Becoming Vulnerable

What stuck me the most while going through the e-Portfolios is the vulnerability that is required by the creators. Each person is putting their work out there for people to view wholly. In one of the student’s portfolio, she described a piece of writing as the most vulnerable but honest she has been. Not only are individual pieces of writing vulnerable for the author, but also the entire portfolio exposes the author. One student said, “I hope you enjoy getting to know who I am through my website.” Letting someone get “to know who I am” is quite revealing.  It seems like it would be a little jarring to present yourself, your writing, your ambitions to the world-wide web.

We have talked about vulnerability of writing a few times in class, especially the first day and throughout our discussions of the “Why I Write” pieces. Bloggers like Andrew Sullivan have to be vulnerable enough to put out writing that will be critiqued, argued against, and sometimes only half finished. Even in our readings about rewriting rough drafts, we heard about how we are going to have to put ourselves out there in our first drafts – our really terrible first drafts- and let people see our work. It’s what writers have to do all the time.

It took me a long time to figure out what vulnerability was, and I still don’t have a full grasp of it. We are stuck in this idea for so long (or at least I was) that we need to put our best foot forward. We have to hide our weaknesses, hide thoughts that might be controversial, don’t say anything until we know for sure. Fortunately, I have been learning what it means to let go of these ideas. I think it’s the first step to freedom, building relationships, and so many other things. I’m looking forward to the e-Portfolio as a growing step, not just in my writing career, but also my journey towards understanding vulnerability.

4 thoughts to “Becoming Vulnerable”

  1. Eva, you raise a good point in saying that we are, in fact, expressing our vulnerability in creating these publically viewable e-portfolios. It is not natural for us to show the world our personal work—papers that were originally intended only for the eyes of our professors/GSI’s. I think that you’re right on in saying that through this process, we will learn to greater understand ourselves as writers and what it means to be vulnerable via the public exposure of our private papers. Needless to say, this will surely be an interesting, barrier-breaking experience.

  2. I couldn’t agree more. The idea of expressing myself to the world through the internet hasn’t always been at the top of my “to-do” list. In many ways, I think it is rather impersonal…I mean basically you are allowing people to get to know you without ever having to talk to them directly. As you suggest, by publishing this information about ourselves we are becoming extremely vulnerable…not only to our classmates, but also to anyone who may stumble upon our blogs. That being said, we are all in this course for one reason: we love to write. Although the idea of expressing ourselves to others through our writing may be a bit intimidating at first, it will only make us stronger writers!

  3. I agree with the vulnerability point. If you think about it that is going to happen more and more as we go out into the “real world” and try to put on our best faces for emloyers. So it’s a good lesson to learn now and be comfortable with. The good thing is that the portfolios express who we are because that’s what our writing does. So, if someone sees our portfolio and doesn’t accept us from it we know that’s not where we were supposed to be anyway. It’s the ultimate vulnerability because it’s all or nothing. It’s kind of cool…

  4. I, as well as everyone else, am in total agreement with you. The vulnerability and the “getting to know me” pieces are the most thought provoking because of how true they ring. Writing is such an intimate art, and since you are giving the reader a direct line to your thoughts, you must be prepared to be vulnerable and like Erin said, it will only make us stronger in the end.

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