When you show your vulnerability, that’s when you know you’re on the right track. That’s when a real connection’s made between you and someone else. But there’s 2 different ways to show vulnerability – the good way and the bad (and annoying).
What’s the difference between:
a) Anne Lamott talking about how she hit the bottle hard and almost drank herself to the grave after her book manuscript being rejected in Bird by Bird,
b) Tim Ferriss talking about how he was suicidal after his business imploding and everything else
c) Someone bitching and whining in a Facebook post about how crappy day their day was and therefore how the world sucks
Answer: The first difference is time. A and b happened in the past and have both been deconstructed thoughtfully, with the benefit of retrospection. c is neither of those things.
The second difference is that a and b are the basis for lessons the writer learned (explained soon after in Bird by Bird by Lamott and by Ferriss in the ‘Some practical thoughts on suicide’ section in his book Tools of Titans) and is sharing with the reader. c has no lesson.
And the final difference is just like the difference between reading the news about something or reading a book about it. A and b are based on reflection, analysis and comes to balanced conclusion, and details how something bad can be turned into something good. C, just like the news, lacks any lasting value and is done to provoke, incense or just to get your attention.