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Write a Book? What Have I Gotten Myself Into?

Book writing coach Lisa Tener
Your Book Writing Coach

During a consultation with a newly enrolled Bring Your Book to  Life participant, Ariel  shyly admitted that she was a bit afraid I might give her a hard time for not getting started on the course materials before our session. After all, she’d been beating herself up for days. Wouldn’t I do the same?

Ariel committed to my book writing program and then her life seemed to fill with other commitments–a trip to Europe for work, trips to visit family members and, of course, all those little interruptions that make it impossible to get started–meal preparation, errands, a client project…you can fill in the blanks.

I assured Ariel that her experience was common. And we did some brainstorming. I encouraged Ariel to use her plane time to work through the preliminary course materials and enjoy the process of getting clear about her book concept and structure. She began to get excited about the upcoming trip and the way she could fit her book into her travel schedule.

meet your muse visualization for writers
Meet your writing muse to get clarity and overcome writing blocks. Photo by David Donohue.

I also introduced Ariel to my favorite client exercise: Meet Your Muse. I took her through a visualization from meadow to woods to a clearing and a small building where her muse was already waiting for her. For some people their muse is a totem animal–hawk, bear or even mouse. For others, it’s a wise being, an elder, a jester, their wiser self. And for still others the muse may be light, a color or just a sense of connecting with something bigger than their everyday self.

Ariel’s  muse told her the real culprit was her fear blocking her. She could feel those people in her life who’d told her she couldn’t–those judgmental adults from childhood she carried around within her psyche. I had her ask her muse to help her start to let go of that and she could feel the knot in her stomach start to unwind.

writing muse as hawk
Your muse may be a totem animal, wise being or just a felt sense of connecting with something greater than yourself.

Ariel’s muse hugged her and told her, “Yes, you can write this book. And you don’t have to do it alone. I’ll be with you every step of the way.”

Ariel thanked me for creating a safe space where she could “mess up” and not be doing things perfectly and I pointed out that she was doing it perfectly. It turns out that the exact steps she needed to go through were the steps she needed to take her readers to go through in order to benefit from the advice in her own book. Her process was important not just for her (breaking through old blocks and belief systems and expanding into her own personal power), but important for the light it will shed on her own readers’ processes.

your writing muse
One client's muse was a bird that turned into a person when she spoke to it. Photo by David Donohue.

After clearing her fears, Ariel realized she could commit Tuesday and Thursday nights to writing. From years of experience I know that evenings can be challenging, even to a night owl, and suggested she first find some time to rejuvenate before the writing–a walk outdoors, a meditation, listening to my Meet Your Muse meditation (a free download) or playing some relaxing music. This activity could provide a supportive transition to come to the writing with renewed energy.

Meet your muse visualization for writers

If you’re experiencing any challenges that are making it hard to write, I recommend a similar process to Ariel’s. First do some practical brainstorming about what you can do and then go to your muse to tap into your creative inner wisdom.

Are you beating yourself up or allowing your process to unfold? Yes, there will be a time for deadlines, schedules, holding yourself to commitments, but perhaps first you need to create the space to work through something. I invite you to listen to this downloadable gift from me–my Meet Your Writing Muse visualization and experience a shift that can help you get your book written–a compelling and powerful book that makes a difference in the world.

And please do share what you’ve done to move out of fear, transform blocks and get writing, as well as any insights you’ve received from your writing muse.

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.

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