It always bothers me when people say they can’t write. Sure, some people may have more talent than others, but they probably write more often. In my opinion, and my experience, anyone can write. Doesn’t matter if it’s an email, a school report, or a piece of fiction. Anyone can do it.
The thing is, it’s putting words on the page. Nothing more, nothing less. You have an idea, something you want to convey, something you think is important, so you write it down. That’s all it takes.
Of course, not everything that everyone writes is amazing. Hell, even professional writers, best-selling authors, write a lot of crap in-between their best selling books. Stephen King readily admits he writes a fair-share of crap before he hits upon a good story. So for someone like you or me, well, it goes to show that we’re in good company.
The thing is, we have to realize that nothing is going to be perfect the first time. A first draft isn’t your story, it’s an outline, the rough idea sketched out. Think of it as a drawing: you start out sketching the rough image on the page. Then you make another pass and fix some of the angles, maybe begin darkening the lines you like to make them more permanent. All the while, you’re looking and re-looking at it, checking it from different angles to make sure you’re capturing what you see in your head.
Writing is a similar process. For me, the first draft is just a rough sketch. I know beforehand it’s going to be crap, or mostly crap, and I also know the final draft will look nothing like the first. The rough edges will be sanded down. The loose ends will be connected to create something coherent. Time and patience will be rewarded.
In my opinion, anyone can write. What differentiates the serious, professional writer from your average non-writer is persistence and patience. Most people, in my experience from working in an office, just throw words on a page and move on. They don’t take the time to go back and re-read what they’ve written. They don’t let it rest before sending. And that’s where miscommunication and embarrassing typos happen.
Writing isn’t like being an astronaut. There’s no need for years of training and experience. You don’t have to have an advanced degree or deep knowledge of a subject. All you need is imagination, patience, and a little bit of thick skin. To me, it’s about self-expression, and hell, anyone can express themselves. Just take the time to craft your words.