The Unintended Consequences of NOT Writing

Nov 02, 2019

Dear Writerly Woman,

The women I am here to help have truths inside of them they want to share through writing (whether that's fiction, non-fiction, blogging, social media posts, poetry, private journaling, or something else), but they struggle because they are afraid of being squashed by other people's criticism.

This fear is deep and comes from a very real place - the place where other people actually did squash you after you shared a vulnerable truth.

Maybe you submitted a piece of writing to a teacher, a contest, or a literary agent, only to get rejected and told explicitly you're not good enough.

Maybe you were a kid, and a friend or family member looked at you like you were crazy when you told them something vulnerable and true about what you think.

Experiences like these can leave you feeling tender, and they can lead to you putting up a big shield around your voice to protect yourself from future hurt.

This shield often comes in the form of thoughts that keep you from truly expressing yourself.

Thoughts like, I can't write because: 

  • Everyone will hate my writing
  • Everyone will think I'm crazy if I write a blog
  • Everyone will think I'm an idiot if I say I want to write a novel
  • All the online trolls will come after me if I publish this memoir or research or post

Not expressing your truth can certainly keep you safe from criticism, but it might also have unintended consequences you don't want.

Not expressing your truth can hold you back from feeling whole, nourished, and alive. It can stop you from feeling connected to your true self. It can stop you from feeling free and joyful.

When you don't express yourself how you really want to, you can end up feeling lost, like your life is a dried up desert, especially when your truth really does want to be expressed.

Because here's the thing: the shield that keeps you safe from criticism is often actually a trap. It's a too-small-box that can make your whole life feel wrong.

In keeping yourself safe by not expressing yourself, you might have unintentionally created a life where you continuously grieve after your unfulfilled dream of becoming a writer.

Many writing coaches and mentors teach that the solution to this is to just sit down, stop being scared, and write already.

I respectfully disagree with this solution.

I was once told by a spiritual healer that I had a rock in my throat put there by the ill-intention of another person. This rock stopped me from speaking, writing, and living my truth. In her healing work, the rock turned into a cocoon, and out of the cocoon flew a thousand blue butterflies.

This is how I see the healing work of freeing your voice.

Instead of harshly forcing myself to just get going and write, I intentionally create a safe, peaceful space (a cocoon), that empowers my transformation of becoming a woman in the world with a free voice.

I make my writing space feel cozy, so my physical self can relax.

I take deep breaths and do short meditations, so my inner self can come to peace.

I consider what I'm writing about and let myself be the sovereign decider of how much I write, where I'll share my writing, and when I'll share my writing.

I do my very best to not get caught up in all the social media pressure that says I'm doing things wrong if don't do this or that as a writer.

When I feel peaceful and calm, like my most vulnerable self is wrapped in a safe cocoon, then I write. 

I don't use my cocoon as a shield. I don't use it to stop me from writing. Instead, I use my writing cocoon as the peaceful container that aids in the transformation of me being a wildly authentic writer.

I do my best to write my authentic truth. If I start to panic, I come back to peace. It's always like this - find peace, write, find peace, write.

For me, this has been the way to fulfill my dreams of becoming a writer.

Instead of trying to stop myself from "playing it safe", I build in lots of cozy safety into my writing, and it's this safe feeling that helps me write my truth.


If you would like to learn how to create this type of safety in your own writing practice, sign up for my online course, Write In Peace. This is a 2 hour self-guided writing retreat you can do anytime, anywhere, that will teach how to open up your creative flow by writing with peace and ease.

You've got this. I believe in you.


Emma Veritas is a writer and writing coach. She's a committed blogger and is currently working on edits to her first novel. She graduated with her Bachelor's degree in English from the Honor's Program at the University of Massachusetts, where she wrote her thesis on the power of story during hard times. She has completed Martha Beck's Life Coach Training and is an endorsed Soul's Calling Coach. She is a life long learner in the craft of writing, most recently completing courses on fiction writing and plot development through WritersHQ.



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