Self-editing and self-knowledge

Editing your own writing can mean a lot of self-reflection too. The trick is to realise that the content is not what’s important.

The Thing about Luck by Cynthia KadohataI try to find my deepest, often hidden feelings about what’s working and what’s not. This is difficult because I do lie to myself without being aware that that’s what I’m doing. For me it’s mainly a matter of finding the path to being honest with myself, which is not always a path I enjoy walking down. It’s not an orderly process. It involves a lot of flailing around.’

Cynthia Kadohata. (2013, November 25). National Book Award Winner Cynthia Kadohata on Self-Editing: “It involves a lot of flailing around.” Retrieved March 11, 2014, from Galley Cat. Pictured right, Kadohata’s award winning book The Thing About Luck.

‘A healthy human life requires continuous and flexible verbal self-knowledge … it is rare that content itself is the important issue. ACT therapists encourage clients to see what they see as they see it, without objectifying or concretizing this content in order to justify what was felt or seen. This helps remove the social contingencies that encourage a client to lie or to self-deceive. The irony is that when the specific content of self-knowledge is no longer so much at issue, fluid and useful self-knowledge is more likely to be fostered.

Steven C. Hayes, Kirk D. Strosahl and Kelly G. Wilson. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy: An Experiential Approach to Behavior Change.

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