Here’s How Lisa Barone Writes

Here’s How Lisa Barone Writes

Reader Comments (40)

  1. These keep getting better Kelton. Keep ’em coming. So many useful nuggets in here. I love Lisa’s no-nonsense, kick ass attitude. And her refusal to see “writer’s block” for what it really is. Inspiring. Time to go read, research, and write.

    • Thanks, Jerod. I’d be interested to hear if others agree with my definition of “writers block” but I really believe those are the true roots when it hits me.

  2. “Do you write every day?
    Are there people who don’t?”

    I love that! The only way you’re going to get better at writing is to do it day in and day out, every day from now until forever. Some day you’ll produce absolute junk and you have to learn to be okay with that as well. Just keep plugging away!

    • Actually, I was shocked, and shamed on reading that. And that’s because, yes, there are people who don’t. I myself am one guilty prick.

      My day job is my reason and justification for not being able to write everyday. I get home after work and depending on how much energy I have left, I may or may not be able have the time to write for my blog. Then, when what I’ve written is really crappy, I just trash it, bringing my output to nothing at all.

      My new favorite quote of the month, by the way, is “Your priorities are the things you do. Not the things you say you do.” Just simply wakes me up and see the silly and useless excuses I make to defer doing what really are important.

      • James,

        Do you write as part of your day job? If so, I’d say that counts.

        I know I found it very difficult sometimes to go home and write after a day of writing at work. That’s why my personal blog is so ignored. But I try to fit in, however, I can. Whether it’s a lengthy email to a friend or a burst of essay I know will be inserted somewhere at a later date, fighting to get something out helps calm me.

        But we’re all different. I certainly didn’t mean to shame anyone. 🙂

        • I don’t write everyday, particularly on the weekends. There was a time that I did, but I discovered that I was more creative writing less. And besides, most writers don’t stop writing even when they shut down the laptop. They are doing it in their heads. Great interview Lisa.

  3. From a fellow (lifelong) Trojan, great to see you here, Lisa. Inspiring interview that all writers can learn a great deal from. Congrats on your well deserved success!

  4. Kelton,
    Nice piece. I’ve always appreciated Lisa’s writing and I enjoyed learning about her motivations and process. She’s got a no-holds-barred style that’s refreshing and definitely wipes out any excuses that might be tied to whatever topic she’s writing about (in context of this article – “writer’s block,” fear, procrastination).

    I also find running is a great way to get focused and channel my energy. Now, to get that same level of unshakable confidence. Time to lace up and head out! 😉

    For Lisa: As for honeymoon vacations, Funchal (Madeira, Portugal) is amazing … beautiful landscape/flowers, cool aqua duct city garden, fresh fish. And a lifte-time experience of “walking in the clouds,” hiking the Pico Arieiro Levadas. That was my honeymoon, followed by a brief stay in Paris.

    • Exercise, right? Man, it works. As much as you’d wish it didn’t so you didn’t have to do it all the time, it can make all the difference in your mental state.

      Thanks for reading and for the honeymoon recommendation. I’ll definitely look that up and do some daydreaming. 🙂

  5. Great article, so much truth and honesty.
    Love the advice ‘Figure out who you are and what you want to say and be true to that’

  6. “f I can’t write because I’m burnt out, I go do something else. That sounds simple but most people don’t do it. They continue to bang their head against the wall and wait for something to change. It won’t on its own.”
    Great advice! I get the feeling you have to be really cultured and sophisticated to get “writer’s block,” but then I’m no more a card-carrying writer than a true artist…I just write and paint. ):

    • “I get the feeling you have to be really cultured and sophisticated to get “writer’s block,”

      Hmm, maybe that’s why I don’t get it?

  7. Lisa,

    Excellent stuff… Love that you shine a spotlight on gloriously overcast Upstate NY and I’m going to take your “Copying Smarter” strategy to heart.




  8. Starting any piece with the word “Truly” disqualifies one from offering writing advice. Or maybe I’m just bitchy because of daylight savings time.

  9. In my case, I love music so that’s the main reason I can’t focus on writing if there’s music playing in the background (even if it’s classical or instrumental music) so I checked the resources you mentioned and I actually think they might work for me too.

    Already bookmarked the sites and going to give them a whirl later, thank you Lisa!


  10. This was a fantastic article. I found myself muttering (yes, audibly) “that’s right”, “yes”, and maybe even a few “preach it, sister”–but I’m not openly admitting that. I love the advice to write “meaningful content” to stand out in the crowd. So many blogs look the same and communicate little. As a reader, drives me a bit nuts, although I appreciate the efforts being made (it’s not easy). I also am at a point with my writing where I’m trying to dig a bit deeper and expose myself a bit more. It’s a learning curve. (How much raw nakedness does a reader really want and yet still project an authentic and true voice?) And yes, I want to make readers feel something, remember something, want to share their thoughts too– that’s the goal of every blog or article I write. I love when I write a post and a bunch of people chime in with their experiences, even if it’s a tad off-topic. At least I know I engaged the reader at some level.

    Finally, here’s to working out daily and finding a creative space. I find a good sweat, the rhythmic slapping of my feet against the pavement, or a hike up the mountain totally loosens my creativity. I just wrote an article for She Writes on the importance of finding a space that inspires creativity.

    Thanks Lisa.

  11. I agree with you about the writer’s block, Lisa. It is non-existent and just a sad excuse for not focusing. Great read. Always admire your writing. I’ve always believed that I can if I want to….enough. 🙂

    Thank you, Kelton. What a refreshing read!

  12. Do you have any idea how excited I was to see this title pop up in my reader?!

    I never tire of hearing how other writers work. This interview alone opened my eyes to several new techniques I have never heard anyone else discuss.

    I particularly hearing about the “Dear Lisa” approach, where she acts like she’s writing to herself. I’ll be stealing that 🙂 I sometimes I get too caught up worrying about the audience that it paralyzes me.

    Thanks for putting this together, Kelton, and thank you, Lisa, for the glimpse into your (brilliant) mind and processes.

  13. What a wonderful, inspiring interview.

    I love this quote: “Your priorities are the things you do. Not the things you say you do.”

    Yes… That hits home for me. (Wince.)

    Lisa, thank you for the inspiration, and the links to check out.

    Great series. 🙂

  14. This was a fantastic read, thank you for getting real in the interview, Lisa! I really relate to the fear aspect of writing, it crippled me for 3 years. Glad to know I’m not the only one 🙂

    p.s. Congrats on the engagement, your honeymoon should be in Kauai if you have never been!

  15. Inspiring post Lisa…thank you! Particularly like the two viewpoints on Writers Block and SEO. Writers block is something that was invented by procrastinators for procrastinators in my book. If you’re serious about writing ,even when life gets in the way(which was always my excuse) sitting down and just starting to write about anything that comes into your head will get you moving;always!
    As someone who has struggled with webmasters since my earliest days and listening to all the SEO b.s I’m glad you have put them in their place in favour of writers who care about their principles and who wish to serve.Clearly making a fast buck has been the M.O of many web sites and their so called content writers and hopefully we are now seeing a change with the rising to the top of authentic and purposeful writers…I am so glad to have stumbled across copyblogger and all like minded real people.

  16. I’m kind of ashamed because Ms. Barone gave some of the simplest yet makes-lots-of-darn-sense answers for some things I’m rather guilty of. Namely, the so-called writer’s block, being organized, and being better.

    Still, thanks also for the interview. It reminded me the importance of improving my writing to: a) make my intended readers feel something, and b) give them value somehow.

  17. A lot of great straight talk. The many hours, the discipline, pushing yourself…and not accepting less from yourself. And I agree about writers block…anytime I’ve felt that hesitancy or fear, I just have to write. I appreciate your desire to get raw too. I can imagine in your position with your visibility, it could be easy to grow a little distant from your true voice. Looking forward to more at

  18. I really enjoyed this interview! I have had been struggling to get motivated to write every day. I have honed my tactics with social media and other marketing materials. I just keep putting off the most essential part of my online brand, my written word.

    Lisa, I really enjoyed how you are “finding your voice” and being no bull shit. I have read some really bad blogging and have read some really great blogging. I feel we can all learn from the good and the bad to hone in what is the best way for our message and for our audience. I also liked how you mentioned SEO and content. I feel the same way. Thanks for making everything detailed yet simple!

    How would you best engage your community and attract more members in your “tribe” as Jeff Groins would say?



  19. I love that rainymood site, Lisa! Hadn’t heard of that before, but I’m definitely going to start using it. Perfect for a sunny Saturday afternoon when you have work to do. Now I can fool myself into thinking that it’s raining, and the rest of the World AREN’T outside having fun!!

  20. Hi, I really enjoyed this post. As I writer myself, I found tips on beating procrastination and getting organised really helpful – I need to download some rain! Also, the links to other writers are great.

  21. Lovely interview of Lisa… and i love her definition of creativity… It is absolutely copying the things smartly. Well done Ms. Lisa..:)

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