Do you have anything to say? That’s the first thing you ask before pretending to write because honestly, you’re aware of how much a hack you are.
C’mon, admit it. You’ve read everything you’ve ever written, multiple times. You know every lie you’ve ever told yourself. You know all the words you need to look up to make sure you spelled them correctly, and the ones you’re just not sure you have the definition straight. You suspect every grammatical failure, knowing your many shortcomings despite your pretense of skill. After all, you’ve been faking it for years. But no matter how many people you’ve fooled, you’re the fool.
Why would anyone want to suffer through reading your drivel? And yet, you continue your unique, personalized brand of insanity, trying to become functional at the craft. You’ve been told that if you survive the crippling self-doubt, maybe you can write something — a few phrases strung together that almost approximate intelligence. Even then, you’ll revise it a few dozen times because when you read it aloud to yourself, it doesn’t sound right. Perhaps you’ll allow someone else to read it just to reaffirm that it may actually be good, but at the same time, you know it needs editing.
Invariably you’ll revise it again and again. It will be rejected a few dozen times by the anointed gatekeepers of the industry before you either scrap the whole project, pigeonhole it for future reconsideration, or maybe, just maybe, take the gamble and see it all the way through to publication.