When you start introducing yourself as an author one thing you hear a lot is, “I don’t know how you do it. I never could.” It’s something I highly recommend if you want to make your living that way eventually. I’m the first to admit that writing is sometimes hard, but I completely disagree with anyone who says they can’t do it.
I think one of the big reasons people think they can’t write is that they have an image problem. A lot of people have “writing guilt” carried over from being forced to write according to some established standard during their formative years. People who struggled with writing in school are still carrying around those failures years later. Those rubrics and manuals of style are great if you want to give someone a grade on how well they can memorize and follow rules, but they have nothing to do with good story telling.
And that’s all writing is, a way of telling stories. We all tell stories. It’s integrated into human existence. If you disagree I’d be happy to discuss it in the comments, but I believe that communication is a part of life, and all communication involves storytelling.
Having a big vocabulary and excellent grammar skills is impressive, but in the end they are far from essential. In fact the vocabulary and grammar that you use are what give flavor and voice to your writing. What would your life story sound like if it was written in perfect grammar with a dictionary and thesaurus applied to every sentence? Would it still sound like you? I doubt it. Would it be believable? Probably not.
When you are writing, you are telling about your experiences and your knowledge. Even if it’s fiction your life is woven into the text. So get over yourself already. Put together the words as as if you were telling your best friend. Be honest, be candid, paint the picture of the world as you see it and it will resonate with someone. Notice I said someone, because no matter how polished your prose, it will never appeal to everyone. It just does’t happen. Still your readers are out there, and wherever they are they will respond to you when you find them.
Yes, there are rules for grammar. Yes, there are conventions for how to build a narrative. Neither of these things matter. Every writer needs to find their own style. There will be plenty of time later to analyze your words and polish what you’ve written. In fact, there is an entire industry, that I happen to be a part of, devoted to cleaning up good stories and helping writers make them better. The important thing is to take action. Find a way to tell your story. Get it out of your head and into the world.