Expertly Amateur

How do other people speak like experts?

Cait Lyn
Jul 14 · 2 min read
Lecture hall with professor at the microphone, and several rows of students.
Lecture hall with professor at the microphone, and several rows of students.
Photo by Miguel Henriques on Unsplash

Sometimes when I look at Medium’s homepage, I feel like there are only three kinds of articles — journalistic reporting, personal opinions or stories, and instructions from experts. Perhaps it’s Medium’s algorithm, but more and more I see articles that consist solely of people issuing instructions on how best to live your life or do your work. And there’s nothing wrong with that — we all need advice from time to time. But I’m starting to feel pressure to do the same, if I want to be successful.

I’m afraid that’s just not what I use Medium for. I’m a 25-year old receptionist, with little to no expertise in anything. I managed to get a BA in English studies without ever writing anything of use, and this blog is the most interesting thing I’ve done. I haven’t left my country, I don’t know fancy, famous, or successful people.

Yet here I am, writing a blog and doing somewhat okay.

I feel so unsure of myself when I write. I think part of me is waiting to see when I’m going to feel like I know something, or have experience of value to share. And while it is true that I’m young, I also don’t seem to have an interest in giving advice. I think that’s why I feel pressured by all the other articles who write out what they feel you should do. I’d feel like a fraud giving instructions. The only instructions I give are of the “do what you feel is right” variety.

My writing is closer to a fable, giving out a story and letting you find the lesson I buried underneath. I have no true authority, and while I can offer up a point of view, I don’t see why it would have to be anything more than my own way of thinking. I have to wonder, am I missing the other personal stories out there? And why does it feel so much harder to write about not telling people what to do?

Cait Lyn

Written by

Cait Lyn

Also known as FrayingPages. Strong advocate for a good life crisis and a bold cup of coffee. Weekly uploads on Sunday, and random pieces when I feel like it.

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