Most people can’t write.
I know, we live in a society where everyone is expected to be hyper-accepting and non-judgmental, blindly praising, “That’s really good!” before ghosting off so you can never be pressed for your real opinion. But I’ve never been able to follow the crowd.
I realized that fact in my Advanced Creative Writing class, when I was surrounded by students who were presumably SERIOUS about writing, had already studied it to some extent, yet who were producing stories that were on par with a regular English student’s. Whaa?
I see it all the time in writing communities now. People will proudly declare, “Writing is my passion!” then not even know how to use a semicolon correctly. Critique wise, one is expected to point out typos in addition to blind praise, and I tend to get a bad name for myself by saying what actually needs to be improved to make the story better. I do it for myself, truthfully, because analyzing others keeps me on my toes with my own writing.
No, writing isn’t your passion. Your passion is feeling special, and you don’t care at all about the agonizing hours of rewriting, coupled with the constant study of grammar, storytelling, and psychology, second-guessing every sentence with intense embarrassment that someone will notice how mediocre it is. You want to be complimented more than you want to be skilled.
Sadly, there are also plenty of people who have the potential to be good, but they are unwilling to set their egos aside to learn how to improve themselves. In the end, they aren’t any different from the others.
Ah, how cruel I am.
You must be asking now, “Can you write?” eager to knock me down a peg after my self-important rant.
I know how to edit mercilessly and handle criticism.
That’s what makes the difference.