Why “I’m Not a Writer” Probably Isn’t True
“I’m not a writer.” If I had a dollar for every time someone said this to me, I could buy three or four deluxe burritos.
Sure, some people have a knack for writing. Other people write like a screeching violin, from whom we want to hide all the pens, pencils, and paper. But there are many more people who occupy a solid middle ground. They’re also using “I can’t write” as something of a shield.
Why People Say “I Can’t Write”
The people who are saying “I can’t write” often mean other things that are harder to admit:
- If they set the bar low, there’s less of a chance you’ll criticize their writing. Writing is a little like prancing around naked on a stage while the audience grades you, so I understand this strategy.
- Their “inability” to write well is posed as a permanent state; there’s no changing it. So there’s no need to try to overcome it. Problem solved and buried.
- They actually don’t believe they can’t write worth a darn. Writing intimidates and overwhelms the heck out of them. They’d like it if you’d change the subject. (I do, just not in this blog post.)