Write to Discover What You Know

Flannery O'Conner Quote

Writing — at its best — can be one of the most satisfying of creative endeavors. Whether working on a novel or scribbling in a journal, writing offers a unique opportunity to turn your thoughts, feelings, ideas and creativity into something more tangible.

“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.”

— Flannery O’Connor

Even when you begin writing with a fully conceived storyline or message in mind, it’s not unusual to end up with a draft that hardly resembles your original intentions. A single sentence can spark a tangential string of writing that brings you to an unexpected place. A character might take on a life of her own. A line of dialogue might reveal an insight you never knew you possessed.  

Sometimes, it’s only after you’ve written that you truly understand what it is you were trying to say. And sometimes, what you have to say surprises you.

Perhaps that’s why journaling is such a rewarding process for so many people — something about the act of putting pen to paper and letting your ideas, imagination and feelings spill out onto the page where you can look at them and think about them really helps you clarify what you know, think, feel and understand.

What discoveries has your writing sparked for you?

There’s much to be said about the craft of writing. That’s why each week on the Abbott Press blog, we’ll take a look at what some of our favorite authors and thinkers have to say about this challenging, fulfilling and sometimes mystifying art. We hope these discussions will help you to further refine your own ideas about writing and to achieve new insights into your own creative process. Browse Weekly Writing Quotes »