How do other people speak like experts?
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?