Insightful Writing

In a recent post, I wrote about the difference between opinions and ideas. I’ve been thinking a lot about that since, and have decided that writing is a useful tool for turning opinions into ideas…and even INSIGHT.

Whether you’re an author or not, writing helps you get to know yourself (a very daunting task since we are so complicated). My college professor said:

“You don’t know any more than what you can write.”

Yikes! But it’s true. Even my fiction writing helps me learn about how my brain works. Through the challenges I create for my characters, I have to make my own decision about how I would react to a particular situation if I were in their place. I don’t always put my decision into the story (since the characters aren’t me), but going through different scenarios with my character before I publish helps me have a good idea about what I would do…and why.

I love that about writing.

With all the opinions out there in the world, it’s good to do a self-examination of our own opinions we consciously or unconsciously cling to in the waters of life. If we don’t, what we think we already know might damn true learning and enlightenment.

Writing helps me discover what I really think–and whether opinions and ideas that I hold onto might need to undergo an upgrade so I don’t sink. When we question what we know (or think we know), we open the doorway to finding truth. Asking questions to find out the WHAT and WHY of something we believe will help us understand its significance.


Those who ask questions about what seems obvious to them gain INSIGHT into their own thoughts and emotions. So write to learn. Whether you…

  • Blog
  • Write Fiction
  • Write Nonfiction
  • Write Poetry
  • Journal
  • Write Letters or emails, or
  • Jot down notes from reading materials

…I hope that you will ask questions to help you understand the implication of what you write, and make discoveries about who you really are. Happy Writing.


31 thoughts on “Insightful Writing

  1. Very true, Carrie. You took the words right out of my mouth (but at least I held onto the chocolate). Being able to say what we DON’T mean makes what we DO mean or say that much clearer.

  2. I really like this meaty blog posts you’ve been writing. Keep it up. I’m going to read this one again later after I let it sink in a little. Nicely done.

    • Glad you’re a meat lover…ha ha. No light salads on this blog (until I run out of bacon, that is). I love writing these because they make me think and ponder more than my silly rants (although there is a time and place for those too, heaven knows)

  3. Writing definitely helps one gain new perspective, even putting yourself in someone’s else’s place, looking at the world through another’s eyes. I’ve recently starting doing some character sketches before I write a chapter and it’s helping me do just that. I think that’s the insight you’re referring to, Char and it’s vital for good writing I think. Great post–thanks for inspiring us to think more about “insightful” writing.

    • I love character sketches too. I didn’t do them at first, but since I’ve started, it makes me understand my characters (and me) so much better…and it’s more fun to write about them now too.

  4. Really good thoughts, Charissa. I need to come back and read this again, just to let it all soak in. Sometimes it’s hard to branch out and write about characters that would do the opposite of what you would do in a given situation. Once someone asked me if I was Zoe in Lancaster House, because she has asthma and so do I???? No, I answered. Are you kidding? I’d never stay in Lancaster House by myself, much less get one second of sleep! But, I loved writing about someone so much braver than me, who would do things that I wouldn’t do. It made me really think about what I have my characters do and say.
    Thanks for your excellent thoughts. Made me think and use my brain on a Monday!

    • That’s funny about Zoe. I do throw character traits of mine or people I know into characters too, yet my characters are still themselves–fictional with pieces of real life people in them.

  5. Insightful writing is definitely important, and you’ve presented us with a very useful writing equation! If it’s not clear what the significance of something is, readers aren’t going to care about it – even if it seems obvious. Always ask questions!

    • It’s an equation I have to keep reminding myself about all the time as I write. Questioning takes more work and is not for the lazy. Glad you’re back from your break. Good luck on your writing.

  6. Great insightful post (no pun intended). I can write about what you don’t know if you do the research, but you still tend to write from your personal perspective, infusing your personal experiences, and yes, opinions. And I guess that’s what makes every writer different, and why we like some better than others. You’ve got to love the variety of the human race.

    • Exactly true. It’s amazing how one person will love an author and another person will hate that same author…but I think you nailed the reason in your comment. We all have our own life experiences, opinions and ideas that we bring to each piece of writing we read. Sometimes our opinions will make us hate a piece…but from experience in college, when we dig in and study something (even something we hate), we usually come away with an appreciation of their sentiments, even if we still don’t agree.

  7. You’ve been very reflective lately, do you think it’s the big changes in your family with the wedding and your daughter going off on the mission that has put you in a reflective mood? Have you reflected on that? 😉 I need to reflect on what you’ve said about writing here…

    • I guess it could be those big changes…and that I’m enjoying some peace and quiet at last to reflect. I’m actually just circling back to how I wrote in college…remembering past teachings and ideas and putting them down to paper from my sloppy handwritten notes from decades ago.

  8. I love that about writing too even though I still don’t fully understand myself. 🙂 Maybe that’s why I’m still writing. Of all the forms of writing, I think journaling really helps us understand ourselves. That’s how I really started to love writing way back in the days of diaries with little locks on them.

    • Journaling does help you grow and understand your deepest feelings. I always kept a journal (thanks to my mom) from when I was a little kid…and going back and reading them (I have dozens) makes me realize I have grown even if I haven’t recognized it. The proof is very obvious when I read (which makes me feel like I’m not just stagnating in life…Whew!)

  9. Love this a lot, Char, I too am digging these “meaty” posts–but, run out of bacon? Say it ain’t so!

    I’ve been doing a lot of free writing, just keeping my pen moving non-stop for ‘x’ amount of time, and I’m really surprised by some of what comes out. It’s often like mad-libs, and I think, “where did THAT come from?” It’s a reawakening of creativity, I guess. It’s proven very insightful at times.

    Happy Wednesday! – Christy

    • Awesome! Freewriting is so ‘freeing!’ I’m glad you’ve been getting some time in with all the farm work you have (with the cute widdle animals needing you).

  10. As others have said, too, I’m enjoying these more reflective posts. They’re a nice insight into the blogger and thought-provoking for the reader. And I’m all for encouraging people to think!

    • Thanks, Jacqueline. I guess we all just have to write where we feel the inspiration at times–sometimes it’s silly, sometimes it’s not.

  11. I’ll add on that I love your reflective posts, too! I love when writing churns up feelings and questions that I didn’t know I had — and I have to find out more so I can properly relay it to my audience. I learn (or at least ponder) something new every time I write.

  12. Sometimes questioning things leads to me to a new intriguing concept for a novel too. What if and why not are important questions to explore about our beliefs and thoughts. 🙂

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