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Day 25: October Journaling Adventure with The Joy of Writing Journal

Lisa Tener journaling

Welcome to Day 25 on the journey through The Joy of Writing Journal.

Today we explore some of our quirky personality traits and how they help us as writers. The truth is, I just realized that, while I wrote my Day 25 list of quirky traits, I never answered the prompt about how these traits might contribute to my writing and my voice as a writer.

I ask myself aloud, if my first attempt is to type this into my blog as a post, can it even qualify as my journal? Then I remember, there are not many rules in journaling. We make them up as we go. So call it what you will, but I am calling this my journal excerpt for today:

I love to read fiction, but I’m not so sure I can write fiction! I’m not a keen observer of people. I often take things at face value and don’t dig deeper. I don’t really understand plot. I think I’d have to go back to school for that one.

My gifts include playfulness, rhythm, love of words, a deep connection with nature. I’m kinesthetic by nature. I experience my truth and knowledge in an energetic way. Sometimes that’s hard to translate into writing but sometimes it provides for adroit symbolism.

What’s come naturally to me is to write in self-help and how-to genres—I can dig into my life for short memoirish anecdotes and draw lessons from them. And exercises—prompts, questions, experiences, movement-oriented and creative exercises—all come to me with ease.

My writing coach, Tama Kieves, tells me that the things that come easily to us, we take for granted. We often place more value on what we lack.

Lisa Tener Creativity
Celebrate your quirkiness, or as Morgana Rae once said to me, “Let Your Freak Flag Fly.”

So, today, I’m thinking about these gifts that I do have—gifts that come from my quirky kinesthetic way of being and connecting, from my communion and my natural internal communication with nature, from the rhythm and world play that come organically to me—and I am feeling grateful for them.

These gifts helped make The Joy of Writing Journal the uncommon book that it is. A book that I hope engages you in unique and effective ways that help turn on your creativity and free you in your journaling, your writing and your joy.

I hope you will take this opportunity to let go of looking at what you lack as a writer and seeing what makes you uniquely you as a journaler, writer and person.

Your Turn

Share an excerpt from your Day 25 romp through The Joy of Writing Journal: Spark Your Creativity in 8 Minutes a Day. Looking for the exact journal list and prompt? You can get them here.

The Joy of Writing Journal: Spark Your Creativity in 8 Minutes a Day

If this exercise is challenging for you, don’t feel badly. It was the last exercise I completed—more than a month after I finished the rest of the book.

Sometimes it isn’t easy to acknowledge our idiosyncrasies or our gifts. Give yourself permission to play. Or ask a friend for help with this one. Ask them to make the list and give you feedback to help you with the prompt. Then journal, explore and see what you learn about yourself.

In the comments, feel free to share a few of your quirky traits and how they support your journaling, your writing, your personal growth or other aspects of being a person, creative by nature.

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. Deborah Louth says

    Lisa – I love the photo of you sitting in the Moongate in the Azalea garden. And, I am charmed by he description of yourself. You are able to see yourself clearly with insight and humor; you accept your foibles and assets by spinning them into stories for others to learn. Thank you, for it shows me I can value myself more, giving me permission to come out of hiding to be who I am.

    Day 25 – Quirks and Perks – Prompt – Sensitivity, Wondering, Probing

    My mother often berated me for wanting to know what made people tick, why do they do what they do. My questions seemed endless to her; what are you feeling, how do you know that, how come; and if Adam and Eve had two sons Cain and Abel, how did the world populate – Eve must have had sex with her sons, don’t you think? Sometimes my wondering, sensitive and probing inquiries gave her apoplexy, without needing smelling salts to be revived. Her constant reply’s (her name was Constance) were; it doesn’t matter, it’s not important, you don’t need to know, who cares. Her reigning mantra was, “I don’t want to talk about it”! She taught me what not to do. It’s good I was a rebel.

    My sensitivities, wonderings and sometimes relentless probing to get to the heart of the matter set me apart from others because I made them nervous, like my mother. Later, I came to understand why people don’t want to be fully seen or resist wanting to know new information, which taught me to be more discreet, rather than shocking. I now embrace my quirky behaviors as a great resource that guided me throughout my life and enabled me to train in alternative healing modalities, in order to heal myself and to guide others to seek their truth lurking around their corners. Of course Truth is amorphous, always changing, so I learned to not hang my hat on any one truth forever because a new truth eventually comes along to dispose or enhance the previous knowing.

    • Mary Ann L says

      Deborah- you are always one step ahead of me and this time I didn’t see your post until I posted mine. I however am happy to follow your lead. Your reflections are deeply personal and introspective and I thank you for sharing. I think we may follow different paths but that they are in fact parallel. You make me feel less quirky and think we are kindred spirits. Lead on, Deborah!

    • Lisa Tener says

      I feel for that little girl, Deborah. Such gifts she brought her mother, who was afraid to open to these gifts of seeing in new ways, asking questions, seeking truth. And I love your insights on truth — amorphous, changing. What a powerful and iconoclastic perspective!

  2. Mary Ann L says

    Lisa, you do have an amazing gift for sparking joy! You have made me smile on each day of this journey and I am so grateful to have you in my life! I love your photo at the Kinney Garden and your quote – Let your freak flag fly! My response is less fun and decidedly contemplative- but it is about freedom. From now on I am holding onto Let your freak flag fly- love that attitude!

    A Quirk

    Age has changed me in ways, foreseen and unforeseen. It pains me to think of how much time and angst I suffered wondering what people would think about things I say or do. What a hold I let others have as I allowed or perceived in them to hold judgement or sway over me? I have moved on. Peer pressure no longer has a stronghold on me. I have no invisible shield and people can still wound me. But I am not afraid to be contrary. I am not afraid to stand alone. I am not easily intimidated. And there is more to me than meets the eye.

    I want to peel back the onion. I have carefully guarded my soul, kept secrets that I hid behind. There are stories to tell and I am gathering the courage to face truths and lies in the bright light of day. Still I wonder. Is freedom of speech ever really free? Or will there be a reckoning? In life truths and lies have consequences. Is age making me foolish or wise? Time will tell.

    • Deborah Louth says

      My pleasure Maryann, I don’t consider myself a leader, though in the context of your comment to me, I can see how sharing our stories can lead people to themselves. I’ll bet there are more people like us, who have sequestered away their authentic selves during their lives. I am contemplating your inquiry about freedom of speech and I think there would be a reckoning, if we led a life of total debasement, which we have not.

    • Lisa Tener says

      Wow Mary Ann. This is so powerful. I feel that I am witnessing you stepping into your power. I do have a bit of advice here. Write like you are totally free to say anything because this is a draft and you can edit things out later. When you write without having to worry about the consequences of sharing, or the inner critic, or the saboteur, or hurting someone’s feelings, you can write from that place of power. Then, when it’s time to edit you can concern yourself with consequences, decide which risks you are willing or not willing to take, etc. I think you will find it very freeing and powerful to write this way. And you still can decide later that some of it is not worth the risk, and that is okay. But leave that decision for later! And thank you for your generous words. I am so glad that this journey is sparking joy for you!

  3. Mary Ann L says

    Thank you for weighing in on my post. I appreciate your thinking on this matter very much! I think my post sounded more heavy-handed than I intended, but we live lives that twist and turn and some events may benefit from closer examination. I think in my case self examination. I do not want to swerve into territory that would cause anyone heartache or pain- period.

    I admire how skillfully you use words to entertain and inform. I get how you understand in a way I need to learn the enormous power behind your words. Your advice is solid and emphatic and still so gentle. Thank you so much!

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