Why I Write, According to National Geographic 

My mind was running terribly faster than my car could or should ever possibly go about a situation that was emotionally bothering me when suddenly an opening line – a hook – came to me. I quickly parked my car in a shopping center parking lot, opened the Notes App on my phone and started frivolously writing about why everything would be okay. By the end of my note, I felt at peace.

I have been writing for much of my life and sometimes have wondered why writing is a step I always take in the coping process, while many of my friends may skip it. I recently read a beautiful, 126-page publication of National Geographic, Your Personality, Explainedcover-to-cover in one sitting with absolute fascination. It explained generally why we do or think certain things based on our personality traits, behaviors, values and more. In reading, I discovered why I do something that I do almost everyday: write.

It discussed journaling as a proven way to make sense of events. People who journal seek to find common themes and meanings woven into their life histories. By showing how events are correlated, those who write try to gain a sense of control over seemingly unrelated events. It seems that personal and professional non-fiction writers have quite a lot in common when it comes to the underlaying purpose: to find connections.

“We cobble together a personal narrative in order to give our lives a consistent theme and purpose.” – National Geographic’s Your Personality, Explained

I have been self-reflecting through personal writing since grade school. While my journal has evolved from a spiral notebook that I hid under my bed to an app on my phone, both journals have showcased my raw emotions as I seek peace with situations or explore emerging thoughts. In fact, I figure that if anyone found and read my journal entries, they would have an impressively good overview of my life’s turning points.

According to a quiz in the magazine, my most prevalent personality trait is being open, which which suggests that, among other things, I like to learn things simply for the sake of learning. A major proof point to this trait was that I found this magazine in the first place; I turned my head in curiosity upon seeing the magazine’s headline, walked out of the checkout line to grab it, purchased it and read every word of it after I got home. 

I think I write – whether in my personal journal or on this public blog – to learn more about myself and the world. When I write, I am exploring a path in a web of thoughts. When I write, I give myself the opportunity to learn just for the sake of learning; to exercise my most prevalent personality trait.

Knowing your strengths and investing in the dynamic fruition of your personality is proven to help you lead a happier, more fulfilled life. Start exploring what makes you, you by journaling. Perhaps, like me, you can find common themes that are supported by your personality traits identified in Your Personality, Explained or by the Myers-Briggs Personality Assessment.

Check this out!

I created my first-ever Twitter poll to see if I could support the publication’s claim that someone’s personality could be accurately judged from their social media activity. Even though my sample size was quite small, it looks like my followers who did respond know me well!

Test your followers to see if they can accurately place your personality! 


Feature photo by Barry Silver.

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