Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Crap sounds better in another language

People have always asked me why I've chosen to write my stories in my second language instead of my native one. I started doing so because I found and wanted to share my stories. Then it just flowed on like that and when I starte´d to write in Swedish again it sounded odd. I couldn't put my finger on why it sounded odd. It was as if the words were flatter, less vibrant. I blamed Swedish, and kept going with English.

Lately, I've started to notice the same in English. The stories aren't as good as they once were and I thought: How can you become WORSE at something?

The other day I started to translate two WIPs into Swedish. Just because maybe my family will be easier to coerce into reading my writing than my friends are.

Translating my writing to my native language had a worrying effect. I realised (for real this time) that I'm not good at writing. As long as I weren't that great at English I didn't notice how lacking my skills were. Back in the start it all sounded awesome to me (it sounds even better in French which is my third language).

So. Yeah. You guys. I hate you for never making me see the truth. Now I've given up so much for this dream that I don't know how I'll manage to live without it.


  1. Back when I was a kid taking horseback-riding lessons, my riding instructor told me something that has always stuck with me: you can't call yourself a rider until you've fallen off the horse ten times.

    Now, it didn't make much sense to me then -- I thought I was supposed to avoid falling off the horse. But then I figured out what she was doing. She was telling me not to be afraid to fail. To keep on going, to test myself. That the willingness to do that leads to true skill in the long run.

    I think the same thing applies to writing. Get out there and fail. Fail spectacularly. That's how you get past your fear of it, and on to honing your craft. :)

    1. You're the second person in as many weeks who see me as inexperienced - what makes me appear as if I haven't actually made a continuous effort and tried and tried again?

      It's 100 times, not 10, in Sweden.

  2. Malin you have a 'voice' in your blog and 'voice' is the essential part. The rest are weaknesses that can be ironed out. Mine is 'plotting'. No use having great imagery (yes, no false modesty, my imagery is good)if you can't work out a compulsive plot.
    It's wise to stop writing when you know you don't want to write, but give it a rest and see if the itch returns. Breaks are good, but final decisions final : )

    1. Thank you. That's one of the nicest thing anyone has said to me.

      And you have great imagery. :)