"A cat has absolute emotional honesty: human beings, for one reason or another, may hide their feelings but a cat does not." -Ernest Hemingway

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Discover Your Creativity Through Self-Discovery

Recently, I read an interesting article about Edgar Allan Poe having a feline muse named Catterina and I immediately connected to how he must have often felt when he was writing since I too have a feline ghost writer; who happens to also be a sagacious black cat! (Sagacious is the adjective Poe uses to describe
Pluto, in The Black Cat. (read it here) 

The article also made me wonder about what the journey of his self-discovery as a writer must have been like to have written such deep dark emotional stories. If you haven’t read Edgar Allan Poe in a while you may find it fun to check out this
great site (poestories.com).
Now I believe for most writers, as it is for me, writing is one of the most satisfying ways to discover your inner self. Characters come alive through our feelings and often times they can reflect a little bit of ourselves. After all, isn’t that why we write? How about you, does writing take you on a self-discovering journey?

Since we’ve been exploring writing techniques over the past couple weeks, let's explore how self-discovery can also be a writing technique. 

When we explored the difference between plot and story,(click here), we discovered story is the emotional element that drives the plot.  Therefore, self-discovery is the origin of your story! 

Just like you, every character has certain capacities. They love, they care about someone or something and they also hate. So when you write, ask yourself these questions: "What am I feeling right now? How do I want the reader to feel? Do I want them to feel the same way?” If you could’t answer any of these questions, you may not yet have a complete understanding of your inner self.  By taking time to sit down and analyze your feelings you can help to bring a whole new emotional level to what your protagonist is going through and how they will handle the situation. 

Here is a checklist of questions to ponder as you set out on your journey of self-discovery:

     What emotions would I be 
     feeling if I were the main 

     How would I handle it?

Is my main character the right kind of person to relay these feelings?

If you answered no to the latter, it may be time for you to remold them into the image you want your readers to connect with. This may require you to dig deeper down into your writer’s soul to discover who you really are and why you are writing the story you are. Can you only imagine what was running through Edgar Allan Poe’s soul when he wrote The Tell-Tale Heart, published in 1850! (read it here)

So don’t fear the process of self-discovery, because you might just discover it’s the secret to your creativity!

Until next time,

Keep on thriving, keep on striving and keep on writing!

T.K. Millin
The Unknown Author           



  1. Great post, young lady. I fed your fish, by the way.

    For me it is easy to get into the heart and soul of my protagonist because I am that person. I'm a multi-dimensional guy and totally immerse myself in my written persona. Sight, hearing,touch, smell, taste, and even time play a part of the imagery I wish to portray. When I do my second draft, I close my eyes after I have read a section to see if the sensuality is complete. If not, it must be changed.

    Editing with closed eyes. Am I the only one who does this? I certainly hope not.


  2. Glad to hear your voice again! No, you are not alone in editing with your eyes closed. I wonder if that is where Stanley Kubrick got the idea for, Eyes Wide Shut...mmmm?
    I enjoy your work, and hope you have many, many more stories to tell!
    Thanks for feeding the fish! I need to get some more things published; they're getting lonely!!!

  3. Fish need companionship and love, too. :D