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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How to Write Your Book’s Acknowledgements

In many ways, writing the Acknowledgements section of your book is easy. You get to thank all the amazing people who contributed to this wonderful, magical collaboration.

Video and audio team for my book
Speaking of awesome contributors, here’s the video production team: Dan Thibeault and Portland Helmich

You’ll probably experience waves of appreciation, smiles, deep gratitude, love, awe, and even perhaps laughter as you write the Acknowledgements and think of the amazing team and support.

And then there’s the sobering part of acknowledgements: How do you not leave someone out–someone who made a difference, someone who may feel hurt?

First, recognize that in some cosmic way everyone contributed to your writing this book–every teacher, every friend, every relative. They contributed to the person you are. They taught you skills that were building blocks to the ones you used in writing. Or they had some large or small impact on everything that led up to the book.

So, you can’t mention every single one of those people (or pets or plants) individually. Let yourself off the hook of perfectionism.

There are a few things you can do right now to make your Acknowledgements section as complete as possible:

  1. Breathe. Write. Breathe. - 18 Energizing practices to spark your writing and free your voice by Lisa TenerStart early. Make the Acknowledgements one of the first things you write. Think of the people who are influencing the story, the teachings, the research, the exercises and experiences you offer your readers.
  2. List folks as them come on to help. I began Breathe. Write. Breathe. over eight years ago. I feel certain there are beta readers and other supporters whose help I’ve forgotten in that amount of time. When you begin a book, you rarely think you’ll take that long to completion. Learn from my lapse and list everyone as you go along so no one is forgotten should your book be a long time in the making. By the way, there’s no shame in a book that requires years of polishing, reworking and refining. The time and energy you put in is a gift to your readers.
  3. Think about communities. What communities contributed? Who supported you in various ways, directly or indirectly?
  4. Make generalizations: Thank large supportive communities–from your writing group to your clients, your family and friends to your mentors. It’s fine to name those who made the largest contributions, but by having a catch all phrase in there, you’ll cover the others.
  5. Sleep on it. Read the Acknowledgements several times at the end. You may be surprised whom your initially left out, or whom you think of to add.
  6. Tighten. It’s easy to write fun, playful things about every single person, but the Acknowledgements cannot be too long. Find succinct ways to thank people.

Thank People Publicly

Here’s another tip, thank everyone on your blog or website as well! Then, if you think of someone you accidentally omitted, you can add them to the blog post at any time and let them know you appreciate them.

You can also give shout outs on social media when the book comes out! Everyone likes to be acknowledged.

And Now I’d Like to Thank

WIthout further ado, here are my Acknowledgements for Breathe. Write. Breathe. (to be updated as needed!).


Award-winning The Joy of Writing Journal - Spark Your Creativity in 8 Minutes a Day - Expanded VersionThank you to everyone who introduced my previous book, The Joy of Writing Journal, to other readers—through your gracious reviews, gifting the book, and sharing it with your writing communities, social media networks, colleagues, teams, friends and relatives. This is how books make it into readers’ hands and hearts. A special shout out to Robin Kall and Deborah Alfarone. All that support positions Breathe. Write. Breathe. for an even bigger sendoff.

Acknowledging The Breakthroughs

Qigong Master Robert Peng
with Qigong Master Robert Peng

Xiè xiè to qigong master Robert Peng, who taught me The Master Key and the secret to life: “Easy. Relax. Smile.” I am grateful to be able to share what you’ve taught me—it’s transformed me; at our teacher training I realized the power of this work to change the world.

A breath of gratitude goes to Eric Maisel, who handed me the keys to unlock my writing. Big love to writing coach and developmental editor Tama Kieves, who helped me listen to my muse; your belief in my writing and your early edits carried me through years of self-doubt.

 Melissa Sones, Breathe. Write. Breathe. needed to shed serious pounds; you gave me the courage and insight to let go of almost half of what I’d written, infinitely improving this book; your detailed reworking of the first two chapters was miraculous.

Jane Bernstein, your astute line-by-line edits were essential; many times you came to my rescue with precise and beautiful replacements for repeated words or expressions that fell short, leaving me in awe of your prowess.

Anne Patterson, your recollections of Mimi’s wig adventure added spark to the telling. A thousand thank you’s to Paula Schonewald, who let me know when something didn’t sit right, often offered “le bon mot,” and supported me throughout. Thanks to typists who came to the rescue during a shoulder injury—Paula, my son Will Patterson, and neighbor Alice Dunning.

When I found myself past deadline and still struggling with a couple of chapters, my son Luke Patterson took me to the mountain top for a fresh view. That night, my husband Tom Patterson gave me advice that brought it all together—“Print the beginning, read it, sleep on it, and you’ll know what to do in the morning.” He was right.

Huge Contributions

Tamara Monosoff publisher
Publisher Tamara Monosoff

To my publisher, Tamara Monosoff, I am thrilled to publish another book with you. Your talents, skill, and patience know no bounds. And the gorgeous cover; I near-swooned. Tamara also became a Master Sound Healer during the process of publishing this book and I am thrilled to share her Gong Bath as one of the videos that accompany this book.

Dan Thibeault and Portland Helmich, what a joy and education to work with you again on videos and audios; I’m thrilled with what we created. Pieranunzi Family, thank you for the gong baths and feedback! Patricia Muehsam, MD helped me make the scientific research accessible. Deborah Louth shared important insights on Chapter 2 and picked the perfect date.

Acknowledging Teachers, Healers and Mentors

Gratitude to all the teachers who came before—the lineage of monks who brought these teachings to us—as well as Leah Franklin, who taught me how to breathe, plus Linda Broadhead and Dr. Vincent Brunelle who continue to teach me nuances of breathing well. To Daisy Lee and The Shift Network, Lee Holden, and other inspiring online teachers. To Doug Jansen who taught me about energy through his Polarity Therapy training program. To Seraina McCarty, who shared angel messages. And to the many other teachers, healers, and mentors in my life, including Julia Griffin, Tiffany Masters, Erina Cowan, Linda Schiller, Margo Dussault, Diane Gannon, Rong Zhang, Nancy Graham, Patricia Gilmartin, Dennis Rebelo, Ken Robertson, Pam Oatis, MD, Gayle Myers, MD, Dan Cohen, Pat O’Brien, my dear friend and prayer partner, Johanna Cremin, Yvonne Parker, and Auntie Tang. Emily Blefeld, the constellation for this book is a thing of beauty!

Thank you to Get Your Writing Done leaders—Sharon Burton and Laurie Hunt—and to each member of the program (as of this writing, Amy, Elizabeth, Gail, Helen, Kiki, Louisa, Michael, Pam, Renee, Steffi, and all who’ve come through the virtual doors, written, and published). You bring wisdom, insights, and inspiration and have sharpened my skills as a teacher of book writing, publishing, and creativity. I can’t wait to read your published books and see them doing their work in the world! Thank you to our Facebook Community, Write and Create with Lisa Tener and to those who’ve stepped in to moderate when I could not (Dana McNeely, Simon Golden, Kristen Meekhof).

To my writing teachers, the late Frank Conroy, who taught me to revise and edit, Professor Gjertrud Schnackenberg, sixth-grade teacher Ms. Schmiemann, Professor Irene Taylor, and my late parents for their love of books and encouragement.

To beta readers—Joshua Home Edwards, who taught me to be the teacher I am, and Stuart Horwitz, Mike Larsen, Julie Portelance, and all early readers for essential feedback.

Kate Hanley, author of "How to be a Better Person"

Helping Breathe. Write. Breathe. Reach Readers

Thank you to the team that is helping this book reach readers: Melissa Sones, the best book awards consultant in the universe; VA Extraordinaire, Geri Lafferty who has been my right hand throughout my career; marketing guru Carol Lin Vieira; Maya Stokely on canva and social media; Laurence O’Bryan of Books Go Social; Howard Van Es; Seth Jacobson for my gorgeous photos; Jodie Burdette for her website wizardry and artist Rachel Vane for backups.

Thank you, Kate Hanley, for the beautiful foreword. Love and gratitude for generous endorsements: SARK, Tama Kieves, Padma Venkatramen, Robin Kall, Dr. Eric Maisel, Dr. Adam Zwig, Renee Baribeau, Julie Gerstenblatt, Dr. Craig Malkin, Carla Naumburg, Lynne Heinzmann, Jacquelyn Mitchard, and Dr. Patricia Muehsam.

Gratitude to my literary community including: Association of RI Authors and founder Steven R. Porter, board members, and volunteers; Willett Free Library poetry group, Kaffee Klatch, librarians headed by Jennifer Shaker; colleagues and friends Tracy Hart, Octavia Randolph, Janice Harper, Simon Golden, Gayle Myers, MD; Stephanie Chandler, Carla King, and the Nonfiction Writers Conference; The Virginia Festival of the Book; Sean Murphy and 1455 Summer Festival; Zilker Media; Best Ever You’s Elizabeth Guarino; local bookstores Curiosity & Co., Wakefield Books, Books on the Square, and so many more. And to the good people of Saunderstown, Narragansett, Rhode Island, and Waterside on Fundy Bay.

Regina brooks literary agent and others
Left to right Dr. Julie Silver, Dr. Randy Kamen, Lisa, Regina Brooks

To Harvard Medical School CME publishing course colleagues, appreciating the dozen years we shared helping medical professionals reach the public with their knowledge and wisdom, especially Julie Silver, MD, Jeanne Fredericks, Regina Brooks, Linda Konner, Al LaFarge, Debbie Carvalko, John Hanc, Martha Murphy, Rusty Shelton, Paige Velasquez, and Dr. Randy Kamen.

Kevin Grant spoke the words for a breakthrough in book description; Louisa Willcox confirmed. Wendy Willis: fairy hair. Uli Brahmst: an artist’s eye on design elements.

Thank you to my supportive and loving family, many of whom generously answered my endless questions on design and wordsmithing. Love to the Tener, Yudkowsky and Arnold, Yomtov, Herschlag, Patterson, Potter, Sammis, and Cabot clans. Alan, Sara, and Lily, thanks for eleventh hour support on design and description!


To our beloved Labradoodle Sophie—I miss you every day. You were a part of this journey, completed our family, and gave unconditional love. I wish I took you up more often on your invitations to leave the computer and romp!

It would take a whole book to properly thank every teacher, client, class participant, colleague, friend, and family member who has inspired, taught, and supported me—and in some way impacted the book in your hands. Please know how grateful I am for your loving and generous presence in my life. I have worked on Breathe. Write. Breathe. for many years and in that time, memory fades. I fear I’ve left out someone instrumental in the early stages and those who will help me after I send this to my publisher! Please accept my appreciation and forgive me for any omissions.

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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