The Wall

What’s happening to me is weird and unexpected.

I thought I was ready to deal with anything. That, surely, it would come a day when I wouldn’t have any good ideas left in my head and I would feel, like they call it, with the writer’s block. Writing in a 2000-words-a-day speed would plunge it to come even sooner. But that is not how I feel.

If I sit down and write, everything that comes out is easily transformed into good ideas, where I can visualize potential for a page-turning story. But something is wrong with me.

I have searched inside me for any sign of clarity, because only then I could plan a solution. I was never afraid of problems as long as I know what they are and I can plan what to do next. Even this tendency of mine, of wanting to control everything, I’ve seen it become a problem to my writing, so I’ve changed and overcame it.
Now I just let myself go along whichever road my characters want me to follow. And it all runs better and faster. But something isn’t right.

I think what I’m feeling circles around the fear of working an illusion. I’m feeling completely helpless regards my english. I study, I read, I write and I see how much I’ve improved (…) but I feel as I’ve reached a Wall.

I feel like a blind man writing, without the slightest idea if what it seems as good prose to me is nothing but a pathetic attempt, full of errors in the eyes of native speakers.

I feel exhausted and desolated. I’ve already tried so much (…) will an editor see so many language problems in my draft that reading it will feel like a waste of his time? Will an agent mockingly laugh at my prose?

It’s hard on me because I was always top of the class in Portuguese Language and I know how much people are undeservedly defined by the way they talk; as I have been the target of xenophobic comments myself (…) I know how much people are labeled as stupid if they express poorly in the language of another country, and it has been my goal to improve. It’s hard to be so good with words and so respected in my native language and know I must sound like a fool in my daily life in Ireland.

Writing a novel is, in theory, easier. A writer has time to think and look for the best words and grammatical structures. But what if we reach a point where we can no longer be our own editor? When it all seems perfect to our eyes. How do we SEE how many steps are needed to be good enough?

I wish I could be a native english speaker for a day. I feel like I’m writing in a World-size room, with the lights eternally turned off.

I don’t know how long this will go on (…) but I’ve had the kind of life that taught me the only friend I can count on for a fact is me. And as I prepare to write, I know one of two things will happen: I will give up or I will be published.

Or maybe it’s just PMS…

3 thoughts on “The Wall

  1. Ah V,
    I knew I shouldn’t have put those mistakes down and now I feel bad. Your writing is fine it’s just the hit or miss metaphors that lose something in the translation.
    Don’t be disheartened, what you’ve taken on to achieve is above the spectrum of any normal person.
    Anyone can write a text book in a different language but you want to write a novel. And not just a novel, a story painted in word imagery and all the crafts and tools a writer employs. Good grief, I couldn’t even jot down a kid’s book in German!lol.
    Seriously though, to try and make contact with native speakers to see what’s what is not a step backwards, it’s common sense, so see it that way.
    Giving up is not an option because you have writing in your blood and that’s why I believe in you.
    That may mean nothing to you perhaps, because we don’t even know each other, but for you to have come so far only to falter at the last hurdle is not you, it’s not in your make up; or it’s not the make up of the person I read every second day, lol.
    Put it down to pms and move onV, you know you can. ;-)

  2. Don’t feel responsible. Comments don’t put me down, they never did. Comments make me think. (I’ve been feeling THE WALL since the beginning of 2010) I enjoy comments much more when they are constructive and point something bad… I tend to suspect fairy-tale remarks. Maybe because my father rarely gave me one when I was growing up, and even when he said something good about me he always added something bad or ‘it’s your job to be good at school’. It’s sad to say he never really knew me, not even half of what any blog reader would already know about me, and I’m afraid he never will and I’ve just stopped trying because last time I was in Portugal he didn’t even bothered to start a conversation with me.

    I think ‘the Wall’ is something natural in the process of writing on a foreign language and I do believe every foreign must have felt it when living in another country. Even you must have felt it in the beginning.

    I know it reads like a desperate soul on the corner, but I’m always emotional when writing, be it good or bad. It is how I get in touch with my feelings and how I plan what to do next. I write as I feel in each day, and this blog wouldn’t be realistic if I only chose to post on the good days.

    In regards to native english speakers I didn’t make any friends here yet and I’m not sad about it either. I’ve come to accept it’s hard for someone new to get inside my life as much as it’s hard for me to let them in.

  3. I was lucky in that I left the army to live in Germany, but I worked as a civilian for the British army so I didn’t lose contact with Britain.
    In fact, my first 8 years as a “civvy” I hardly bothered trying to speak German as my social circle and workmates were all the same thing : we were all British, lol.
    You guys must be exceptionally brave to have started out alone in a foreign country. I don’t think my wife would make it in Britain, which is the reason why we live in Germany actually.
    That’s hard with your father. My dad was always strict and I joined the army at 16 to get away from him. However, I do think that his being so hard on me toughened me up a lot. We get on great NOW, but up until about 15 years ago all we ever did was argue, and it nearly came to blows a few times too!
    Ah well, one mustn’t dwell on the past it only hurts the future…
    Take it easy V, it only makes mattersd worse looking out from the inside of a problem ;-)

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