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How To Expertly Utilize Vulnerability In Your Writing

Written by: Cori Wamsley, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


Something I value in a story is vulnerability, which takes more than just courage. It takes knowing how to write a story that connects with your audience and share pieces of your own journey that others have experienced as well.

Do we really need to be vulnerable though? Sometimes it feels super uncomfortable, right?

The thing about vulnerability is that it gives others permission to be vulnerable too. To be themselves. When we are vulnerable, we know that it’s ok to try and make mistakes or even fail. But it’s that trying piece that lets us explore beyond where we may be comfortable. It allows us to do something daring or unusual. And it allows for bigger successes than we may have dreamed possible.

The vulnerability lets us expand our comfort zone and allows others to do the same.

Many writers are doing bold, brave things, whether in male-dominated industries, on top of a mountain, buried in a group of vastly different individuals, or in the comfort of their own homes. Regardless of where you are or what your journey looks like, you are giving your peers and future generations permission to do the same. You are showing your reader how to rise and fall and pick themselves up again.

Brené Brown said that “[w]e’re wired for story. In a culture of scarcity and perfectionism, there’s a surprisingly simple reason we want to own, integrate, and share our stories of struggle. We do this because we feel the most alive when we’re connecting with others and being brave with our stories—­it’s in our biology.”

Connection is key to opening up the conversation, exploring new ideas, and breaking through to change and improvement, internally, nationally, and globally.

So how can you make use of a vulnerability in your writing?

Sink into the Darkness

To start, allow yourself to be in a difficult place in your journey. This is where you likely felt uncomfortable, unsafe, and alone. Describe it. Get into the emotions, because this is the place that many of your readers will be sitting when they find your work.

Be cautious though. No one WANTS to sit in the darkness. And be gentle if your subject matter could be triggering. This is only a dip into the difficult times. A brush with the tragedy. You don’t want your reader to feel like they are staying there too long.

Weave in the Transformation

This might be a long part of your journey, but that’s ok! Transformation, which some call the “messy middle,” is supposed to be up and down, in and out. It’s supposed to show that you’re a real person who doesn’t go straight from frustration to success.

During this part of your writing, you want to share that you backtracked, that you pushed yourself, that you stopped believing, and that you started again. Let people know what the journey is really like because you are their guide. They want honesty, real and raw. So give them all of that.

Most importantly here, you want your reader to feel inspired and motivated. Show them that it’s possible to survive this tough part of the journey.

Stretching out the Win

At the end of the journey, showcase your win, battle scars and all. Let people see that the final destination is just as sweet as they imagined it to be.

Share emotion. Share the scene. Let your reader see what it’s like once you’ve navigated the rapids and come to smooth, open water.

Remember that this is what your reader wants.

Feeling too Vulnerable?

Always trust your gut when you’re sharing your story. If you feel like you’re being too vulnerable, it could be for a couple of different reasons.

You might feel uncomfortable because you’re stretching your comfort zone. It’s really common to look at a new thing and panic a little. If that’s the feeling coming through, focus on how it will feel to connect with others through your story and hear people say, “Someone finally understands!” Going back to your purpose is a great way to stay motivated and on track.

Conversely, you might not be ready to share that story. If you feel really exposed, ask yourself if this is the time. It could be that you just need to heal more around that story before you’re ready, and that’s perfectly ok!

Don’t push yourself to share something that you aren’t ready to share. When you are ready, the results will be that much sweeter!

All our stories make us special, unique, and whole. They show us that we are more alike than different and that no matter where we are on our journeys, we have so much to teach one another. Sharing our lessons and our ups and downs helps connect you with your reader and can lead to bigger things like speaking engagements and coaching clients.

Connection is always the reason why people are willing to trust and become followers and buyers. Remember to be vulnerable, in a good way, when you share your story!

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Cori Wamsley, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Cori Wamsley, CEO of Aurora Corialis Publishing, works with business owners who have a transformational story to share. She helps them quickly and easily write and publish a book for their brand that helps them create a legacy and be seen as an expert while building a relationship with the reader. Cori has 17 years of experience as a professional writer and editor, including 10 years with the Departments of Energy and Justice and 4 years as the executive editor of Inspiring Lives Magazine. She also wrote eight fiction books and one nonfiction book, The SPARK Method: How to Write a Book for Your Business Fast, and contributed to two anthologies. Her newest book, Braving the Shore, was released in June 2022.



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