Critical reflection is seen as an integral part of research, particularly action research. This may take the form of group discussion among collaborative researchers who also act as critical friends. However, group processes are complex and critical thinking of the kind expected in PhD theses, is not guaranteed. Another way is through personal journal writing, but because of its personal nature, the methodology of critical reflective writing remains a mystery to many potential users. This paper represents a case study of the many forms of personal writing used by the author to develop and change her thinking over the course of her PhD.