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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Author Resource Hunt, Day 2: Develop Relationships

author resource huntDay 2 of our Author Resource Hunt is about Developing Community and Relationships with other authors and writers. Such relationships provide many mutual benefits – support, camaraderie, resource-sharing and colleagues to share ideas with. Encouragement from someone who knows the highs and lows on the path to success can motivate you during your creative journey. Learning about other authors’ experiences and hearing their insights can save you time, inspire you and offer peace of mind. And the community engagement you develop is an important ingredient for book sales, too. One great space to connect with colleagues and future readers is through the blogosphere. I hope that today’s post will:

  • Help you connect with other writers in this community of authors and aspiring authors.
  • Provide an opportunity to learn from each other and help each other overcome any blocks or challenges to writing.
  • Give you confidence to reach out on other blogs and social media.
  • Provide an example of how you can engage people in your communities and on your blog, if you have one (or plan to).
  • Help you connect with your inner resources–your muse–to get clarity on any challenges or questions that have arisen in your writing.
Point ValueClues/Actions for PointsEarned Points
15+Share a one paragraph description of how you overcame a writing block in today’s blog post comments*.
15+Go to and listen to the recording. See if you have a question for your “inner muse.” Perhaps your muse has a suggestion for how to break through any blocks or challenges. Share any insights as a comment* on this post.


prizes for author resource hunt
Here’s a peek at some of the prizes going out in the next few days: handmade fridge magnets from Tanner glass, bookmarks, tiny notebooks and more.

Click here to download a PDF version of the checklist to track your points.

Missed the start? Sign up for the author resource hunt here. You can find Day 1 activities and catch up here. To join the Day 3 festivities, click here.

If you have other things in your life—family, friends, good productive day work—these can interact with your writing and the sum will be all the richer. -~David Brin

*A Special basket of prizes: books, magnet, pen and more—for our favorite writer’s block cure and another basket of prizes to our favorite muse insight.


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. Suzanne says

    Thank you Lisa for the introduction to my muse. As I walked through the clearing, I saw an open-air stage in a garden on the hillside of Gubbio, an adorable medieval hill town near where I live in Italy. The stage reminds me of an ancient podium and I imagine great thinkers who evolved from Socrates and his ilk standing before their audiences there. The stage itself is my muse because it connects me to the audience I serve. I asked the stage – my muse – how could I be sure I was writing to meet the needs of my audience. I heard to write as if they are me because our journeys are one. I asked which path to take for publication. I heard to continue as I am writing for my coaching programs and to trust the process and the path to unfold.

    Re writer’s block: For months I’ve been crushed unable to write on my blog. My mother passed away suddenly last spring and everything changed. I didn’t want to write about her on my blog. But until I acknowledged the significance I knew my blog and business would hibernate forever. Today I published with an announcement about new directions. I feel amazing relief. And now I have my muse as well!

    • Lisa Tener says

      Wow, Suzanne, Thanks for sharing that. It sounds like you received some powerful insights and support to move forward today. Isn’t the Muse amazing?

  2. Leena says

    I overcame a writing block by…realizing that writing was really and truly at the top of my list. There was not another “job” or another project or class or certification I needed or wanted. Writing makes me want to wake up in the morning.

    And I needed help. I needed a path to run on (on which to run!) I needed inspiration that said you can do this. You have permission to be yourself. You truly can trust your guidance, your muse.

    So I went for it, searched for it, and found Lisa. Namaste!

  3. Leena says

    OK…comment, part 2:
    My muse is saying to me right now: Amma has the answers. You better get going to start seating people in the Amrita Hall at 8am! And , Darling Daughter, go ahead. Listen and meditate…there is always time. :) Namaste.

    • Lisa Tener says

      Thank you for your kind words, Leena. I so enjoyed your participation in “Writing in the Zone.” Enjoy your time with Amma.

  4. Simona says

    Re: writer’s block. I step outside with my phone and take a photograph using Instagram and share it, then go back inside, look at the photograph and let my mind and fingers go wherever they want. This usually bring up ideas and often makes me see where the block is.

    Re: the muse. She encourages to trust myself.

    Thank you, Lisa. This is fun.

    • Lisa Tener says

      Simona, I love that you are combining different media to stir the pot. And trust seems a common theme on today’s posts.

  5. Deborah says

    Today, I overcame a writing block by reading other people’s comments yesterday and this morning. In the spirit of being part of a group, I opened to include myself as a potential writer. I can do it too! I felt freed from inertia as my pencil moved quickly across the page to describe my muse after listening to the muse meditation.

    My muse was a giant oak tree with magnificent branches seemingly reaching out to the cosmos. An arched door appeared beckoning me forward, slowly opening to welcome me inside it’s warm interior. In the center of the space stood a four foot Romanesque pillared platform. I placed my hands on the flat top of it’s smooth surface to convey my question and slowly walked around it to view the question from several perspectives. The answer came quite suddenly – simply start writing your book and it will unfold. My question was, “Do I write on this subject as fiction or non-fiction”?

    I am happy to have a muse now. Thank you Lisa

  6. Lisa says

    Thank you Lisa for the relaxing visualization, your voice was very soothing to listen to. In my experience, I was given the message to trust. I heard very upbeat music which at first felt humorous. It was energizing and very motivational.

    Re: writer’s block, I like to go for a walk. In letting go I can reconnect to my creativity. I often receive writing ideas during my walks. It is important for me to do something else in those moments of feeling stuck and then I am free again.

  7. Ginger says

    Today I overcame a writing block by accepting that I was going to do things imperfectly–I accepted that I was going to walk the dog later than she would like and that I also was going to skip the gym because it is too cold and also I had an early appointment that was going to make the morning super-rushed, so I just stayed in my bathrobe and wrote. It was so good, so essential!

    On my latest muse walk I came upon my muse/essential self looking remarkably like Maggie Smith and she was quite hearty, smart, and funny, as only Maggie Smith could be!

    • Lisa Tener says

      How great, Ginger. You’ve inspired me–more bathrobe days…And i Love how trust is a recurring theme today. Maggie is a powerful muse. If she only knew…

  8. Lela says

    The way I have overcome writing blocks is counterintuitive and not for everyone, particularly if time is a factor. One of my life lessons is patience, and I have found if I write when the energy leads me to do so, it is exhilarating and flows, where it was overwhelming otherwise. I have also been led to approach things in ways that go against my habits, make little sense at first, then gradually reveal themselves as breaking down my resistances and fears little by little.

    My muse slowly showed itself as a white bird, then very ethereal, wispy plumage appeared, and finally it was clear that it is a beautiful white peacock, reminded me of what I said above about letting the energy lead me, as well as presenting other insights and encouragement. Way cool!

  9. Carol Lambert says

    In the past, hitting a writing block, I grabbed my running sneakers and headed outside. As my body relaxed, lungs filled with fresh air, and the endorphins revved up, I turned my attention to my writing. I examined the place I was stuck, looked from different perspectives, and eventually identified what I wanted to say, and how I wanted to convey it. My body in motion helps to clear out and create new space for something to emerge. I then run back–return to my writing–refreshed, focused, and full of delight. Although I no longer run, movement is my go to solution.

  10. Bonnie Boucek says

    Writer’s block is the bane of every writer’s existence. Trapping the soul in a damp, dark and empty space. No doors to freedom. No windows allowing light in to bathe the creative soul. Sounds being heard are only the rapid breathing of a tortured psyche. A spirit so panicked that death seems to be at hand. However, not all is lost for the writer’s heart always perseveres. I recall one experience so vivid that just thinking about it bring tremors to my hands as I type this response. I had a paper due in only seventeen hours. (Originally, two weeks but the words would not flow.) The topic was A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams. The format a typical dry response offered by my instructor. It did not inspire me. I asked with warbling voice if I could change the format of the paper to something with fire and sparks. I was shocked by the teacher’s reply: “of course.” Hence, I rushed home (not speeding mind you for a ticket is not a gift). Fourteen hours to go and still the paper was not started. Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock. The hands on the clock kept moving. The letters on the keyboard still. The ideas would not come. I knew I was in trouble, but what was I to do?! Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock. Eight hours and counting. Then lightning struck. Combine two topics I like (literature and psychology) to create a paper so fresh and new that the professor would be awed. My fingers flew at warp speed. The dam broken. The words flowed freely. Tick. Tock. It was a race between my fingers and the clock. Two hours left and voila! A paper completed: The Psycho-Analysis of Blanche Dubois from A Streetcar Named Desire.

    • Lisa Tener says

      Time pressure can be helpful sometimes, especially combined with just enough freedom and permission to do something bold.

  11. Bonnie Boucek says

    My muse is always a shadowy figure of neutrality — neither male or female. Just a being of energy cloaked in shades of grey. Sometimes I speak to it as a sounding board to see if anything I have sounds good out loud. Other times I am directed to spend some time decompressing by going for a trip to the state park; the playground to let my inner child come forth and play; or to just stay home and read for a bit. Sometimes it reminds me to put me first to find myself so that my inner voice can find a path to the surface. Occasionally, I feel compelled to just listen to white noise so my mind can wander to where it needs to go. I always feel safe and rested when my muse shows itself. Shortly, after it makes itself known to me, is when I feel the pull to write again.

    • Lisa Tener says

      I am going to try the playground, Bonnie. That sounds fun. And you are a winner for that creative idea. I think I already have your address.

      • Bonnie Boucek says

        Wow! Thanks. I really am having a blast with these activities. It is giving me a nice brain workout. Thanks again for the prizes. I’ll start looking for them in the mail.

        PS — the first two arrived. I love the laugh pencil and tiny notebook. :)

  12. autumn says

    I am having more of an issue with self-doubt and feeling alone then writer’s block but to answer the first part: I deal with writer’s block by walking and just allowing that silence, or playing a videogame/game – the mind relaxes as you concentrate on the game and ideas start to trickle in because there is nothing in their way.

    Also I work on other things, for example NaNo is going on this month and so are several other challenges (like Picture book month) complete with daily tips and ideas so I take a few of those and just let myself have fun with them ~ one that proved enjoyable was mash-ups: take two things (you can find lists or just look around you and use the first two things you see) and then put them together and see what comes from it.

    As for my Muse: she told me that I was further along than I realized and I needed to trust that I do have a voice and it is right and to let it flow. Also to stop comparing ~ I am stronger in areas than I realize.

    • Lisa Tener says

      Almost every writer I know experiences self doubts at times, Autumn. Great that you are communicating with your muse–she’ll get you past it!

  13. Debbie Wilson says

    When I arrived at the structure and opened the door “my muse” that I saw was a star bouncing around the room trying desperately to escape to explore with no limitations and I realized that my inner voice needed to be able to do just that, to not have any limitations on what I could achieve if I set my heart and mind to it. To allow the words to flow freely across my paper, and it would all come together like a constellation in the vast open skies, if only I would allow my mind the freedom to explore.

    In regards to writers block, I experienced a severe writers block that lasted for approximately 3 years. I never figured out what caused it, but the sadness that engulfed my being and the heaviness that I felt within was almost to the point of strangulation to my creative side. A loss, if you will, as I felt like I would never be able to tap into my creative abilities ever again, but like “my muse”, the star, I let go of any limitations and inhibitions that I had in regards to my writing and just as quickly as I had been blocked, it was lifted and I was free to explore once again. I couldn’t grab a pen and paper fast enough and jot down all that was flowing out of me. But I wrote whatever came to me, and didn’t worry about any type of structure and it all started to come together just like the constellations in the skies. I was free and shining brightly once again!

    • Lisa Tener says

      Debbie, I love the image of the bouncing star. How fun and playful and HUGE. I’d love to know more about how you let go of limitations and inhibitions. Did you do it through writing? Or something else?

      • Debbie Wilson says

        Hi Lisa

        That shift came about purely by accident. My grandson had passed away at 11 1/2 months old and I was trying to write a poem for his service and was doing deep breathing excercises as my anxiety level was at an all time high. There was a double rainbow in the sky that day and when I sat with that pen and paper in my hand it was as if I told myself that nothing was bigger than the loss of my dear grandchild, and not to mention the pain that I was witnessing my daughter going through was almost unbearable. I remember all of the inhibitions that I had had about my writing not being good enough, lifted from me like a weight being lifted off of my chest and from that moment on I began writing again. Such a sad and tragic event brought about the shift that I had needed to be able to let go of that writers block that I had been experiencing for the past three years. Now, of course; in hindsight, perhaps that rainbow was “my muse” at the time. I don’t know, really. That was in 2011 and I am still writing as strong as ever!

        • Lisa Tener says

          Wow, Debbie, Thank you for sharing that very personal story with us here. Sometimes, the saddest events of our lives open our hearts the most–and an open heart expresses from a very pure place.

  14. Lisa Tener says

    So many inspired and inspiring posts today. It was not easy to choose the winners. You are all winners! However, Suzanne’s breakthrough sounds huge and a long time in coming (as well as inspiring) so Suzanne wins the prizes for “biggest insight.”

    For our favorite way of cure for writers block, I am going to go with Bonnie’s going to the playground. I have not done that but it sounds like a perfect place to embrace the Muse.

    Winners, please send me your address if I do not already have it.

    Debbie, your story is amazing, too. How did you suddenly let go for your limitations and inhibitions? Was it through a writing exercise? Or how did you access that shift?

    Kudos to everyone for your great shares, insights and shifts. Hope you are having fun.

    If you had trouble getting into Day 2 or 3, I apologize. We had a little trouble with our links, but they are working now. Here is Day 3:

  15. Tish says

    Thank you Lisa!!

    I am feeling SO humbled. My beautiful, loving Muse come to relieve my anxiety on what comes next. I was feeling over whelmed with “What if?” My beautiful, calming, and re-assuring Muse
    informed me” You must call the one called Lisa””. Wow!!!
    Yes, I am excited beyond…and yes I will call.

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