Writing is something that we, as humans in a modern society, use every day.
There's just no way of getting around it. Despite what many may say, the influx of technology in recent years has done little to stifle the need for good writers and those capable of comprehending the basic rules of the road. There will always be a need, so long as humans have a desire to learn and acquire knowledge, for individuals who can express their thoughts clearly and thoroughly on a piece of paper, a word document, or even a text. Whatever career you find yourself in there will be a time when you will need to be capable of doing these things.
However, there are thousands of rules to follow and sometimes it can be stressful to even attempt to remember them all. The fact of the matter is, that while it is definitely important to understand the basic rules of writing, there will be few times in your adult life when you will be judged based on whether or not you used a semicolon instead of a comma. Many of the nuances of the English language are merely etiquette and while this is abundantly important in certain circumstances it can also be inappropriate in others.
Now, before I delve into this any further I must say, as the title of this article suggests, that I by no means hold a degree in English or anything similar. However, I can write relatively well and I have found a way for the English language to work for me. The biggest part to writing, in my opinion, and the thing that makes authors stars, is not their adherence to conventional rules of how to word their sentences but rather an ability to make their writing their own.
To clear up any confusion, I do not mean to demonize the use of good grammar. In fact, good grammar is what separates the literate from the illiterate. Instead, I only mean to target my reticule at those who say that the English language prevents authors from laying out their story in the way they want it.
For years in primary school we are taught that writing is to have a definitive structure and although it is never directly stated, for many the implication is that this goes for all types of writing. In my experience, many people go throughout their entire educational experience without understanding that while the basic forms laid out in these early years are good building blocks, there are other more elaborate, useful, and tactful ways in which to write a story or structure a paragraph.
There are thousands of great writers out there in this world who simply refuse to write for fear that they will be rebuked for their "failure" to adhere to the extremely complicated rules of structure within the English language. However, the first step to becoming a great writer is doing just that. Writing is not something you can simply study and be good at.
You can study the English language all you want but if you never write you'll never understand it as well as the fact that it can actually be manipulated to an extent. Some of the biggest names in literature, such as Maya Angelou, Charles Dickens, and Kurt Vonnegut never studied writing or in some cases never even attended college.
So, if you want to be a good writer just get out there and write. Don't worry about being wrong but take criticism and listen to it. Don't be overwhelmed by the nuances of English but try to learn from your mistakes. Write what you want to write and most importantly make it your own.