I’m going to be a High School English Teacher so I talk to lots of people about writing. After all, it’s one of my passions. I’ve recently noticed how often I run into people who say they “can’t write.”
Every person that I’ve talked to about their supposed incapability to produce good writing has had a similar story.
“When I was in the fifth grade, Mrs. So-and-So told me I couldn’t write.”
“When I was in the third grade, Mr. What’s-His-Face told me my stories were dumb.”
“When I was in the eighth grade, Mrs. I-Don’t-Remember-Her-Name told me that I would never be a poet.”
It’s sad that these teachers would say such mean things to their students, but what is even sadder is that these students gave up a creative outlet because of the words of teachers who clearly did NOT understand the nature of creative writing. (For the record, note that people don’t usually remember the names of these teachers…) I know I’m just another writer, but I honestly believe that everyone can write well. Yes, EVEN YOU! So what can you do to learn to “write good?”
Stop worrying and just write. Rather than trying to follow all those stupid rules and regulations pick up a pen and notebook (or laptop) and just write – whatever comes to your mind. Don’t worry about what you are writing or if it sounds awesome or totally ridiculous.
Do what feels comfortable. I don’t care if you don’t capitalize the first letters of your sentences or put a single piece of punctuation into what you are writing. Who cares if that’s where you’re supposed to put a comma, and most writers don’t even understand what to do with a semicolon. What you produce may not be publishable, but it will give you a creative outlet.
Don’t write for someone else; write for yourself. You never have to show another person what you’re writing (unless you want to). Write for you, and you’re sure to enjoy it.
I guess the moral of the story is that nobody can tell you what you can and can’t do. Forget what all those stupid teachers told you and just write what and how you want to. What you produce might be total rubbish, but if you are writing from your heart, you’re bound to write something meaningful at some point.
Note: I’m not saying that rules of writing are unimportant, but they can get in the way if you focus on them too much. Once you are comfortable writing and realize that you aren’t AWFUL, try to learn some rules of writing. Really, they’re just tools to help you tend to your writing.
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