Getting to know yourself better will greatly improve your writing. The more familiar you are with your thoughts, dreams, goals, values, strengths, experiences and ideas the better able you are to draw from them and connect them with interesting writing.
This isn’t the same as learning to string together proper sentences. Neither will it teach you brevity or clarity. Those skills you can practice with each writing effort you make, and it is often only in editing that those abilities are honed. This is instead about building your own voice and expression. And it is here that your true power as a writer lies.
It seems like it should be easy to know ourselves, but it’s not. There are things deep inside that will surprise you. This is because you are constantly adding more to yourself day by day and because everything you take in can be endlessly combined and recombined into new ideas and thoughts. All of this is rich material for your writing.
As you practice drawing on your inner resources you grow your awareness of your strengths and weaknesses. You get to know what brings you energy, joy and enthusiasm. You learn when you are at your best and how to create the best circumstances for finding your creative flow.
Your skills increase day by day, year by year. You find you have skills you had no idea you were gaining. Painful circumstances and those times when life demands more of yourself are when you grow the most. Each of these skills benefit your writing both directly and indirectly.
Finally, one of my own personal themes that I write about and encourage others to do is to learn total self-acceptance and love. From the inside out.
This is a gift you give yourself, and when you do, you find an amazing freedom. As you embrace yourself, you are able to freely and fully express yourself. You are no longer afraid. You break down your limitations that hold you back. Usually self-acceptance is a long process and many people don’t manage it until late in life. This is important work and shouldn’t be delayed. Begin now the practice, and you will get the benefits much faster. Your creative expression depends on it.
Here I have collected a series of writing prompts that are designed to help you get to know yourself better. You can keep them together in a separate journal or you can just add them into your regular journaling activity.
You don’t need to worry about how well you express yourself or how perfect the writing is. This is free writing. You can express yourself however you want. In fact, I encourage you to be creative in how you do it. Make it yours in every sense. If you write on paper, then use large letters, write in the margins, make diagrams, whatever you wish. If you write in the computer then make use of headings, fonts, type sizes, add photos, and effects to add more expression.
Most importantly, have fun with the exercises!