How to Embrace Vulnerability and Write Your Truth

We’ve spoken about writing your truth before. As you have probably noticed, it can get very convoluted as to what it really means to write your truth. The reason for that is because everybody has their own truth.

Today we are going to look at vulnerability, which I believe is the key to writing your truth. If you can bare your emotions on the page, then conveying a truth is going to be very hard to do.

Emotions play a huge role in writing. Not only in the act of writing a story, but in everything that surrounds it; publishing it, sharing it, getting feedback, everything.

I would say that I have only been a true writer for a year. While I have been writing for most of my life, it was only last year that I buckled down and chose this as my life. Last year was when I shared my writing for other people to read. Last year was when I put myself out there to be loved or rejected. Last year I experienced more emotions than ever before. In fact, it feels like it has been longer than a year.

When I first started this blog I said I was going to go the traditional route when it came to publishing my books. I was going to an agent and all that, but I switched to self-publishing. One, because I am a bit impatient. Two, I wanted to get my book out there for people now. That doesn’t mean I have given up hope on getting an agent, it just means I’m doing things on my own for now. Emotions played a huge role in this.

There are weeks where I feel confident and excited. Then I will have doubts and thinking about a back-up plan. But I know in my heart of hearts, writing is the only career that is going to make me happy. (That and acting, but let’s not get started on that tangent.)

The reason I am sharing this is that, as a writer, you can’t be afraid of emotions. I would hazard a guess that most writers are introverts. We don’t do well speaking out emotions out loud, thus we write them. So, if writing is how we express our emotions as introverts, how can we express our self if we don’t show vulnerability.

But What Will Others Think?

This is probably the biggest roadblock in showing vulnerability through writing. Everybody is worried about being judged. I could say, “get over it,” but that’s rude and annoying. You can’t just simply get over things. Everybody has to work through their own problems in their own time. That doesn’t mean that you can’t work through them faster, but you still have to work through them on your own.

Too often people write off these types of issues as just being in your head. They don’t think there is a real issue. But fears are fears. They are all important and everybody has the right to be afraid of things. The important thing is that you figure out what those fears and work through them so they don’t hold you back in life.

I will dedicate another post on working through these types of issues. For now, let’s look at some of the best ways to show vulnerability in your writing.

Be Open

The key to showing vulnerability is to be open. You can write a one-sided story. Even children’s books have a good side and a bad side. You can’t have light without the darkness. There is no good without the bad. A day always has a night.

When you write with openness, you allow the story to guide you. It will naturally show you where it needs to go. I don’t know how many times my outline has changed once I started writing the story because what I had planned didn’t feel right once it was put on paper.

Trust

Writing with openness and vulnerability means that you trust the process of writing. If you can’t trust the process, you will end up holding yourself back and censoring yourself. I’ve already talked about how censoring yourself is bad for writing your truth. You have to trust that the story is going to lead you to where it needs to go.

This could mean that characters you hadn’t planned on killing are going to die. Your story could plummet to depths you never imagined, but as you work your way back out, your story is going to be better for it. Trust is hard, but it’s what makes for a good story.

DO NOT CENSOR

I’ve said it before and I will say it again, you can’t write your truth and censor yourself. This is also one of those fine lines. There is a way you can go too far with your writing where it can end up causing a lot of backlash. This, in my opinion, is when you write with the purpose of being mean and hateful. If this is you purpose going into a book, do us all a favor and stop. There is enough hate already, there is no need for any more.

With that said, you can write without censorship and not be mean and hateful. If your story tells you that it needs something that many people would consider taboo, put it in there. It will be a better story for it. It can be written in a tasteful manner as well.

A big taboo subject that people are sometimes afraid of touching on is abuse. This could be domestic, sexual, what have you. It’s a touchy subject, but if stories about these things aren’t shared, then nobody is going to learn about them. People who aren’t afraid to write about these things are people who help to change the world for the better. The same goes for injustice as well.

These three tips are heavy subjects, and I understand that. Being vulnerable isn’t something anybody likes feeling. But it is a fact of life. If you don’t feel vulnerable at some point in the writing process, then you need to take a step back and see where you are holding back. Be vulnerable and change the world with your writing.

“If the book is true, it will find an audience that is meant to read it.” – Wally Lamb

FYI:

Grab your copy of Loved by Death on Amazon. Make sure you keep an eye on Loved by Death: Book One of The Wolfsbane Chronicles. You never know what kind of sale you might find.

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Stop Judging and Write Your Truth

If you have been a writer for any length of time, you have probably heard the saying writer your truth. The meaning of this statement is different for everybody, but in essences, it means to be true to yourself. So much of our lives we have to monitor what we say to make sure that we don’t upset somebody. Monitoring everything is detrimental to your imagination.

I want to preface what I’m going to talk about with this statement. I am not talking about being mean or rude to people. Writing your truth is about getting to the depths of who you are. It’s not about saying things just to be hurtful or mean.

Now that that’s out of the way, we can move on.

Writing your truth is important no matter if you write fiction or non-fiction. When you write, you are bearing your soul for the whole world to see. And if you don’t, then your story won’t be the best that it can be.

Don’t Hide You

When you sit down to write, don’t try to hide who you really are. It doesn’t matter what other people think when you are writing. Writing is a safe space. It’s where you can share your deepest and darkest secrets and fears without any judgment. Spew it all out on paper. When you do, you’ll feel like a weight has been lifted off of your shoulders.

Don’t Worry About Others

So often writers go into a story thinking about what other people want to hear. When I first started writing Loved by Death, I didn’t have that problem. I developed as I started to put my writing out for people to read. The reason I didn’t care when I first started writing my book is that I was just writing to do something.

I had no thoughts of publishing it. I wrote it because my friend told me I should write a book. I went crazy with the world because I wasn’t thinking about what other people would think. Once I tuned into my writing dreams, and I started getting published in Milhaven Press, that’s when I found myself judging my words.

When I started looking for book reviews, I almost went crazy. I was literally asking people to judge my writing, and in essence, me. But we can’t go into writing with this thought process. When we do, we will hold ourselves back. We start thinking about what people want to hear as opposed to what you want to say.

Be Vulnerable

You have to bare your heart and soul on your paper. Non-fiction writers have to share everything about the story they are trying to tell the world, whether their own or somebody else’s. Fiction writers have to be able to get to the depth of their characters. There are going to characters that have actions and beliefs that some people will hate while others like them. That’s why people read books.

They want to feel the characters, and without being vulnerable, you can’t put those emotions in your characters or stories. Being vulnerable is no easy task. I get that. But really knowing you will help you to really know your writing.

I am by no means an expert on writing your truth. I am still learning. But, from my experience, I like learning things from people that is just slightly more knowledgeable than me. I don’t think anybody should feel like they know everything about something. We should all continue to learn.

As such, this is just the beginning of writing your truth. I will have many more posts about it. I will also be creating some videos about it as well. Speaking of video, I will be posting videos on YouTube on a regular basis. I am getting my first video together, so make sure you are on the lookout.

“Honesty if the first chapter in the book of wisdom.” – Thomas Jefferson

FYI:

Grab your copy of Loved by Death on Amazon. I will be making Loved by Death: Book One of The Wolfsbane Chronicles available for free on Kindle in the coming weeks, so make sure you keep an eye out so that you don’t miss your chance.