This just in: I’m not a good writer

This may come across as fishing for compliments. It isn’t. It may come across as faux-humility. It isn’t. It may seem disingenuous, false and downright twatty of me to say. It’s not intended to be.

I don’t think I’m a very good writer.

Now, I bring this up right now for one particular reason. I’ve had this post mapped out in my head for a while, but I’ve put off writing it up because I can’t see it being seen as anything other than an “oh look at me, I’m the unwitting genius” kind of thing. But yesterday I was complimented by four separate people who all said I am a “good writer”, and today I received an email telling me a children’s story I have written has been selected for recording on a website dealing in that kind of thing.

It brought the thought to the front of my mind and made me think it hard and strong once more: I do not think I am a very good writer. I find what I do to be very much by the numbers, I rarely make myself laugh anymore and I don’t try nearly as hard as I should.

I read things by other people – I won’t name names as I’m not nice enough to – and I see it as the kind of thing I would find impossible to even come close to emulating. I’m not an intelligent writer, I have little in the way of flair or panache about what I do – I find my copy very workmanlike. I don’t think it’s bad, but I just don’t see why people think I’m particularly good.

Still, I must be doing something right. So I reckon I’ll just carry on as I am. Maybe one day I’ll be ballsy enough to grow an ego. When/if that day comes, you’d better watch out. The few things I am arrogant about, I am fucking arrogant about.



Filed under Prattle

2 responses to “This just in: I’m not a good writer

  1. I’m totally the same. People occasionally tell me I’m good, and all I see is half-decent but utterly uninspired copy. I think my stuff’s a little bland. Once in a blue moon I’ll write something I’m genuinely happy with.

    That’s not to say I don’t try, because I really do, but it takes me ages to write something that’s genuinely good. People tell me they knocked out a review in half an hour and I start thinking it’d take me several hours to come up with anything even approaching that quality.

    It doesn’t help when people tell you they’re really happy with your work, then never give you work again. Or don’t reply to your emails. Or don’t pay you for work you’ve done for them. If I’d ever had some genuinely worthwhile feedback on something I’d written, I honestly think I’d be a better writer than I am. But I’m not sure I have.

  2. Rachael

    I can be pretty with words, but most of what I write lacks any actual decent content. When I write, not too often is it some new revelation or something that anyone could derive anything meaningful from, it’s just a better phrasing of the things other people think. That’s my biggest problem with writing.

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