"Staying vulnerable is a risk we have to take if we want to experience connection."
- Brene Brown
I have been wanting to write a book for awhile and just haven't found the right time or process or courage or drive to actually START. (excuse, excuse, excuse)
A few months ago I stumbled upon a local writing coach and a book writing accountability group. I love groups! I love connecting and relating to other people. This group was exactly what I need to get my writing started.
We meet virtually each week to share progress, challenges and offer encouragement. Last week the coach suggested that it was time that we begin sharing our writing with each other. Up until then the conversation had circled around habits and processes. It was time to get vulnerable and share our 'shitty first drafts'.
This type of accountability was exactly what I was needed. I had written a few chapters and felt ready to throw it out there for some feed back.
So I emailed my 'Intro' to the group.
I sent it on Tuesday morning... crickets all day. Wednesday... crickets. Thursday.... more crickets....
Not a single person responded to my writing submission. Not ONE!
Over the week while I waited I went through the gauntlet of emotions. I got mad, then ashamed, then hurt, then sad, then back to mad.
I was quitting.
Quitting seemed to be the easiest, least messy and definitely less emotional way out of this extremely vulnerable situation. Quitting also didn't feel right. It did not feel like I was being true to myself.
I was so embarrassed to send the email to the coach explaining my feelings and asking for a phone conversation. Putting my writing out there is ONE thing, but telling my coach that I had been hurt was a totally different ball game. It was going to take courage and massive vulnerability.
It was going to suck!
And I did it. I had the hard conversation. I let her know how the silence from her and the group had made me feel... I felt hurt, like a bad writer, not worthy, etc. She listened thoughtfully. She genuinely apologized for her role in this.....then she asked me to share this with the group on our next conference call.
Oh shit....more vulnerability.
And I did it. Again. On our next group call I shared my hurt and asking for what I needed.... feedback.
Really, all I needed was a bit of feedback. Just a little recognition that I had bravely put myself and my writing out there.
That afternoon I got more feedback than I ever expected. The group was so supportive and encouraging.... extremely thoughtful as well. My hurt and shame and sense of unworthiness faded.
Vulnerability for the Win.
If I had NOT sent the email I would have quit the group....
If I had quit the group I would have stopped writing consistently....
If I had stopped writing consistently I would lose my sense of creativity....
...and that would have been devastating
Vulnerability for the Win.