Self-consciousness, self-doubt, awkwardness, and overcompensation are perennial hallmarks of the beginning writer. The reason today’s amateurs seem more profoundly un–profound could be a simple matter of exposure.
There used to be impenetrable gatekeepers. Now, CNN round tables, documentaries, independent films, MTV, and the web—which has no gatekeepers in most countries—are broadcasting every poorly crafted phrase and half–cooked idea imaginable. Patience, readers. All is not lost. Great writing can be taught and atrocious writing is entirely preventable.