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What makes you vulnerable?

Make a list.

list

I’ll wait. Are you making a list, or are you just reading ahead? Seriously…make a list. I wasn’t kidding. You’ll need to refer to the list to continue on…

Now that you have your list, LOOK AT IT.

Are you writing about these things?

If you are avoiding the things that make you uncomfortable and vulnerable, are you really being the most authentic writer you COULD be? Are you delivering the goods by hiding behind a facade of false emotions and safe-ness? Or are you stymieing yourself by avoiding things and then transferring these avoidances into your narrative.

Go to that place that makes you uncomfortable. Go to the wall you built for yourself but never climb, or to the line in the sand you marked out for yourself but never put your foot over. Go there now. Climb the wall. Put your foot over that line. Make yourself squirm with discomfort. Tackle the issues you avoid.

Only by breaking through these vulnerabilities will you drop yourself down to a deeper level. It will make your writing better. It will make you better.

Writing isn’t easy. Writing isn’t about comfort. It’s about making yourself uncomfortable. It’s about stretching the envelope for yourself, and perhaps stretching the envelope for others…if you’re lucky enough to have readers. Writing is about ideas, exploration, frontiers, change. How are you going to write with authenticity, if you’re avoiding your authentic feelings.

Look at your list. Now go to your writing…and move your foot forward when all of your instincts tell you to stop. Keep writing when you write yourself into a corner that you can’t get out of because you don’t want to breach your own sense of safety and security. Explore those emotions that you’re afraid of confronting. KEEP WRITING. The more you write about your fears, the more you free yourself from their hold on you. Write through your discomfort. Write while vulnerable…

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Just a random photo from my collection. The night we took a ferry out on the water to capture the night-time skyline of Shanghai. So much beauty. Imagine if I had a fear of flying!