Are You Healed Enough to Publish Your Story? Ready or not . . .

Are you ready to publish? Are you healed enough to be the public face of your story?

healed enough to publishI often meet people who have a desire to write their story, but they are anxious about it. They know their story and their pain holds meaning. They want to bless the world and encourage others who may be in the same place they once were, to help shine a light on how to get out of difficult and dark places.

I believe we all have a story to share that is important. All of our pain is sacred. All of our experiences hold meaning. But do all of our stories need to be written and shared with the world? No. And even when we do share our stories with the world, we don’t share every detail.

There’s a couple of things I want to say to encourage you if you’re considering writing your story, but you’re unsure of the next step, or you feel uncertainty.

1. Writing is a process of healing for the author. Even if you’re not “healed” totally from your experience, write. It will help to sort things out, and is very safe and therapeutic.

2. Write your story, honestly. Then wait. Pray. Go back and rewrite.

3. Writing is safe. Publishing is a risk. Are you ready to take the risk? Publishing involves marketing, selling your story, and being the “face” of your book in a very public way.

4. You may not be ready to publish, but you ARE ready to write! Don’t bog yourself down with the stress of thinking of publishing. Just write. When it’s time to publish, you will know it.

Writing is a process of re-writing. It takes time and commitment, and a person really has to be ready to share their story before it is published. They have to be strong enough to view it not as an extension of themselves, but instead as a product they want to share and sell. To publish, you must be healed enough, and have strong enough boundaries to be ready to be vulnerable. It’s a huge deal, and not to be taken lightly. You need to be sure you are ready and strong enough to tell your story. If you aren’t ready to verbally testify in a group setting, you’re probably not ready to share your story in published print form. But that doesn’t mean you should not write. Write. Write now.

A lot of times our family members are the ones that have hurt us, intentionally or unintentionally. This is a very important fact to consider. You love your family member and you don’t want to do anything to hurt them further. What they did to you was probably because they were hurting. It doesn’t excuse the behavior, but we want to write from a place of healing, not pain. We don’t want our writing to cause pain, but to be helpful and healing. At the same time, your story is your story. A lot of the decisions you make about sharing your story will depend on your relationship with your family member, where both of you are at in the healing process, and what is important and valid to share.

I’m sure you’ve heard the quote, “Hurt people hurt people.” I recently heard it with a twist, “Healed people heal people.” I am reminded of some wisdom from a 12-step workbook… First, we write our story and share it with someone safe. We talk about how much we want to share in the group. We pray about it. If we feel any kind of anxiety associated with sharing certain parts of our story, then it isn’t the right time to share publicly. We share when we feel safe. And that is the number one most important thing.

I’ll be praying for you!


Why I love to write

I love to write because it comes naturally to me. It is the way I organize my thoughts and express what I’m feeling.

I love to write because it doesn’t take as much effort as talking. I know that sounds lazy, but when it comes to verbalizing what I have to say, sometimes I get tongue-tied.

I love to write because it is safe. I can write what I think and what I feel, even if everyone in my life would judge me for it if I said it out loud. Granted, I don’t share everything I think or write. It’s just for me. It’s the way I cope. I can share it if I want to, or I can delete it, or close my journal, or rip out pages, or publish them for the world.

I love to write because there is no tone of voice involved. When you read what I write, you read it with your emotion and emphasis placed on it. After it leaves my hands, the message is no longer mine, but yours. I don’t have to think about your reaction to my writing because I usually don’t experience it. You can read it, or you can stop reading it, and I won’t know the difference.

Sometimes when I talk I’m judged harshly and it hurts. Sometimes people don’t like my personality. I’m not “nice” enough, “gentle” enough, “good” enough, “submissive” enough. I hate not being enough. I hate being told I’m not enough. That’s when I stop talking and start writing.

I love to write because through writing, I am always “enough.”

Rachael HartmanRachael Hartman is an experienced writer and author. She has worked as a full-time newspaper reporter, and as a freelance contributor to magazines. She writes high school Sunday school material for Word Aflame Press as well as lessons for Project 7 (P7) student-led Bible Clubs, and blogs for Lady by Design. She enjoys health and exercise, reading, art, and playing with her two dogs Darla and Danny. She owns Our Written Lives of Hope, an online bookstore and publishing house in which she helps others share the message of the hope of Jesus Christ and promotes holistic health. Check out her web site at www.owlofhope.com and link to her on Facebook.