How do accounts of individuals’ struggles liberate authors? How are readers enriched by such accounts? Conversely, what are the challenges of going public on the page (or on the web and in social media)? When writers reveal personal information about themselves or their subjects, sometimes the result is pushback from family, friends and political leaders. However, other readers, seeing the same stories, may come to appreciate their beliefs in liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The ethics of authorship and potential self-silencing or public censorship run through this discussion by writers and readers of personal and empowering stories.