Why Writing Helps Me to Discover My True Self – Mind Talk

We’re complicated creatures, made up of many different minds – both figuratively and literally – as well different facets, quite a few of which we’re completely unaware of. This makes the quest to ‘know thyself’ as the ancient Greeks told us to do far harder than anybody ever imagined (and nobody ever thought it would be easy). That said, we have to try at least. Because when we don’t know ourselves, then how can we understand what motivates us and why we do the things we do? And how can we know what will make us happy?

One of the ways to delve into yourself is through writing. Now I’m not going to say it’s the best way. I simply don’t know. I haven’t tried all the ways to reach inner understanding. And to pretend I know something I do not know is to not be true to myself.

So I won’t do that.

But it is the best way I’ve found. Because though psychology, philosophy, inner reflection and meditation (to name but a few) all offer glimpses of who you are, none offer what writing offers, which is the opportunity to contain all of us. Because by definition we cannot provide a complete concept of ourselves within ourselves, for that would create an infinite regress, of minds within minds, homunculi within homunculi, all the way down. And that is impossible.

Writing as a formulation and exploration of the self

Writing allows us to escape that trap because as writing is external rather than internal, there is no paradox and therefore nothing that says that who we are cannot be contained within the pages of what we’ve written. And though obviously it is only a snapshot, in that it cannot rewrite itself as we can, it can be accurate for that moment and contain every aspect of who we are then, which means it can offer us a picture of our soul.

What is more, there is even space for evolution in our writing and understanding and by extension we can turn that picture into a video. All we have to do is to continue to write, scrubbing out what was with what is and replacing what is with what will be.

Furthermore, where other ways of self-exploration can only view one dimension of who we are – be it through our emotions, our beliefs, our learning, or the perceptions of others – writing allows us to combine those facets and create a multi-dimensional whole that more accurately reflects us.

In that way it offers a way to process the different ways we’ve come to understand ourselves.

That is not to say that writing on its own can give us insight. We still need all those other methods that I’ve mentioned, as they are the tools – like the hammer, the measuring tape and the pencil – that we can use for self-discovery and without that toolbox, we would be forever adrift. Instead, writing serves as the overarching discipline to bring all those forms of self-exploration together.

It is, to continue the metaphor, the carpenter of our soul.

How to use it

The way to use writing to explore yourself is quite straightforward. It is to write without restraint. Don’t allow yourself to censor your thoughts, or your ideas, or what is inside you. It does not matter what comes out, what is important is that it comes out. Only once you’ve written it can you look back to it and begin to edit – and then only to bring it more in line with the truth, not because you are ashamed of what it says.

Yes, I’m saying you can edit, as there is always space in writing to write more clearly, especially as the movements of the soul are sometimes hard to define and you might need several attempts at it to get it right.

Do note, that I’m not saying that your writing has to be about you. I constantly write about other topics, but it’s the very fact that I’m writing that makes it that, in some way, it’s about me anyway. After all, you can’t but help leave an imprint of your character upon the things you create.

Obviously, if you do find something of yourself in your words, that is very personal, and I’m not sure you should share it with others. At the same time, it absolutely worth keeping around, as this kind of writing isn’t just useful now, to help you understand who you are, it will be equally useful in the years to come to help you understand who you were.

This is far more vital than you realize, as your recollection isn’t quite as good as you may believe it to be, in part because we have this annoying habit to constantly change our memories. That means that these snapshots of your true self may be the only record left of who you really are in the years to come.

And in that way what you have written, what you write today and what you write down the line can offer you a transition from past to present and on wards to future times. And that, as I said, gives you that very movement that allows you to capture the full breadth of who you are.

Written by Kerry Creaswood

— Share —

— About the Author —


  1. Saoirse Avatar

    Couldn’t agree more! It’s amazing how your chaotic thoughts magically calm down once you put them into words. I totally agree with you! But once the readers read what I’ve written in my blog, the initial reaction would be “she’s so dangerous. She has such dangerous thoughts.”

Leave a Reply

— Follow Us —

Up Next

An Open Letter To The Hustlers

An Open Letter To The Hustlers

To be or not to be, to go all in or to unwind and relax, we question our dreams, running in constant chase of our quests to come true, we are the ones who never sleep. Dreamers we are called, the ones who passionately strive in the endeavours of the best they could ever be, here is a letter to me, a letter to you. In the stride of embracing the best you have ever been, nurture your soul before the onset of the abundance in you that lies unseen.

Too bold, too much for your age, you are doing too much, how often have you heard these notions been used to describe you? As we tirelessly strive to achieve the next goal we have in our mind, we are often told that we are being hard on ourselves, to enjoy life a little. Life in its entirety passes by us in its dynamic flair, and the existence we envisage holds unique individuality to each one of us. The choices one makes for themselves belies them and them only, and t

Up Next

How To Remain Centered And Calm In Face Of Difficulty

My life is a mess and I have nothing to be grateful about! I witness myself say this phrase from time to time, where life plonks us into the desperation of ebb and flow of wilderness and things not going in our favour.

It is easy to say we are grateful and in complete balance when things are going well and life feels like the warm embrace of the sun shining on a Sunday morning. But the real test lies in remaining grateful and centred when life feels like spinning out of control.

While it is easier said than done, here are some reminders that might help you get through the days that feel like a burden –

1) This too shall pass, no moment in time that feels permanent loses its impermanence. We often lose hope when things don’t go our way and during these sad days, we should remember, that t

Up Next

15 Most Liberating Thoughts For Someone Who Needs It

Our life unfolds in a succession of revelations of who we are. It is when we sit down and repeat the same sentence in our head over and over again, in every action we perform, every activity we indulge ourselves in, does it indulges into our existence as a habit.

The key to having a sense of liberation is allowing life to flow through, not forcing anything and more essentially not resisting change. I believe that our life improves in the direct proportionality of how often we are exposed to situations where are forced to challenge our age-old beliefs and counterfeited perceptions and seek the greater version of ourselves. When we get too comfortable in the comfort zones we build for ourselves, we do not grow into the people we are meant to be. Sadly most people embrace change only when metamorphosis is the less painful and only possible option.

I know that

Up Next

My Rendezvous With Life

My Rendezvous With Life

The treacherous waters of existence hail in their stride,As the beauty of sailing against the winds uproars in its ride.Benevolence in its yonder stirs the mirth of the true,Navigating the turbulent waves, death and I had a rendezvous.

I sought the beauty of the light that was unseen,In the depths of my muse, I found my world within.Life in its flair, trudged me into the emblems of the dark,The dreams that perspired in the seed embraced their death,As it was time for a new quest to embark.

Quaint whispers that echoed in their gallant stance,The jeers that surmounted the uncertainty galloped in their dance.Silencing the wind, bestriding the fall,I plunged into the entirety of my endeavours that call

For I chose to befriend the walk that marked the

Up Next

The Power of Understanding Your Love Language

The Power of Understanding Your Love Language

Love is the purest emotion one feels towards themselves and another individual. While the expression of love can vary in its entirety from one person to another, the care we hold for the ones we love shares an undeniable impact on how we forge our perceptions of interpersonal relationships. The way we communicate our feelings to someone also says a lot about how we are wired, the method of conveying our affection to our beloved ones is called a love language. You may express affection to the one you love regularly, but do you take the time to ensure that you are communicating it in the way that the other person prefers? Even love can become lost in translation when two individuals speak different love languages.

What are the five love languages?

Up Next

The Beauty Of Gratitude In A World Full Of Cynicism

The Beauty Of Gratitude In A World Full Of Cynicism

Ever acquainted with the phrase that the world that you exist in, the life that you embody dwells in the perception of the stance you hold for yourself. The beauty and the tragedy of life is that it is as beautiful as the optimistic lens of perception and as ugly as the pessimistic view of your being.

The strive of our endeavours and the constant effort to achieve the next massive milestone often drive us to the edges of insanity, to be in the consistent light of greatness we lose sight of the great strings of joy that bind our existence together. To be the best we have ever been we must be mindful of the best we are. Coinciding in the traps of negativity and yet claiming to be the best version of yourself is a blinding truth that lies to only

Up Next

I Breathe In The Sauntering Air That Collapses My Being

I Breathe In The Sauntering Air That Collapses My Being

I breathe in the sauntering air that collapses my being,I breathe through the crevices of my existence unseen.Uncertainty in its yonder strikes in bolt on the scars that nobody sees,Redemption that loves, redemption that is free, find me in the depths of my poetry.

Tales of lust ridden in smeared touches that belie,Entreated with envy, the visions of victory lie.To be or not to be in a question that yet lies,For I yearn for a world where fond passion never dies.

Enclasped in the cage of the deemed duty,Bounded in her vows, she forgot she was a thing of beauty.In a realm we live, where amour in its truth fails to stand tall,She, tired of her existence, submerges herself into the beauty that her dreams enthrall.

Chaos in its uproar hails in its darkness