A comment heard more than once.
I call bullshit.
Because ego and heart can become wrapped up in the opinion of others. So, fear of judgement can silence an otherwise exceptional writer. Ego goes both ways, the ego that is doused in fear, and those whose ego is bigger than their britches. Snoots who decide based on their own agendas what is ‘good’ and what is ‘bad’.
There have been plenty of beloved writers that, in my opinion, stunk. Didn’t enjoy their work at all, that doesn’t mean they weren’t good writers. I am beginning to think that all this judgement has way more to do with the ego of the person reading, than the ability of the writer.
My own unique style of writer’s block, I like to call ‘WRITER’S PARANOIA’. Judgement on my writing ability has a connection to a whole bunch of history and probably something to do with vomiting on my shoes at a public event as a child. So, this is a familiar obstacle in my own writing.
‘People have great story ideas, but can’t write them.’ In no way are there idea people and writer people. That is a self serving idea, to make ourselves feel better about having a strength that is one or the other and lack of confidence in the other.
See, that right there? That is an opinion that I normally wouldn’t publicly admit to, out of writer’s paranoia. Because that opinion can be judged. Very likely even ‘proved’ wrong. (I still say it is hokey.)
Everyone can be a writer. The accurate statement would be that not everyone wants to be a writer. Therefore the practice of writing isn’t their priority. They have no desire to write, so they don’t.
There are people who think their writing is just fine. Those may actually be so, or not, depending on the reader. They have no desire to work on their writing. AND – they really don’t care what you or I think.
Then there is me. There are some stories that start off so strong and before I can get too far into it, I lose my voice. Or I just start off writing flat, even and B-O-R-I-N-G! And it frustrates the ba-jee-bus out of me. I don’t know want to write like that.
People whose writing I find inspiring, they also intimidate the hell out of me. It is the moment standing on a stage on a summer’s heat-sweltering evening in an unconditioned gymnasium with only the hot breeze from open doors blowing across the top of the massive room. The stage, wooden basketball court and locker rooms are one floor is below ground level where no breeze reaches. About to step up on a shop class built ramp to take me in an itchy taffeta dress from the locker room to the stage and out on a cat walk in the middle of melting mothers and grandmothers stuck to warm metal folding chairs in rows covering the court. Sweat between my shoulder blades, nausea rising, and before that first shiny black Mary Jane steps on the plywood, soured bitter bile rises between my tongue and roof of my mouth. The taste so nasty I can’t swallow it back down. In tears I look down as that shiny toe hovers over the grain of wood, and a splatter of the liquid drops, followed by the entire contents of my stomach. Yep. it is that scarey.
So you tell me. Some people can’t write. I don’t buy it. You can’t sell me. There are reasons from fear, desire, and ego that stand between a writer and good work. Everyone can write.