Monday, November 2, 2015

Being Vulnerable (Why Writing a Book is Hard)

Amberly is also a speaker and writer.  In fact, she's one of my
favorite speakers!  Invite her to speak, and check out
her blog! She's pretty amazing and has a great sense
of humor!  
"I've been working on my book, but so far I still only have one chapter written...And I've noticed my best writing comes at night," I told my friend and mentor, Amberly.  Responding, she told me, "Some people say that we write best at night, because after a long day, that's when we let our guard down.  That's when we're most vulnerable."  


I've been trying to write my book (a memoir) for a few months now, since about May.  In August, I celebrated the completion of one chapter.  (Give or take some later modifications as the book develops.)  But since then?  I've been stuck.  Writer's block and I have been hanging out daily, becoming instant best friends.

Here's the thing...I love how my first chapter has turned out.  But it was a process.  A vulnerable process.

Typically, being open, raw, and vulnerable has come easy to me when writing my blog.  Actually, I usually write when I feel the most emotionally raw.  I've never thought twice about being vulnerable with you, my readers.  But now I'm writing a book. While I do go deep on some of my blog entries, I feel like they're way more surface in comparison of the book I'm working on.  With my book...With the one chapter I've written...I've dived down deep, scuba diving into the depths of my story, exploring areas I didn't know were there.

In my book, I'm wanting to share both the highs and lows of my story with you - which is pretty much the equivalent of giving you a key to my house...A key that lets you into my life, allowing you to watch the joyous moments of celebration, as well as very personal, hard moments, that found the ugly cry as a companion.  In my book, you'll see moments with incredible encouragement and triumph, but also the moments where I just wanted hide under a rock, throw in the towel, and quit.

Once my first chapter was written, I found myself writing to my friend, "I have to say...Writing this chapter on this one subject, I learned a LOT about my own situation and a LOT about myself.  As I was writing it, I caught myself thinking a few times, 'This is not what I planned to write in this chapter - at all.  This is a bit more honest than I planned to be - with my readers, but more importantly, with myself!!'"

Being vulnerable...Yikes.  What a scary concept.

I'm sure I'm totally backwards...But I'm not afraid of being vulnerable with my readers, I'm afraid of being vulnerable with myself.  I'm afraid the potential discomfort I'll experience as I dive down deep, continuing to learn important lessons from my own story.

Something you may not know about me: I've not always had a healthy relationship with my emotions.  Actually, I use to be terrible with them. If there were a marathon where people run from their emotions, I would have won first place.  Hands. Down.  I've been known to burry emotions and struggles down deep, moving on before I should.

The older I get, the better I am at handling my emotions.  It's still not perfect, but the relationship with them is healthier.  (Writing has been a huge help in recent years.  In the last few years, I've also been blessed with some beautiful friendships with some amazing people, which is something that I once majorly lacked.)

And here's the thing...I'm afraid of being vulnerable with myself.  I'm afraid of the lessons I still need to learn, the lessons that I'll learn as I write my story in an in-depth level.  I'm afraid of what I may dig up...the possible emotions I've buried, the emotions I'll have to finally handle.  I'm afraid of being honest with myself.

Yet, in the midst of this...I know that sharing my story and encouraging others is something God has called me to do - no question.  No matter if I am published by a traditional publisher, or go down the self-publishing route, this is the calling I'm meant to follow.  This book is meant to be written.  Maybe it'll one day change and encourage the life of a future reader, maybe not.  But one thing I know for certain?  Readers or no readers - pen in hand, it'll change my life as the author.

The lessons I have yet to learn may be scary, but I know they'll stretch and mold me into a better person.  I know they are lessons that need to be learned.

I have to stop running from my calling, I have to stop making up excuses.  I have to dare to be brave, and honest...I have to dare to be vulnerable.

How is God asking you to be brave?

The Travelin' Chick,

Connect with me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Periscope (@travelin_chick).

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