Practicing Vulnerability in Your Writing
Today’s blog post comes from Book Proposal Boot Camp member and writer Alison Brehme.
Have you ever had writer’s block when it comes to sharing your innermost thoughts and feelings?
Being vulnerable may not be your go-to when you sit down to write. Sometimes, it may feel like you have to force yourself to write from a heart-centered place. And if that’s you – I get it.
It’s easier for me to encourage or teach on a specific topic. But over the years, I’ve learned in business and my writing that vulnerability has to be present, upfront, and center.
Vulnerability creates connection. It’s our stories that make people lean in and pay attention. It’s a powerful tool in your writing toolbox.
As a writer, your job is to relate to the reader’s heart – right where there are, at that moment. We’re all struggling with something. We’re all dealing with pain. That’s why we need to be honest about who we are, what we’ve been through, and our struggles, both past, and present.
Our job is to paint a picture of our experience. To capture their attention with real emotion. It’s not about being profound. It’s not about sounding smart. It’s not about winning awards or contests. It’s about the person on the other end of the book or screen and making a difference in their life.
Truth be told, it’s not always easy to access vulnerability when you sit down to write. How do I add emotion to my message? How do I create an impact without oversharing all the details of my life? Where can I find inspiration so that the words flow through me?
If being vulnerable doesn’t come easy, that’s okay. You are not alone. Here are four things to consider when you want to access your vulnerable side so that your words immediately jump off the page and connect.
Connect with God Before You Write.
How do you connect with God? When do you feel His presence? Do that before you sit down and write. It could be reading your favorite scripture, listening to your favorite worship song, phoning a friend, going for a walk outside, meditating, journaling, or listening to your favorite podcast or devotional. Get your heart centered on God so that you can co-write together.
Be Real, Instead of Watering Down Your Stories.
Christians can be so unrelatable at times. The reason is we aren’t saying what really happened. We are putting too many filters and watering down our human moments.
Example: I don’t want to share that I cursed in that heated argument because people will think less of me. They will think I’m not a “good” Christian.
Here’s a tip: If it adds to the humanness of your story – keep it. If it’s extra detail for fluff or to meet a word count, then ditch it.
If you can create those moments in your writing where someone says, “yes, finally, someone said it, I relate,” it will produce a deeper sense of connection.
Practice, Practice, Practice.
God can use every experience we have for the ultimate good of His kingdom (Romans 8:28). That means no pain is wasted. If your story can serve others, perhaps include it. If it’s still too raw and recent, then save it for another time. Regardless, practice vulnerability in all aspects of your life. Create an intention to do this daily until it becomes second nature. As you do, it will be an inspiration for when you sit down to write.
Welcome Feedback into Your Life.
Invite feedback from others in your life. Openly ask your trusted circle how you can be even more vulnerable. Ask a friend or mentor to read your work to see if they connect with it emotionally.
Even if you wear your heart on your sleeve and it already shines through your writing, commit to going the extra mile. I challenge you to share your natural gift with someone else who is struggling in this area. Be a sounding board and encourage people when you see them share their hearts.
March 2, 2021