Breathe. Write. Breathe. - 18 Energizing practices to spark your writing and free your voice by Lisa Tener

Lisa's new book is here!

Breathe. Write. Breathe.

18 Energizing Practices to Spark Your Writing & Free Your Voice

Subscribe to Lisa’s Blog

Weekly writing & publishing news, tips, and events — straight to your inbox!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Dream Symbols, Sun and Summer Writing Inspiration

inspiration for writing on the beachHow are you finding writing inspiration this summer? How are you celebrating the last few weeks of August?

I think of August as a month to luxuriate in summer—long walks, biking to Casey Farm and home with a backpack full of leafy greens, handpicked veggies—from staples of string beans and parsley to the more exotic edamame and ground cherries.

Painting on the beach with my sister in and niece: Everyone else was too shy to be in this picture!

I’ve enjoyed visits from my sister, brother, nieces and nephew—painting watercolors on the beach, climbing boulders, touring a mansion (the luxury above as well as the underground tour of boiler rooms and electrical systems) and plenty of cookouts with bonfires under the stars while the waves crash against the rocks.

My niece took this photo from the rocks we climbed in Narragansett, RI

It’s as if summer fills us with warmth and inspiration for the colder months ahead (at least in New England).

It seems to me that at the beginning of the summer, in June and July, life became too busy and hectic. By August, I’ve found a more relaxed pace of fun, family activities, creativity, social activities and rest.

With less time for writing, teaching or other work, I limited my work schedule to a handful of consultations, editing projects and book proposals.

dream journal
I started writing down my dreams in this journal and then laughed when I realized that icebergs were a recurring theme in my dreams!

Inspired by a new client who writes and teaches about working with our dreams, I began to journal again, writing all my dreams down in the journal pictured to the right (sorry for the blurry photo from my awful phone camera!).

I so enjoy discovering the symbolism in dreams and witnessing the shifting of my inner landscape as Kari Hohne has guided me with interpretation, exercises and questions to better understand the messages and gifts my dreams hold. How fun to see how, as I pay attention to the dream symbols, other symbols and synchronicities show up in waking life—the coyote crossing the road, then baying outside my window the next night; the iceberg on the cover of my dream journal that I failed to notice until Kari pointed out the frequency of iceberg images. You can see the polar bears had a good chuckle about it!

And, of course, as we engage such inner work, we are rewarded. Suddenly, creativity starts pouring out of me.

beach painting
I painted this on the beach with my sister, niece and mother-in-law.

Today, inspired by painting with my sister, niece, son and mother-in-law on the beach last week, I began work on a new course for the fall that applies some of the inspiration of our watercolor painting experiences to writing and creativity. I can’t wait to share it with you.

In the meantime, I invite you to enjoy the final weeks of August. What is this special month like for you and how do the activities of August affect your writing? Are you more prolific or less? How do summer activities influence your writing and inspire you? Do you write outdoors? Do you journal more? Please share your experiences and writing inspiration as a comment below.

Three lucky commenters will win a book by my client or course participant. Prizes include:

An Oasis in Time: How a Day of Rest Can Save Your Life by Marilyn Paul

So Happiness to Meet You: Foolishly, Blissfully Stranded in Vietnam by Karin Esterhammer

Full: How I Learned to Satisfy My Insatiable Hunger and Feed My Soul by Kimber Simpkins

Share your summer writing inspiration or experience and you may win one of these inspiring books.



Posted in

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. Mary-Lou Rosengren says

    August feels like a month of endings and beginnings. Summer is winding down, the days are getting shorter, the mornings hold a chill, and I see the occasional leaf that has already turned golden. I feel desperate to be outside as much as possible. I want to memorize that feeling of warm sun on my skin before I have to start bundling up for the cold weather that is coming. My writing routine has suffered but I’m not sorry. Routine will resume in September and I look forward to its structure, sense of organization, and the comfort of my office with a cup of tea. I have stayed creatively busy doing crafts with our grandkids and with my author readings/book signings and working a bit on the memoir writing course I will be facilitating this fall. But, for now, during these last few days of August, I will hang on and squeeze every moment from the lazy days of summer. Endings and beginnings. Such is life.

  2. Michele Steckler says

    My Summer Inspiration Through the Gifts of Cancer…

    As I’ve settled into this summer of breast cancer, with surgery in May, recovery in June and chemo starting in July, I have been inspired by the many gifts this detour has offered. The gift of discovery as I am reminded again and again of the duality between strength and vulnerability. The gift of awakening to patterns and parts of myself long held as safe ways of being – allowing the walls of comfort to dissolve from the inside out. The gift of having no agenda or desired outcomes, allowing the writing to flow if and when inspired. Appreciating the few days when my body feels strong enough for a morning walk which inevitably generates creative flow. Grateful for the hours of sitting in my chair by the window, gazing out at the band of purple wild flowers bordering the field beyond the pond. The gift of this unexpected permission to pause, to pause and relax into each and every moment. To pause in order to take care of myself. Imagine that! The gift of letting go and accepting that I am not in control… of anything, other than how I respond to what is. My writing flows in intimate email updates to friends and in my journal when I awake early with ideas bursting through the clouds of chemo. Perhaps it’s not the cancer itself so much as the time and space and open heartedness the cancer has invited into my day-to-day existence. May these gifts continue to nourish and guide me, living beyond my cancer as enduring reminders that inspiration can be found even in undesired detours.

    • Lisa Tener says

      Wow, Michele, You are an inspiration! You paint a lovely picture of the gifts you’ve discovered during what must also be a challenging time. I wholeheartedly agree that maintaining this practice of pausing will be a great gift to yourself.

  3. Sue Zimmermann says

    I really enjoyed this post, Lisa. I also have found inspiration in beautiful, warm days and the relaxed pace of summer. I’ve been reading a book, The Artist’s Way, which was recommended to me, and I’ve been working my way through the exercises. One of them is writing “morning pages” – three pages of longhand writing every morning. You can write whatever is in your mind, and I write down my dreams, my impressions of the day before, and whatever else comes to mind. I’ve been doing them for over a month now, and I find that the ideas seem to flow more easily. I’m having fun exploring my creative side and being open to what life brings. And I’m also enjoying trying to remember and interpret my dreams!

    • Lisa Tener says

      That’s wonderful Sue! I enjoyed working through The Artist’s Way a couple of times. And Dreamwork is so amazing. Check out for lots of great dream resources–dream dictionary, dream app, and Kari’s dream interpretations are profound ($15 for feedback on one dream). She works at a deep level!

  4. Dena DeCastro says

    Thanks for this post, Lisa. I’ve worked with my dreams through journaling and “dream groups” for many years. I’ve also found that when I’m engaging with my dreams, I get a lot of synchronicities and symbols showing up in daily life. These symbols often inspire writing: memoir pieces or poetry. I feel more creatively alive when I’m working with my dreams.

    And I appreciate the reminder of what a sweet time of year this is. I enjoy the signs of fall, the cool mornings, and the changing light. I find this is my favorite month to take morning walks here in our Portland neighborhood. And a walk will almost always prepare my mind to write.

    • Lisa Tener says

      Thanks for sharing this, Dena. Walks and Dreams are both great sources for writing material and creative flow!

  5. Rhea Hollis Atwood says

    Thanks for sharing your banquet of late summer activities, Lisa. The time when I was writing down my dreams daily was very productive, lots of guidance for choices I needed to make. The Samoan technique of going back into your dream to make positive endings was surprising. Tonight I will ask to remember my dreams.

    The summer heat in Phoenix, often 120 F, today 107 F, makes being inside writing my book’s first draft very inviting. AC is a must here! When I take a break there’s always the view of Camelback Mountain – yes, it does look like a camel’s back -to amaze me or the evening sunset from a nearby roof deck. Space here is so immense, at least it is for me an Easterner. The endless space almost demands that you stop, take a break and enter it.

    A recent drive to Los Angeles with friends to enjoy a few days at an International Meditation Convocation gave me new ways of relaxing. Soon fall will bring relief from the heat, hikes in the mountains, different crops at the Farmers’ Market, more Writers Critique Group sessions and
    me writing at the computer. It’s a privilege, this being alone to create with words.

    • Lisa Tener says

      Thanks for sharing a glimpse of your summer, Rhea. You are such an inspiration and adventurer, whether in Paris, Phoenix or LA!

  6. Stevie Borne says

    My writing inspiration this summer has come through persistent, gentle nudges from close friends who continue to encourage me to take my ideas explored in our conversations together and write down those nuggets of wisdom so others can be inspired through my words about authentic leadership. For over a year my prayer journal has included leadership lessons that come to me during my morning quiet time and yet I have kept much of that to myself. I know that is about to change as fall arrives.

    While I have enjoyed my summer, August marks the end of summer and the end of my procrastination to write. September is the start of Fall in MN where I live. Fall is my favorite season because it is symbolizes new beginnings for me. This year as summer winds down, I step into fall as a new season in my writing. A season in which I will go from just words in conversations and journal entries into a season of words on pages for others to read.

    • Lisa Tener says

      Hi Stevie,
      It sounds like an inspiring book and it’s wonderful that you have honored the cycle of the seasons.

  7. Debby Maguire says

    Wow Lisa! It sounds like your summer activities really spoken to your soul and feed your spirit. I have spent many weekends at the beach this summer and found that jumping waves, digging for sand crabs, leisurely walks to the lighthouse and purple popsicles have breathed fun and play in my writing schedule. The invitations my 8 year old boy extends me each morning have expanded my heart and my mind. His love of flight has gifted me with a new perspective on Lift and how many different ways Lift can happen in our lives . I have been inspired by sandy feet and sticky kisses in spilling on the pages for 15 minutes daily. Though that may seem a short period of time my writing has deepened as I honor this space of time daily. And I have created a space in my days to play and dance as I have returned home. Each morning my son and I walk the curbs out front of our home, giggling as we try to stay on the curb and not step in the street. This is the practice my boy and I have created and it reminds me to live light and lovely, even on Monday mornings.

    • Lisa Tener says

      Debby, writing every day is what almost every writer aspires to. 15 minutes a day adds up. That’s awesome! And also lovely that you are so enjoying this precious time with your 8-year-old. Thanks for sharing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Indie published Joy of Writing Journal.

Get Lisa's Award-Winning Book

The Joy of Writing Journal:

Spark Your Creativity in 8 Minutes a Day

Winner of the Silver Nautilus Book Award & IPPY Award

Subscribe to Lisa’s Blog

Weekly writing & publishing news, tips, and events — straight to your inbox!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Screen Shot 2020-09-07 at 10.05.50 PM
Share This