Join me in this live two-hour class, and discover the Five Things I’ve Learned about what happens when writers share the most difficult parts of their story in service of truths that would otherwise go untold.

My name is Grant Faulkner, and I hope you’ll join me for my live two-hour class, Five Things I’ve Learned about Writing with Vulnerability.

I’ve been writing since … before I even knew how to write the letters of the alphabet. I’ve now published many stories, essays, and several books, and I’ve taught creative writing for years, and one of the things I constantly think about is how art is fundamentally an act of exposure—a type of confession. An artist opens the closets, dares to go into dark basements, and rummages through their souls.

I believe that writing with vulnerability is more important than any craft tool because being vulnerable is how we connect with others, so writers who risk vulnerability tend to write stories that are the most compelling.

Telling such a story, however, is among the most challenging things a writer can do. The only way to achieve such vulnerability is through an openness of spirit that can feel dangerous—or even be dangerous. A good story occurs when an author travels, or even plummets, into the depths of vulnerability and genuinely opens his or her soul in search of truths that otherwise go untold. My favorite stories are the ones where I feel as if I’m in an intimate conversation with the author.

We tend to hold back, though—out of fear, because of a creativity scar, or because when we become vulnerable, we risk shame. We get stage fright. We write to hide not to reveal. Because that’s safer. A stoic show of invulnerability can feel stronger than the “weakness”of openness.

To be vulnerable is not weakness, though. Quite the opposite. To tell your story in your way, to confront difficult truths and risk putting your story out there, takes courage. Such courage is challenging, of course. It requires overcoming the fear of shame—the feeling that we’re flawed, unworthy— and shame can be a noisy beast.

I didn’t share my stories for so many years because of such fears of shame. But I had to ask myself, why did I become a writer in the first place? I made a list. And here’s what I discovered was on it: I wanted to put words to the shadowy corners of people’s souls, to understand the desperate lunges people take to give life meaning. I wanted to explore the enigmatic paradoxes of being, how desire can conflict with belief, how yearning can lead to danger.

Life is so mysterious, nuanced, ineffable—equally disturbing as it is beautiful—so I decided it was my duty as a writer to be brave enough to risk ridicule in order to bring my truths to light. Why write a sanitized version of life? I decided that what is most important to me must be spoken, no matter if I’m belittled for it, because only in such acts do we connect and understand each other.

The urge to be a writer is a generous act at its core, after all: we want to share our story with others, to give them a world that will open doors to insights and flights of the imagination.

I hope this class will help you embrace your vulnerability and tell your truth the way you want to tell it. We’re going to explore what it means to be vulnerable on the page, and then we’ll also do some exercises designed to help you probe your story, hone your truth, overcome the judgments of others, and develop a mindset to tell your story your way. Your truth should be emboldening, not embarrassing, so the goal is to leave the class ready to take risks and put your voice into the world.

Please join me!

– Grant Faulkner