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No excuses in NJ: Lessons in Commitment from Hurricane Sandy

still writing after Hurricane Sandy
The truly committed will find ways to get around any obstacle. Here is Maria in her miner’s hat.

The subject of this afternoon’s e-mail from Maria Palmer: “No excuses in NJ.”

The content:

“Hi Lisa,

Even with the power out, I’m still writing.


Yes, she’s wearing a miner’s hat! Maria did not let Hurricane Sandy put a crimp in her writing progress.

A mentor of mine, Mitch Feigenberg–who happened to take my book writing course and did finish a first draft in 8 weeks–once shared, “You can have your reasons [for not completing your book] or you can have your book, but you can’t have both.”

I’ve been quoting Mitch ever since. It’s a “tough love” message. I once even wore a mask to my Narragansett book writing class to deliver that one, but it is true.

And the people who show that extra level of commitment tend to be the ones who finish their books, get published and manifest the vision they had when they set out to write their books.

Is there a way to take your commitment to the next level? If you’re experiencing a breakdown (like no power) can you turn it into a breakthrough?

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. Judy Stone-Goldman says

    Thanks for such an inspiring post, Lisa! My commitment has been somewhat fragmented lately by presentations and other tasks – all related to the book in some way but distractions nonetheless. I don’t want them to fall into the category of “good” excuses because they are excuses nonetheless. I value that quote, which of course I’ve heard from you in your class, because it tells the truth.

    And congratulations to Maria. You are an inspiration! Hope you have your power back.

  2. Tere says

    I to, have too many excuses!! even the one that has me doing “research” for my book as an excuse for not writing, lol… thanks for the insight,

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