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Lisa Tener’s Writing and Publishing Blog

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Find articles on your most pressing writing & publishing questions. Plus, creative support for your inner muse!

Lisa Tener journaling

7 Ways to Tap Your Subconscious for Inspiration

Some of my most potent writing comes from my dreams and other experiences related to the subconscious. Is this true for your writing? So, how do we tap our subconscious for creativity—innovative ideas, fresh metaphors, new ways to put words together on the page, an adventure for the writer and the reader? Here are 7…

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Lisa Tener Portland Helmich

Tips for Recording Video and Audio

For the past three weeks, I’ve been swept up in a whirlwind of activity and teamwork creating all the special interactive tools and accompanying video and audio for my upcoming book. Speaking of which, and forgive me if you’ve heard this before, but please schedule the book purchase and party for June 12 at noon…

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writing a book on grizzly bears

Surprising Lessons on the Book Writing Path

I’m working with a client who is writing an extraordinary book about one of the momentous environmental victories of the last century. In the middle of working on this book, Louisa Willcox told me, “I have to take a break and write this 40-60 page article for my subscribers. Grizzly Bears are in grave danger…

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Lisa Tener book coach

Too Many Ideas to Cram into One Nonfiction Book?

Do you constantly find yourself adding ideas to your nonfiction book concept? Do you feel confused about what tools, skills, and information to offer your readers? Sometimes, authors feel a great deal of pressure to give their readers everything needed and to squeeze it all into one book. You may think this is a generous…

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Super smooth Bastion bolt action writing pen

In Search of the Perfect Pen for Writers

As a writer, two things that are important to me—and actually inspire my writing—are beautiful journals and quality pens. A few weeks ago Mike Navitsky reached out from Bastion asking if I would consider a guest post. While I don’t generally do guest posting, I was intrigued by the idea of a high quality pen…

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author event cooking demo

Hosting Successful Author Events: Interview with Robin Kall

Possibly, no one in the book world is more successful at hosting author events than my friend Robin Kall. Since launching her radio show, Reading with Robin, in 2002 Robin has asked authors the juiciest questions, introduced readers to our new favorite books and authors, and given readers insights into our favorite authors’ minds and…

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more manuscript revision

What To Do With a Messy Manuscript (Revision)

When Your Writing is a Mess and Deadlines Loom… I’m in the final throes of writing and editing my next book. My publisher needs my final manuscript revisions within a week. I feel good about the book but my Introduction and first two chapters are a mess. I’ve cut a bunch of extraneous and unsuccessful…

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It’s Not “Just Journaling”: Benefits for Writers

During a recent Get Your Writing Done session, a writer apologetically shared that she was “just journaling”—not working on her specific writing project, such as an article or book. I reminded her—and all of us—that journaling is a superpower. Never apologize or feel less than for journaling instead of producing writing for the masses. Journaling…

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Lisa Tener Creativity catalyst

Can You Write When You Feel Like an Imposter?

A writer recently said to me, “I feel like an imposter. How can I write as an expert when I’m working through these same problems again that I am supposed to be teaching in my book?” This author was writing about relationships and suddenly found himself struggling with a specific relationship topic in his partnership—an…

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book coach Lisa Tener

Should I Quote Experts in my Book’s Introduction?

This excellent question came up in Get Your Writing Done last week: “Should I share expert stories in my book’s introduction?” The author was considering sharing compelling stories from Wayne Dyer and Anita Moorjani. What Is Your Reader Looking for in the Book Introduction? When you write the introduction to a nonfiction book, think about…

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writing a book

Are You Being Selfish Enough to Finish Your Book?

To write our books we need to be fierce about our boundaries. I write this moments after our Get Your Writing Done Zoom meeting has ended and one person reported that she did something very selfish. She put her book above a person in crisis, someone she’d been supporting for a long time. Consider the…

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When the Last Lighthouse Keeper Retires: What AI Means for Writing

Some folks are all hyped up about how AI is making their jobs as writers easier—from outlining to research to organizing ideas and creating marketing plans. They’re psyched. On the other end of the spectrum, many authors complain about the glut of AI-generated garbage on Amazon that’s making their books harder to find. One prominent…

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Sunset Narragansett Bay

The Benefits of a Slow Start

My 2024 is starting off slow. And I’m realizing that’s a good thing in many ways. Just before Christmas, I got rear-ended while patiently waiting to turn when the driver behind me was distracted (looking behind her at her passenger!) and didn’t see me in time. As I heal, I need to limit screen time…

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book coach Lisa Tener

“How Should I Publish My Short Stories?”

In my most recent post, I answered a soon-to-be-published author’s questions about distribution for a traditionally published book; today, I answer their second question: “How should I publish my short stories?” So, short stories are not in my purview, but I know enough to provide some guidance to this writer. My goal was to ascertain…

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book coach Lisa Tener

“Is My Traditional Publisher Book Contract a Good Deal?” + More Publishing Questions

Today’s publishing questions come from a writer in South Africa who just received an offer from a traditional publisher. They have questions about the offer and contract and about publishing a book of short stories. Let’s address the book offer first, and in my next post, I will address the short stories. “I need help….

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Lisa Tener book writing coach

Thankful in 2023

Each Thanksgiving I list all the people I am thankful for in my work. Plus books, nature and other inspiration. Here goes…but first, I want to say this: Given all that’s going on in the world, including the incredible polarization and demonization of opposing viewpoints, it’s more important than ever to focus on gratitude, foster…

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Write from your heart

How to Write From Your Heart

Your Muse Wants You to Write from Your Heart Today’s post was inspired during our “Get Your Writing Done” session a few weeks ago. I’d offered that if anyone ever needs a little private laser coaching, they can request to do a short breakout group on our Zoom calls during the writing portion of the…

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Join Us for the Rhode Island Author Expo Dec. 2

I’m thrilled to announce that I’m a featured presenter for the Rhode Island Author Expo and will share 7 Fresh Ways to Use Journaling to Tap Your Creative Genius as a Writer. I invite you to join us for some fabulous—and free!—panels, presentations, and networking. For today’s post, I interviewed the Association of RI Authors…

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Lisa Tener, Book Coach

How To Write a Book During Tumultuous Times

I recently led a writer through my Meet Your Muse exercise. He felt overwhelmed by world events. How could he write a book when everything feels so bleak? What could he contribute to systemic problems that seemed unsolvable? The Muse said, “Keep to what you are here to do.” “You’re not going to solve the…

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Lisa Tener Book Coach

Her Muse Gave Her a Stethoscope

The other morning, I led a doctor through my Meet Your Muse exercise to help her access her inner guidance about which book to write first—the one for other doctors or the one for patients. Her muse was clear—the one for patients. Before she left the scene, I invited her to ask whether her muse…

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