I was a professional journalist for 16 years, and in that time, I saw a LOT of tremendous writing.
I knew tons of incredibly talented people who blew me out of the water pretty much on a regular basis when it came down to their way with words.
And yet, I showed up for work every day.
I showed up every day, and I wrote, and I reported, and I did a good job. Sometimes I did a great job. There were many stories of which I was especially proud. There were others that really, really sucked (which happens if you write often enough).
Why am I telling you this?
Because I want you all to stop feeling not good enough.
There will ALWAYS be someone who can write better.
But there is no one who can write just like you.
Each of us brings our own unique experience and life view and ideas to our writing. If you worry that you can't compete, that you're out of your league, then you will be paralyzed.
What is that saying? If you think you can't, then you can't.
Thing is, you're all here because you want to write. And writing is work. There are ways to get technically better. Some of you have never been edited, never had the benefit of guidance on organization or sentence structure or tense or showing instead of telling.
And that's okay. That's the easier stuff and all you have to do is ask for help (and submit something to The Red Dress Blog, of course!).
The harder stuff is believing in yourself. Believing that you are original, that you have something to say, that your writing - that YOU - deserve to be heard.
Stop using it as an excuse not to put yourself out there.
Not every word will be a gem. Believe me when I say even Shakespeare laid a turd every now again. We ALL do.
So yes, someone will write better.
But no one will write like you.