on Jane Friedman site:
In college, I struggled mightily with writer’s block, although I didn’t know it at the time. I thought I was just a lousy writer. All my professors told me so: “Too bad you’re such a poor writer,” one professor wrote on a term paper. “You have a fine mind.”
“Good ideas, poor execution,” another said. “You can think, but you sure can’t write,” yet another professor wrote in red ink at the end of another term paper.
Reading some of those papers recently, I thought: My professors were right—you’d have thought German was my native tongue, not English!
But it turned out, I wasn’t a poor writer at all. I was an anxious writer, a writer who worried so much about every single word, in every single paper, that I wrote and rewrote and rewrote again each and every sentence I managed to wrestle onto the page. In the end, most of my sentences resembled elaborate Faberge eggs.