By: Christopher G. Fox, Ph. D.
Our power comes from more than our strengths and talents. Just as much of our unique ability to help and change the world comes from our wounds and our mistakes. The wisdom within the superhero genre lies exactly in that understanding of power.
For writers, this means taking a mindful look at our underlying intent when we set about writing.
Here’s one example: in this piece, in part, I am writing as an advocate of clarity and authenticity. I want to convince my fellow writers of the value of those strengths, and at the same time, share my experiences with how to wield those strengths while anchored in their very source.
Part of the reason I value these principles so much comes from my own character, but just as much of my commitment to them comes from my own experiences — namely, of not living up to them.
Missing the Mark
As a professional writer, I have made career mistakes and agreed to write for clients whose values did not match mine. I’ve helped drive marketing and PR for things I don’t believe in. And it felt damned terrible. It’s all too easy to have this happen when writers approach writing as a paid gig. Don’t do it.
Be confident that you will find opportunities in writing what matters to you, because part of the magic of this loving world we live in is that such opportunities will come to you.
For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.”
Building on your Strengths
Here’s another example of this notion of using your voice to heal. As a young teen, I was relentlessly bullied for over two school years. Those painful experiences have helped make me extremely aware of group dynamics, an awareness I have carried with me into adulthood.
Now, it’s an unfortunate truth that in personal and professional life, conversations and communications can tilt into bullying, more subtly than the schoolyard but equally insidious. It often takes someone either to lead by example, with deliberate kindness practices or to call out bullying for what it is. There are plenty of resources that can help us do this. I’ve taken many such stands in both my writing and my professional life as a consultant and leader.
In other words, from the pain of bullying, I developed a sensitivity that stems from personal wounds but has become a strength. That strength, in turn, amplifies my voice and inspires my writing. It also drives my success. And by the way, in showing and building that strength, I have not only healed those old wounds of childhood cruelty but also brought the power of that healing to people I work with and write about.
Daily Opportunities to Write and Heal
Here’s what all of this means for you.
Writers, do not shy away from those painful experiences in your life. Where you have faced them with courage, where you have faltered and gotten back up again, all of these become rich sources for you. Click To Tweet
Use the power of your vulnerability to its full effect, as Brene Brown describes in her TED talk viewed by tens of millions, not only to share but to heal and repair the wounds around you.
I don’t necessarily mean that all writing must be overtly confessional, although that, too, can have power. Instead, I’m speaking at the level of the writer’s intent. What is it we mean to do in the world with the words we bring into it? How is what we write a bridge between our own personal histories and our role as loving, giving, transformers of this world.
As we write, we rise, and we raise those around us. Let’s take that as seriously as we can.
Christopher G. Fox, Ph. D. is a writer and communications strategist living in Los Angeles. He works with executives and subject matter experts to help them build reputations through messages, conversations, stories, and thought leadership.
He is also the creator of Kindness Communication®, which promotes the idea that the worlds we move in can be better places if we make kindness the core of how we operate.
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