How Vulnerability Makes Your Writing More Engaging
Dig deeper to share your true self
by Joanne Troppello
“What happens when people open their hearts? They get better.” — Haruki Murakami
Vulnerability in your writing is an important factor in engaging with your readers when creating articles that resonate with people.
I’ve been writing for over twenty years and started writing poetry in the beginning of my journey. It’s easier to be vulnerable when writing poems because it’s an excellent format to share your feelings through words.
I transitioned from writing poetry to writing short stories and novels. When I started my freelance copywriting work, I had a shift in the thought process and had to focus on educating the reader through my words—while promoting a product or brand for the client.
It wasn’t until I started blogging three years ago that I began opening up in my writing. It was difficult. I am a very private person and it was hard to share my thoughts, opinions, and feelings in articles that would educate readers, while also resonate with them in a powerful way.
Transforming through vulnerability
In the last three months, I started writing on Medium. As mentioned, I had been writing as a professional copywriter, but I still felt somewhat inadequate when writing blog posts for a different type of readership base.
However, writing on Medium has been an education for me. I have learned how to open up and share my heart.
The following two articles are examples of how my writing transformed through vulnerability while writing on Medium.
Why Losing My Father-in-Law Affected Me More Than My Father’s Passing – How the depth of your relationship affects your level of grieving
Why the Symbolism of Sunflowers Resonated with Me – Staying focused on finding the sunshine in my life
Vulnerability resonates with readers
“Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity, and change. Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen. Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren’t always comfortable, but they’re never weakness.” — Brene Brown
I have found the following to be true when I became more vulnerable in my writing. It resonated with readers and I have seen a significant increase in engagement with them.
Being vulnerable in your writing shows readers that you are human too. Sure, you are likely sharing advice and trying to educate them through your experiences. However, when you get personal and share your ups and downs, readers can relate because they’ll see you as a human being just like them.
By writing about my journey through grief with the recent death of my father-in-law during the COVID-19 crisis, I was able to find a measure of healing for myself through venting my feelings in the written word. I hope that by sharing my feelings, it was able to help readers who were going through a similar situation.
When I shared my journey through conflict ridden relationships in my article about creating healthy boundaries, I heard from some readers who thanked me for telling my story—especially since they had dealt with similar relationship issues.
We’re living in surreal times—still navigating through the new normal after COVID-19 and our nation is struggling through trying times with racism after the killing of George Floyd. I stand with the protestors and honor their right to share their frustrations over this needless death. I hope our nation can find our way back to unity, somehow. As writers, we can be vulnerable and share hope through these troubling times.
Being vulnerable in your writing
I can attest to the fact that writing with vulnerability has been awesome and such a growth experience for me as an individual and as a writer. I strongly urge you to be more vulnerable in your writing as well. It will benefit you and your readers. It can be a growing experience for everyone involved.
Previously published on Medium.
About the Author
Joanne Troppello is an author, writer, and poet. She is the publisher of the online Christian lifestyle magazine, Mustard Seed Sentinel.