We always talk and think about self as a noun. When reading Buddhist philosophy, I have never seen exceptions to this. Both "common sense looking" and "metaphysical looking" is looking for the self.
For me, it has been helpful to think about the word 'self' as a verb. Something like this: Self is action, even the sheer directedness of mind is an action. "I" self therefore "I" am. Apart from that, "I" am not. There is no looker apart from the looking, no self apart from the selfing. To me, the question "what/where is the 'I' doing the selfing?" is redundant.
The self is the (dependently arisen) selfing. If, and only if, the causes and conditions for selfing is present, there is selfing. If they're not present in the first place, or removed, there's no selfing.
Why even assume or presuppose that there could be the slightest possibility of finding this “thing” self? Why look? It’s not helpful at all, in my opinion.
Does anyone know thinkers/writers explicitly talking and thinking about self as action/verb?