How shame holds writers back

mindset Jan 19, 2023

The always inspiring Brené Brown defines shame as an “intensely painful feeling or experience of believing that we are flawed and therefore unworthy of love and belonging.” 

Is there anyone who hasn’t felt this at one time or another? 

Shame is a tough feeling. It can stop us in our tracks. Even talking about it feels shameful!

My work teaching and mentoring writers over the years has shown me this truth again and again: All the story structure and writing craft expertise in the world won’t matter much if the writer’s mindset gets in the way of actually doing the work in the first place.

All those stubborn, hard-to-admit beliefs that we’re not talented enough, or that what we have to say is not interesting enough, or that our dreams of writing are too foolish and impractical to even admit to others?

That’s shame talking.

Shame holds writers back in so many ways. It can make us doubt whether we even have the right to call ourselves writers at all.

In today’s livestream I talk about shame, and all of the ways it might be impacting our work and careers. I think some of them might surprise you. 

Does this topic resonate with you? If it does, know that you’re not alone. Leave a comment below and keep the conversation going. 

Good writing is my jam! Put me on the mailing list, please.


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