We all possess the conscious ability to be self-aware in our lives. Whether it’s related to how we interact with others, how we perceive ourselves within our world, or having the insight to better ourselves, self-awareness can positively impact our lives. While we are also presented with daily examples of politicians, celebrities, and social media videos that show people lacking in self-awareness, having this trait is a definite plus when attempting to exist in the world.
According to PsychCentral.com, “When you look at yourself and are able to recognize and connect emotions, core beliefs, thoughts, and traits — including weaknesses and strengths — you’re practicing self-awareness.” Emotions. Core beliefs. Traits. Weaknesses and strengths. Those definitely sound like areas of oneself a writer and utilize.
If we dig further, we find that the Harvard Business Review (HBR) identified two types of self-awareness. The first, “internal self-awareness, represents how clearly we see our own values, passions, aspirations, fit with our environment, reactions (including thoughts, feelings, behaviors, strengths, and weaknesses), and impact on others.” Again, these are all interesting aspects that can impact our writing and our ability or inability to write.
HBR’s second type of self-awareness was external self-awareness, which “means understanding how other people view us, in terms of those same factors listed above […] people who know how others see them are more skilled at showing empathy and taking others’ perspectives.”
When we write or create, we use internal and external self-awareness to influence what we write, how we write, who we write for, and how we interact with those who read what we’ve written. Self-awareness is a powerful tool that can be used to empower and help us grow as writers and creative people or can cause us to freeze and cower in fear from our own negative thoughts.
Self-awareness in your writing should be the ability to create and allow your imagination to run free, but also the ability to step back and make changes to the work for the better when the time comes. It’s the ability to write fearlessly and not hold back when expressing what you want to say through your characters and story while listening to feedback and making necessary changes.
I know it’s a lot to think about, so we’ll take a whole month to discuss it. Next, we’ll discuss utilizing self-awareness when creating story ideas and getting the writing process started.
Happy Writing, and I’ll see you next time!