editor or book coach to help you polish your book or book proposal.

Now it’s your turn. Make the commitment for 2009 and post your commitment as a comment to this post!!!!

Have a question about any step above? Post it as a comment and you  will get an answer straight from the writing coach!

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. Pat Hastings says

    Hi Lisa, what resonated for me was the accountability piece. Until I made a commitment to my friend that I would write every week (and the amount of time I would write) and call her on Sunday night, it didn’t happen. It’s so easy to put off writing when there are so many things pressing for your time. I didn’t listen to the voices “you’re wasting your time, nobody would read it.” I just did it because I made the commitment to do it. It felt good calling my friend each week and reporting in.

    Investing in yourself and making the commitment to write has paid off for me. My book, Simply a Woman of Faith was published in 2007. It has opened up so many doors and opportunites for me, it takes my breath away.

  2. Jeannie says

    Dear Lisa,

    Thanks as always for your help. Making a commitment to writing by following your suggestions has given me the motivation I needed to get things rolling, and now I’ve been asked to ghostwrite a memoir. My question is, how much can I reasonably ask to be paid? Can I expect royalties if the book is made into a movie, as it may well be, since the subject is already in talks with a producer? Would you advise me to engage an entertainment lawyer? Do you have any suggestions for getting an agent?

    Thank you so much for your input and encouragement. I rely on your good, sound advice and have found it very helpful in the past.

    Thank you!

  3. lisatener says

    Dear Jeannie,

    First, congratulations on your ghostwriting assignment. Most ghostwriting begins at around $15,000 if there’s little or no research involved–just interviewing the author. However, prices can run much higher than that, as well.

    It will depend a bit on length of manuscript, how much research, or how many interviews are involved and your own breadth of experience as a writer (have you published books before, for instance).

    As I think about this, there is so much more to address that I will answer more as an individual posting today January 11. Look forward to more answers, and a few answers to questions you didn’t even ask, in a few minutes…

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