Vulnerability In Writing

Vulnerability In Writing - R.S. Mollison-Read

Writing, and creation of any kind, requires a great deal of vulnerability. Sharing something you’ve created, exposing your work to an audience and hoping something resonates with them, means setting yourself up for possible failure. This can be so intimidating to creative people, but it also means that it is imperative that your work is authentic, and comes from a place of vulnerability.  For me, vulnerability consists of three different elements:

#1. Honesty:
As writers, we often get to play with the truth; twisting it to our own purposes, creating worlds and characters of our own designs. But in order to truly touch a reader with our story, to create something that resonates with them, we have to write authentically. For me, this means creating characters who learn and grow from each other, and their environment. It means, creating rules and laws that govern the magical realm I’ve written, and reflect my character’s values. In this way I am being honest and true both to myself, and to my writing.

#2. Trust:
For a writer to truly be vulnerable, they need to trust that the story they’re writing is the best version of itself. They need to trust that the people who will read it, will love and cherish their work as much as they do, and that those who don’t will still respect them for creating something at all. As a writer, I know that I don’t always have the pieces to my writing puzzle, and sometimes my characters and stories will take me in a direction I never expected to go. Part of being vulnerable, is trusting to those divergences, and knowing they will take your writing somewhere great!

#3. Resilience:
The most essential aspect of vulnerability, is resilience. Being open to constructive criticism, and using it to make your writing even better, requires a deep knowledge of self, and the ability to accept advice with an open mind. Any creative pursuit requires openness; exposing yourself, and your most cherished values to an audience and hoping that something resonates with them. And in those moments when it doesn’t resonate, the resilient writer can go back to work, and create something new; starting the process over again.

Do you think vulnerability is a necessary attribute in writing? Tell me in the comments below!

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3 thoughts on “Vulnerability In Writing

  1. Its amazing and new as it comes to my notice. Vulnerability- a term you have used for writing process is quite mind blowing and useful tool as well. Thanks a lot.


  2. Like you say, the act of writing, especially writing fiction, is quite a vulnerable act. I’m not sure the reader will always be aware of some of your personal vulnerability in the writing though. Nor is it something I think you’d need to consciously try and put into your writing. Certainly you need to be ready for people to trample on what you’ve created.

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