Vulnerability in Writing

I’ve been writing a LOT lately, and I’m excited about the material that is coming out, the direction I see for possible books (plural, because I don’t want to write just one, after all), and the small victories each piece presents.  I’ve been telling myself, You can’t write about faith and poof! essays on faith (and other things).  And the “other things” are topics I’ve tried to write about before but have failed miserably, blathered on and on– and then THIS happened and then THIS happened and I HATED this, I HATED it– but now they are coming together, and I’m thrilled.

I think the work is good.  We will see.  I did have a short piece accepted by Brevity that will be published in the not-too-distant future (YEEEEEEE!!!!!).  It’s called “Field Guide to Resisting Temptation,” and I’m SO EXCITED and also SO ANXIOUS that it will be published and public.  As my dear friend said, “Talk about peeling your own skin off and creating art from the raw desire/confusion/humanity/desire/desire/desire beneath its surface. Lifting it to the page, to light, to awareness,” which makes me feel a little better, but yeah, peeling your own skin off.  That’s pretty accurate.
But that’s what I love about good writing – the writer willing to bear witness, even if that artist is bearing witness to the dark interior of her own heart, displaying her own weaknesses, fears, anxieties, doubts, and desires – because that kind of a witness has the potential to be life-giving.  At least that’s been my experience in both writing and in life – when a friend has been willing to lower her guard and be vulnerable, to show the red squishyness of her insides, it has been life- and relationship-changing.  
It’s a short little thing to be giving me such fits.  I promise I won’t chicken out.  I will post a link to it when it goes live.  Eep.  
In other news, I’m off to the In Print Festival at Ball State University tomorrow to represent River Teeth and the Ashland Poetry Press as Managing Editor, and then to visit a friend’s class at Taylor University on Thursday.  This trip has been made possible by a set of friends who are taking care of our three children overnight, a set of childless friends who may find that they never, ever want to have kids after watching ours.  I’m only kind of kidding.  Pray for them 😉

Published by Sarah M. Wells

Sarah M. Wells is the author of The Family Bible Devotional: Stories from the Gospels to Help Kids and Parents Love God and Love Others (2022), American Honey: A Field Guide to Resisting Temptation (2021), Between the Heron and the Moss (2020), The Family Bible Devotional: Stories from the Bible to Help Kids and Parents Engage and Love Scripture (2018), Pruning Burning Bushes (2012), and a chapbook of poems, Acquiesce, winner of the 2008 Starting Gate Award through Finishing Line Press (2009). Sarah's work has been honored with four Pushcart Prize nominations, and her essays have appeared in the notable essays list in the Best American Essays 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, and 2018. Sarah is the recipient of a 2018 Individual Excellence Award from the Ohio Arts Council. She resides in Ashland, Ohio with her husband and three children.

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