Second, writing helps you to understand yourself: I have seen people who often have an utterly misplaced idea of who they really are. This is more or less natural: every person is a complicated being with layer upon layer of thoughts, ideas, sentiments, emotions, prejudices and so on, which remarkably obscure what they are at the core. While this virtual garb of perceptions and prejudices is exceptionally thick and impenetrable in most people in some fields like politics, ordinary people like you and me are also not immune from this; over time we develop a customary idea of ourselves that may have little to do with the reality. This said, people have different ways of discovering their real self every now and then: after major jolts in life or while mourning for someone who meets untimely death, just to exemplify. In such instances, we tend to look deeper into our existence and ask ourselves: what for, after all? Why do I live and how shall I die? It is, of course, an altogether different reality that we tend to forget about all this ‘sentimental stuff’ the moment we have to resume our worldly duties.
It is precisely here that writing comes into picture: it helps me penetrate the layers of perceptions and prejudice to peek into the core of my self. While it is perfectly possible to venture into the dark depths of solitude without writing a word, written words are extremely useful at such moments: while you utilize writing process to cope with the situation, writing uses this peculiar state of mind to produce unique and otherwise impossible write-ups. I remember writing a short story early one morning years back at heights of frustration, sitting in a cemetery, and with myself as a protagonist. The recent poem on solitude was also written at the lowest point of the year at which I faced the abyss eye-to-eye.