Honesty is not a lonely word: This week, Stacy Lipson wrote an essay about her experiences as a bullied child, a piece that was picked up by other blogs and received comment after comment that applauded Stacy’s sincerity. Readers detailed their own childhood struggles, and there was a renewed rallying cry for something to be done to put a stop to bullying once and for all. In the end, the essay became something more than just words; it became alive, fueled by its resonance — its richness and significance and truthfulness.
When you write honestly — and it can be very, very scary to do so — you might think that you are telling some deep dark secret that only you have thought of or only you’ve experienced. But such honestly often evokes a feeling of shared emotion between writer and reader, and that is perhaps one of the most powerful aspects of writing — its ability to unite us all. Whatever your trepidations about revealing a part of yourself, quietly assuage them and just write. As you do, you might find it liberating. Or you might find it intimidating. Just try. If it helps, tell yourself that you can always edit these things out down the road. But my bet is that, in the end, you probably won’t want to.