"I don't share anything until my feelings and growth aren't still dependent on it."
- Brené Brown
A slide with this quote on it lit up the chat box during the recent Story Triangle webinar.
We were deep into our exploration of what makes stories work and what makes them fall flat. At this point in the class, we were talking about how a story loses its balance when you, the writer, get lost in the details of your own story.
It's almost always a struggle, deciding what story elements add depth and what's going too deep.
As I hit publish, I’m grateful to have Brené to look to when I worry “Is this TMI?
After all, when writing is both your private, emotional processing tool and the way you communicate publicly and professionally, it can feel like a tightrope walk.
How do you tell the difference between a rich, compelling story and simply pouring out your guts?
Again, there’s a Brené quote for that. (Isn’t there a BB line for just about everything related to relationships and speaking truth?)
“Share what is vulnerable, not what is intimate.”
Sharing vulnerable stories reveals your humanity and creates connections.
Pouring out the intimate details into a public space where people who aren’t prequalified to hold you in all your glorious imperfection…
At best, you get no response at all. At worst, potential clients judge what they do not understand, turn away, and seek out someone who they believe is more in control of their sh*t.
So how do you tell the difference between the vulnerable stories that are ready for the spotlight and intimacies that need to be held in reserve?
Check in with your own process. Can you say “I’ve healed this” and feel you’re being completely honest with yourself?
Decide why you’re telling the story. Do you have something to teach based on your experiences or do you just need someone to be your witness?
If your answer to #1 is “I haven’t healed this yet,” that’s great. Pull out your journal, call a friend, make sure your on time for your next therapy or healing session.
Do. Not. Blog. This. (Yet.)
If you your answer to #2 is “I need a witness,” embrace this beautifully human moment. As my friend and collaborator Rebecca Wong reminds me “everyone needs to be seen, heard, and understood.” Yes, be fully present in your need to be seen, but do so with the people you know and trust - not your professional audience.