Breathe. Write. Breathe. - 18 Energizing practices to spark your writing and free your voice by Lisa Tener

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18 Energizing Practices to Spark Your Writing & Free Your Voice

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Day 9: October Journaling Adventure with The Joy of Writing Journal

I made my list of quirky character traits for Day 9 after writing in my dream journal and felt utterly uninspired to turn my traits into actual characaters.

Lisa Tener Joy of Writing Journal

Or maybe just resistant. I hadn’t attempted fiction in ages. Or maybe I just wasn’t ready…

Who am I to judge myself? Or anyone, for that matter.

A day later, I looked over my list. Twice. Maybe I’ll start with a character who sings off key. Only when I imagined my character she sang in a beautiful, haunting voice. Then I remembered another trait from my list—communicating with fairies. After that, my sprightly story wrote itself.

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

Your turn.

List some quirky character traits. Then pick a few for your character(s) and start playing.

Share a snippet or share something about your experience, as I did.

Remember, we’re just playing in our journals, no need to polish anything you share. This is just for FUN, to get our writing muscles working, to cultivate a sense of play and to experience writing in a supportive community.

Of course, if and when you stumble upon delight…that’s a gift, too.

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

    Day 9 An interesting character enters the scene Prompt – Emotionally sensitive

    Lilith closed the book contemplating what to do with this new information garnered from reading this memoir. Munchausen’s Disorder/Malingering is a mental disorder in which a person deliberately fabricates, exaggerates or induces physical and/or psychological harm or illness in themselves for the purpose of gaining sympathy, opioids or insurance benefits. Lilith’s rage was palpable. She was helping a family member with his medical crisis’s, which were never ending for over 2 years. She was deceptively caught in his web of deceit, seeing herself as a fly to his spidery shenanigans. How dare you, as a string of curses pierced the silence. As she shockingly started putting the pieces of his medical history together, it painted a colossal picture of medical fraud. His behavior fit the diagnosis to a tee. After days of internally fuming and alternately catatonic, Lilith shed her victimized feelings, stood tall and resolved to withdraw her support from him – taking back her power!

  2. Maureen says

    This is my quick character sketch — my traits are reckless, curious, trusting and kind.

    I see a big guy, in his 20’s. False teeth in the front from getting them knocked out a few times. Acts first and thinks later, and quick with his fists. Quite bright, likes to learn new things and figure stuff out on his own. Mostly takes people at their word, at least to start, and would give you the shirt off his back if you needed one. Even if that meant taking the shirt off someone else’s back first. Does like and trust most people, at least to start, and is sometimes taken advantage of. Hence the quick fists and false teeth. However, does not typically trust or respect authority figures.

    This is a guy you can really like, even though he was born to get in trouble…

  3. Maureen says

    Aaah! There’s the rub. I can picture characters pretty easily. My difficulty is putting them in motion. That’s where I often get stuck. So I tried to think of “high stakes.”

    I ended up with something about losing his job (again) after sticking up for a coworker with his boss…and how his wife was going to be upset (again), and how maybe he should be his own boss…

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