An effigy, image, or representation.
“The grandiose simulacrum made out of gold, fashioned from their great ruler Huntze, made the young queen’s blood to boil. How can one be so out of touch from reality and ignore his people’s suffering? she pondered.”
That’s the word of the day on my dictionary app on the phone. Everyday, I check the app for the word of the day, hoping to learn new words and hopefully, be able to use it in real life.
Easier said than done.
Hello,everyone! Ayana here again for yet another entry to my diary of a frustrated writer.
I might have said this a lot on my previous posts and even noted it down every time I’ll have an English story up, but here’s the harsh truth once again.
English is NOT my native tongue.
So, why am I writing about this again? And what does that have to do with my frustrations as a writer?
I promise not to bore you out with my frustrations & struggles.
And hey! Maybe you can give me pointers? Or even beat some senses back to me? Either way, I’ll appreciate it.
In my home country, Philippines, English is considered our second language. We have hundreds of other languages/dialects, but we consider Tagalog as our native tongue. Then English. Growing up, we always have an English subject that teaches us how to read, write, talk and understand the language.
I didn’t care too much for English back then. Heck, I never imagined I would be using it.
I got good grades on that subject all the time. It was even better than my grades on my Filipino subject. I think the only reason I excel on that subject was because they taught mythology (and that was considered as part of learning English?). And since I love mythology (specially Norse), well… 🙂
Back then, I didn’t think that I’d be leaving home to live my life in another country. But then, things happened and we moved to the US.
I was scared to talk and speak in English. I was scared to be ridiculed and made fun of, with my thick accent and diction. But I had no choice but to face that fear though. After all, my first job when I got here, at the age of 16, was a cashier at a bakery.
Most people I encountered were nice and very helpful, though. Some, as expected, made fun of my accent and even asked me if I know English, but I just disregarded that and focused on the good people. Conversing with these good people, I was able to practice and hone my English that my accent’s barely noticeable.
Well, except when I talk to my nephews/nieces. Dunno why, but I seem to always have my accent with them most of the time. xD
Now, writing in English.
I can write, but not as well as the others. I always seem to struggle when I write.
Back in college and when I was still writing essays, I always started my paper on the very last minute; the day before the papers were due. Why? Because my “English” brain works better knowing that the due date/time is in sight and I can push it past its limit.
I got good grades on it, though sometimes I wonder if my paper even made sense at all. It was as if I was just mushing in all the big words I know of, to make it sound coherent and flowery, just for the heck of it.
And then I was, once, also a game/thread master at Gaiaonline.
Fun Fact: I always write my fantasy stories in English. Writing a narrative in English just sounds better than Tagalog.
A friend invited me to roleplay with them, and man, I got hooked. Writing a story with a bunch of other people? Sounds fun! But writing it in English? Whew, that was a lot of work!
And that first RP (Blissful Castle: A medieval/fantasy RP), made me realize how much I suck at writing in English.
All the other people in the RP wrote so well that sometimes I would end up in tears after reading, wishing that I could write as good as them. The story flow, dialogues, visualizations… man, I was so jealous of everyone sometimes I wish I was even half as good at them.
But then the RP died. And the other RPs I joined after all ended up the same.
Thus, I started my own role play. Into a World of Illusion is what I titled it with.
I still suck at writing back then, but I thought I was getting better. Role playing with the Blissful people gave me good practice anyway.
But Illusion… it made me realize even more how much I suck! I was the game master, but my grammar and composition was comparable to that of a kid! (Okay, this may be an exaggeration, but you understand the point, right?)
I thought I was getting better. I thought I was able to catch up with the others. But the more we continued down the story, that gap just went wider. I was able to dish out three to four paragraphs (without the filler parts) on average. But most of them did better than that, full of vivid descriptions.I had to work even harder just to catch up to them. It wasn’t a competition, yes, but I felt bad not being able to write as good as them, especially since I was the GM.
Thus, I started mimicking how the others write.
I studied the words they used, the dialogues and the phrases, and how they write their descriptions. I’m good at mimicking what others do and synthesizing what I learned to develop my own ideas and style. The other role players were nice and had been very helpful to my improvement.
By the time we got to the middle of the story line, my writing has continued to improve. My descriptions were vivid and clear. Dialogues, even though it still sounded a little stiff, were a little better than it was. And the battle sequences felt more fluid. I was happy. Though I was still catching up to them, those people would stop once in a while and wait for me to catch up to them.
Man, I love these guys.
But then, reality happened and I have to stop role playing. I barely wrote anything, let alone start or finish a story. My creative juices ran out and my skills got rusty.
And thus, I struggle once again, as I write the now revamped Illusion story I posted here on my site. Somehow, something holds me back when I write.
Then I realize, it must be because of my inner demon: Self-doubt. There’s this voice in the back of my head that keeps saying I’m not good enough and that my stories amount to nothing.
Okay, maybe that’s so. Maybe my words amount to nothing to most people. But then I just have to remind myself this: I am writing for myself. I write these stories so I can express myself and to help me escape the confines of reality.
Fun Fact: A friend told me once that this “I’m writing for myself” reason is so overrated. She said that if that was what I was aiming for, then it would just be better to write it down in a diary instead.
But now I know this: I don’t just write for myself.
I write for my number 1 fan.
In my mind, I have already envisioned that one person I would love to read my stories.
My future kid! 🙂
And no, I don’t write to get famous or rich. I write solely to express my feelings and thoughts, and to immerse myself with a world outside our own.
Sure, it might take us years to have a kid, but I don’t mind waiting.
I have created and will continue to create an imaginary world for them to experience, based on my thoughts, the current environment I’m in, and to make them feel the swirling emotions I have in the process of writing it. And if I can impart them with these thoughts and feelings and they say it was a wild and fun ride, then I’ll be happy.
Knowing this, even if I struggle and self doubt kicks me all the time, even if English is not my native tongue… I will keep writing, as long as there is one person that couldn’t wait to hear/read my stories.
And If someone else likes these stories? Even better! That’s what I consider as an added bonus. 🙂
Frustrations for the day, cleared! Until next time!