Brenda Ueland

Gradually by writing you will learn more and more to be free, to say all you think; and at the same time you will learn never to lie to yourself, never to pretend and attitudinize. But only by writing and by long, patient, serious work will you find your true self. [I]f we can only free it and respect and not run it down, and let it move and work, it is the way to be happier and greater.

But remember always that the true self is never a fixed thing. You can never say: “Good. Today I find at last what I am really like: splendid type!” You cannot say that because the true self is always in motion like music, a river of life, changing, moving, failing, suffering, learning, shining. That is why you must freely and recklessly make new mistakes—in writing or in life—and do not fret about them but pass on and write more.

And do not try to be consistent, for what is true to you today may not be true at all tomorrow, because you see a better truth.

— If You Want to Write