Is There Such a Thing as Being Too Vulnerable? {Thursday Thoughts for Writers}

Is There Such a Thing as Being Too Vulnerable? {Thursday Thoughts for Writers}

I felt as if I were standing naked on stage, but with my eyes squeezed shut.

Did I really just hit "publish?" I asked myself.

This level of vulnerability is applauded in the writing world and is usually strangely liberating for me.  But there have been a few times over the past six months of writing consistently that I wondered if my secret was meant to stay that way for a little longer--secret.

This week I ran across an article that gave me permission to guard my heart again.  Rebecca Reynolds, in her article "Why It's Kind of Okay if Nobody Reads Your Blog," writes, 

"...we can feel like we always need to know the beautiful narrative running through our present disasters. This is something that can take years to figure out, but as bloggers, we need to know it right now, today, and be able to communicate it to others...We can feel pressure to tidy up our story too fast. We try to tuck all the loose ends in and sand off all the raw edges. But if we define what’s happening too soon, we might miss what’s going on that is more important that we haven’t even considered yet. Like touching a moth while it’s coming out of a cocoon, we can distort what’s really needing to happen in a time of transition." 

In December, I wrote about Mary pondering in her heart and keeping secrets with GodIt's time that I apply this not only to my daily life, but to my writing life as well.  In that post, I said, "I aspire to be more like Mary.  To absorb more and pontificate less.  To meditate rather than act thoughtlessly.  To be a contemplative in a world that demands action."  

Perhaps if I extended my pauses, I could ward off the impulse to hit "publish" before the time is right.

This morning as I chopped onions and rosemary for our crock pot dinner, it hit me that this slow-cooking food is just like the narratives God is speaking to my heart.  What would it taste like if we decided we wanted to eat it after 3 hours of cooking instead of 8 hours like the recipe called for?  If we allow our stories the time they need to simmer instead of serving them before they're ready, then we're more likely to offer a fragrant meal of wholeness.  

And maybe--just maybe--God did not intend for every thought and reflection to become a blog post or articlePerhaps He wants to have an intimate moment with me that is not shared with the masses, but is whispered to my ear and intended for my heart alone.  

I'm praying for wisdom to know when my words are ripe for the sharing.  And I'm asking for faith to believe that they are valuable even if they are never read by anyone, because through them, I have shared a secret with God.


How do you know when it's time to write about something and when you need to let it simmer a bit longer before sharing it with the world? 

How much of what you have written have you never shared with anyone?


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On Thursdays this year, I'll share thoughts, tips and inspiration for writers.  I'm certainly not an expert, but am simply seeking personal encouragement in this art and want to share with anyone who's also trying to find their way as a writer.  These short posts will come from books, articles, the Bible, my own thoughts, and other people.  Subscribe in the upper right corner so that you don't miss a post.  If you're new to the series, find all the posts here.  Come meet me in the comments--I'd love to read your thoughts on writing.

Happy writing!


Is There Such a Thing as Being Too Vulnerable? {Thursday Thoughts for Writers}

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