Writing in a foreign language? Not as impossible as it seems. Back in college, I used to spend my free time writing short stories and poems, in my own native language, not thinking much of it, let alone considering a career in writing. I received my degree and, just like many others, I couldn’t find a job. Although writing was one of my strong suits, it didn’t pay much in my country. And then it occurred to me.
My English was pretty good, so why not take the chance and write in English? It was a gamble that paid off, considering that I am full-time writer today, but back in those early days, any essay writing service would have made a fortune out of proofreading my work for mistakes. I am here to tell you that you can become a writer in a foreign language, and here’s how.
1. Connect with Other Writers
Being around other writers will not only improve your mastery of a foreign language, but it will represent an endless source of inspiration and creativity. Bouncing ideas off one another, receiving valuable feedback, and simply being social, which is often a missing component when you are a writer, can help you grow as a writer in no time.
2. Attend a Writing Workshop
Writing workshops are often not cheap, but they are well worth the money, because during those several days, you will be able to immerse yourself into the world of professional writers and figure out of all the ins and outs of it. Plus, you will meet a lot of new people and make new contacts, which can come in handy on some future writing projects.
3. Avoid Clichés like the Plague
In the beginning, your writing will be full of literary clichés and redundant words, and it’s ok, because it will take a while before you figure out which phrases, words, and sentence structures constitute a cliché. But, try and avoid them when you can, and come up with a more effective alternative for each as you expand your vocabulary.
4. Be an Active Reader
Every time you pick up a new book in a foreign language, or read a magazine, make sure to have pen on hand, so you can write down new words and learn them. Once you’ve collected enough of those, try and work them into sentences that make sense. Before you know it, those new words and phrases will find their way into your vocabulary and your writing.
5. Don’t be Afraid to Use a Dictionary and a Thesaurus
Every now and then, your mind will draw a blank and you won’t be able to remember that word in English you are looking for. The solution? Pick up a dictionary, or go to Google Translate and look it up. Better yet, once you have found it, look it up in a thesaurus, as well, and learn all the synonyms at the same time.
Although writing takes creativity, sometimes you need to roll up your sleeves and work harder at improving your skills. It doesn’t mean you are less of a writer if you put in more effort. Quite the opposite, it is the very thing that will make you a great writer.