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Book Writing: Insights on Voice, Humor and Flow

On the path to writing your book? Here's the view out the window from book writing class
On the path to writing your book? Here’s the view out the window from book writing class

Truth is, half the reason I started this post is to share the beautiful photo Carrie Beers took from book writing class last week. Can you imagine a more inspiring setting for book writing?

The other, more important half, is to share some of the insights that come up in class–and the great ideas that people share.

During a discussion on finding your voice as a writer and striking the right tone, Rudy Wilson Galdonik shared her secret for writing with humor. She goes to bed reading a book by a humorous writer whose tone somewhat matches what she’s going for.  In the morning, Rudy gets up at [gulp] four or five in the morning and just writes.

Rudy Wilson Galdonik shares her secrets as a humorist
Rudy Wilson Galdonik shares her secrets as a humorist

“It’s always funnier when I write immediately upon waking, after having read something funny the night before.”

You might worry about taking on someone else’s tone, but–in my own experience–it more tends to spice up your writing–it will still sound like you, only funnier (or sassier, more playful, wiser…whatever tone it is you’re going for). Try it and let me know how it works for you…

Several people in class decided to try this trick and Marjorie Foer reported that she immediately went to the library to get some before bed books to inspire her tone. The librarian  recommended Studs Turkel, but, “His books are still sitting on the floor waiting to be opened.”

Marjorie Foer Turned to Her Intuition for Guidance on What to Read to Inspire her Writing for the Next Day
Marjorie Foer Turned to Her Intuition for Guidance on What to Read to Inspire her Writing for the Next Day

Instead, Marjorie, whose book is about speaking naturally and ending stuttering by using intuitive techniques, found herself returning home to trust her intuition. Bye bye Studs.

“I felt drawn to Judith  Orloff’s Positive Energy. The first chapter is on intuition  which is a huge part of my work. The interesting turn in this little story  is that I decided to listen to my intuition for inspirational
sleeping. I got quiet and centered, asked for clarity regarding how to write my next piece and then wrote in my journal just before closing my eyes to go to sleep.”

“BOOM! My reception  was clear and the next day the information came  through. Today I wrote the piece that came through first, and I have other
ideas to work on after being stuck for weeks.

“Even though I knew  which story I wanted to share, my writing flowed like molasses. I  stuck with it and finished that story but tonight I’m  adding a clear request for the writing to flow, for me to get out of  the way and just let the writing download through me.

“I could see  myself making the request tonight before bed and as I saw this, I got  feedback about my need to walk, do yoga and eat healthier to clear my
channel.  Pretty cool.

“Remember how I lost weight in the early part of  your last course because writing and health were intertwined? Now  I’ve entered that part of my learning spiral again, but with a  different level of consciousness.  Writing in my journal is the key, I can’t lie to  myself there and I feel it’s becoming a sacred place for me to meet  with my Higher Self.”

So, what do you do just before closing your eyes at night? What will you do? Please share your intentions and results with this community of writers by adding your comments below. This is an exciting experiment for us all!

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. Shigune Matsui says

    Quiet a beautiful picture that she took if you ask me. A picture like that inspired me to do an early unfinished novel. I liked your blog. Hey, would you like to come to mine? Mine is at Inkladendiary Of my creative musings and such. Come follow and comment! I’d appreciate it and I am trying to get my voice as an author and artist heard!

  2. Johanna Corcoran says

    Great photo!!! These are great suggestions and I appreciate the reminder of these tips since we did not meet this past week. This class has been such a great way to take my book out of my brain and get it onto paper! It’s amazing what we are capable of creating if we give ourselves the chance!

  3. Stacy Corrigan says

    GREAT Class Sunday Lisa! I love your style and your approach to writing and to life. I am VERY EAGER to start the book writing course. I got a really good re-start on Sunday. I can’t wait to work with you again live and in person in Narragansett!

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