There was a moment that was not great.
A few days ago, in the never ending job hunt that consumes every waking moment of my life, I took a writing test. Now, granted, it was not the highest quality writing I’ve ever produced. But it let to a pass on a job/interview with the feedback that my writing lacked “a real voice or personality.”
Which was tough to process since the only thing people tell me I have any skill at is writing.
Truthfully, writing is the only thing that anyone mentions I might have some seeming proficiency.
So while the comment stings because it clearly undercuts whatever talent I’ve been informed I have, but it also self-prophesizes. I constantly remind people that I’m not actually a great writer. If I was great, then this “your writing wasn’t good” critique would be an outlier.
It is not.
I consistently get similar feedback from professionals that my writing isn’t up to par. It’s not pitchy, catchy, or witty (enough). “Not a good fit,” or just “not what we’re looking for.”
Which is kinda funny, considering I’m using a written medium to share this anecdote. But for me, it still stung. And continues to sting. Being a “good writer” is a label I struggle with. I don’t see any true talent in my writing. I see someone who is capable of competently stringing a sentence together most of the time.
Proficiency is not talent.
Capability is not creativity.
While I cannot find the article now, I read a piece awhile back where the author spoke about this dichotomy of being perceived to be good at something and enjoying it. So while the perception is that I am good writer, the reality is that I may just be good at writing.