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.

No One Can “Fix” Your Writing

A client mentioned something about my fixing her writing today. Later in the day, I attended our first meeting of a leaderless (someone said “peer support”) poetry writing group at Willett Free Library, just up the hill from my home. There, almost half of the members said something disparaging and judgmental about their writing.

So, let’s get something straight. You can’t fix something that’s not broken. Your writing’s not broken. You can:

Lisa Tener book writing coach
No judgment.
  • Refine
  • Clarify
  • Develop
  • Simplify
  • Beautify
  • Illustrate
  • Organize
  • Bring structure to
  • Bring to life
  • Polish

your writing.

But I bristle at the word “fix.”

Not a Destination

Writing is a journey, a process, a path. You’re on the path. Acknowledge yourself for writing. Acknowledge that writing takes work and refinement and it’s not expected to come out perfect the first time. At least not often.

You’re probably putting too much pressure on yourself if you’re feeling bad about your writing when you’re in the middle of it (or even near the end, for that matter).

Remember, there is help to be had! Many of us benefit from external readers—beta readers, developmental editors, line editors—you don’t have to do all the refining yourself. You can receive feedback, new ideas, even some wordsmithing.

And About Poetry and Judgment

And as to poetry, think of it as an activity you immerse yourself in. If something beautiful comes out of it—hooray. And if you don’t want your poem to see the light of day, okay. Just don’t judge your poem, your abilities, or yourself. Approach your poetry with playfulness, a spirit of experimentation, and the sheer joy of creating something without it or you having to perform.

What’s your perspective? How do you relate to your writing? Does your perspective serve you and your writing projects or not? If not, what can you do to take the judgment out of it, take the pressure off, and have fun?

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. Ariane Goodwin says

    Your wisdom around “No Judgment” and the unconscious language we use against ourselves, i.e., “fix,” needs to be named, out loud and often, to counter the subversive tendencies we often use to hold ourselves accountable.

    I’m grateful to your deep awareness of language and its potent impact.

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