Vulnerability has become a buzzword. It’s been made popular by people like Brené Brown, Elizabeth Gilbert and Glennon Doyle Melton. Some have called this interest in vulnerability the Vulnerability Revolution.
So what does this have to do with being a pro writer? Everything.
Vulnerability is the writer’s super power in two ways and always has been. Paul Gallico, author of Confessions of a Story Writer published in 1948, expressed it well in these lines:
“It is only when you open your veins and bleed onto the page a little that you establish contact with your reader. If you do not believe in the characters or the story you are doing at that moment with all your mind, strength, and will, if you don’t feel joy and excitement while writing it, then you’re wasting good white paper, even if it sells, because there are other ways in which a writer can bring in the rent money besides writing bad or phony stories.”
To be a pro is to open up to all your feelings and be willing to put them on the page. The pro can’t afford to hide or shrink their essence. Look at the writers I mentioned above. Brené, Elizabeth, Glennon all offered up their personal stories in order to connect with us and show a way through. The connection they forged created their career.
Being vulnerable allows writers to create powerful work. It also allows writers to share it.
To share your stories and wisdom is to stand naked before your readers. You just poured yourself onto the page, warts and all. Not everyone will appreciate what you created. And it won’t be perfect. But there will be some whose lives you change. That can’t happen if you hide.
Pros may be afraid to release their writing to the world, but they move through the fear and do it anyway. To share yourself is an act of vulnerability. It just is. To become a pro means you accept this. Eventually you will look forward to it even as your heart beats too fast and your palms sweat. Pros choose to call it excitement, not fear.
So, take a deep breath and dive in. The world needs your stories. It needs more people to open up and connect. Make vulnerability your super power and fly.
If you’d like a safe place to practice being vulnerable, join me in The Writers Sangha, a free Facebook group. In it you can gain the coaching and accountability you need to get the writing done.