Meet Lisa Collazo

Writers are not often conscious of the negative attitudes and messages that they hold onto about themselves. Such messages may hinder a writer's ability to tap into their internal resources.

Lisa Collazo is a licensed clinical social worker and personal and professional coach who specializes in working with what Julia Cameron describes as "blocked creatives" in her book The Artist's Way. She helps writers discover their authentic voice and challenge them to take risks with their writing.


Summer is a tough time for me to get motivated with my writing. First of all, it is too hot to work, and second, who wants to be indoors when you are constantly distracted by kids playing outside and enjoying their time off?

My little boy, who is nearly 4 and a half, just learned how to swim, and is he ever excited by that fact! He is incredibly motivated to learn, and is eager to take another swimming class to get the next badge and certificate as proof of a job well done.

That is what I need- proof of my accomplishments to sustain my level of motivation. Here is a newsflash: we are NEVER too old to desire reinforcement for our hard work. If we didn't get paid at our respective jobs, would we continue working? Of course not! Praise, support, encouragement are all good things. So the question becomes, what do we need to do to get the kudos we so rightfully deserve? Search for it. Don't be shy. Ask people you trust and respect, a mentor or friend, to look at your work. Join a group. You will be amazed at how well this sustains one's level of motivation. You are asking for what you need. If you do not seek out others, feed your soul with things that nurture you. For example, a good book, an inspiring film, a decadent dessert, a night of passion, and a soothing massage. You get the idea.

When I look at the way many of us live our lives, including myself, it is ironic how much easier it is to negate our needs and thus deplete our energy to write than to feed our soul and sustain the energy it takes to write freely and without trepidation. The lesson is the more we honor ourselves, the more confident we become.

Okay, I challenge each and every one of you to do one thing this month to prove that you have what it takes to honor your needs and thus, increase your motivation to write.

Here are a few tips to get started:

1. At the beginning of each month (start today), write down one thing that you have wanted to do but haven't. Take one step each week towards honoring that need. For example, let's say you want to take dance lessons, but you are too self-conscious to look into it. During one week you might jot down a few classes that you looked up in the phone book and call a few places and compare them. During week two, you might attend a sample lesson. During week three, you might search for a partner to join you. And during your final week in the month, you might choose the class that suits your needs.

2. Wake up each morning, look in the mirror and ask, "What would I need to help make this day a pleasant one?" If you need a reminder, put a post it with this question on your bathroom mirror. So what if it looks silly! You never know who else might benefit from this question.

3. Carve out 5 minutes a day of reflection time to think about what is important to you and what is not. Make a conscious decision to eliminate dispensable items from your life. For example, after some reflection this week, I realized how much I valued my alone time with my son. I became aware of how much more pleasant I was to be around when I fostered my relationship with him. Something as simple and obvious as this had not entered my mind, particularly when my mind is clouded with dispensable stuff to do. I made a conscious decision to spend at least 45 minutes of uninterrupted alone time on an activity that we both enjoyed. The result? Two mutually connected and fulfilled human beings whose needs are being met. Voila!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Lisa Collazo is a licensed clinical social worker and personal and professional writer's coach. She helps writers discover their authentic voice and challenges them to begin taking risks with their writing. Ms. Collazo's services for writers include individual telephone coaching, email courses and group teleclasses. She can be reached by email at:

Dedicated to helping writers channel fear into creative energy