If you do not tell the truth about yourself you cannot tell it about other people.

Virginia Woolf

Virginia Woolf, a celebrated 20th-century English writer, wrote often about truth, including this quote from a lecture she gave in 1940. In the lecture, she examined the circumstances and characteristics that form great writers. One virtue in her mind that stood above the rest was truth. Woolf believed that honesty breeds creativity, but the writer must tell all truths, including the unpleasant ones. It's difficult to openly paint ourselves as petty, vain, mean, selfish, unfaithful, or unsuccessful. But only after we take an honest look at ourselves are we able to see the truth in others.