I see intelligence as the ability to analyse information in a critical way and draw conclusions from it.
You say you're bad at everything but you can't possibly know that for a fact. Your writing doesn't sell well but that has nothing at all to do with your intelligence. It says more about your writing and how people receive it.
I'm fairly sure that given the right circumstances you'd be able to do a college degree with very little effort. I say given the right circumstances because I know with me things like just staying in the classroom were the main problem - or worrying about how I'd give a presentation for a tutorial. The actual work was very rarely difficult.
Well, I haven't succeeded at anything I've tried. I know it's about more than my intelligence, but when I say I think I'm smarter than I am, I mean I often feel like I can solve problems that other people haven't been able to solve. It's a kind of grandiosity. I might be smart, but I'm not that smart. And I don't know why I sometimes (often) feel that way. There's a huge contrast between the way my life is going and what I often feel I'm capable of. I think it's just because I don't want to admit I'm as much of a failure as I am. I don't want this
to have been my life. Decades of doing my best and having nothing to show for it.
I did really want to go to university. I love learning, and I did manage to go for a year. I probably would have spent the rest of my life in school if I had the ability. But I couldn't get a student loan for second year, and there was no way I could work full-time to pay my bills and go to school at the same time. I would have just flunked and it would have been a waste of time and money.
So I don't think getting a degree would be with "very little effort". My memory is severely compromised. I generally do well on classwork, because my comprehension is good, but then fail my exams no matter how much I study. What people who talk to me online can't see is the Google tab in my browser that I use to look things up while I type. I'd be lost without it. Plus, I'm a terribly slow reader. I have to sound everything out in my head as I read. I spent all my time reading course material in the one year I went to university and barely made it through half of it. And the reading would have just gotten worse every year. I think I've made it about as far through school as I'm capable of.
None of us like failure. But you'll be more miserable never taking a chance than taking a chance and having it not work out. The key is not interpreting failure as BEING a failure (sometimes easier said than done).
Keep writing if you enjoy it. Success may follow and you may get good at it. But if not at least you have something that you enjoyed spending your time doing
It doesn't matter to me that I'll never be a great writer. I'm fine with being a hack, if I can't do any better. But I need to be able to make enough money to pay my bills. What frustrates me is that I can't even do that. All the other writers I know are much more successful than I am. I know some who make six or seven figures a year. But I can't even make five. Considering how much work I've put into my writing, I've been a stellar catastrophe. But at least I can say I tried? :/
It might not be so bad if there were something else I was good at, but writing is the thing I'm best
at. This isn't like some doctor or lawyer trying their hand at writing and not getting a book deal. It doesn't matter if they fail as a writer if they're already succeeding at something else. But what do you do when you're the worst at the thing you do best? The only other work I'm qualified for, and capable of, is retail. And I'd rather slit my wrists (literally, as I told my therapist) than go back to it. (And ftr, I wasn't good at sales, either. I'm actually really, really bad at them. As they continued to remind me during my performance reviews.) I honestly just think I've reached the end of my journey. I tried, I failed, end of story.