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A Pretty Huge Dilemma...Need Advice : Tips and Advice • Writing Forum | WritersDigest.com

A Pretty Huge Dilemma...Need Advice

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yoniyoniag
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A Pretty Huge Dilemma...Need Advice

Postby yoniyoniag » Mon Jun 06, 2016 2:16 pm

Hey guys, I don't know if this is the place to ask for this kind of advice, so I apologize ahead if it's not.
As you understood from reading the title, I'm in a pretty confusing dilemma that concerns the language in which I write.
You probably guessed that I'm not a native English speaker. And every time I think about the future of my career as an author/writer, this sort of problem keeps appearing.
Now the question is why would I think to write in a non-native language such as English? Well I mainly thought (at the beginning of my writing years) that English sounds better, and have "prettier" words than my language (a thing that I don't believe in anymore--after finding out books in my language that were beautifully written than I could ever imagine.)
but then the next debate in my head was concerened around the fact that in my country of 7-8 million people, people bairly read. And like in many countries around the world, the literary world of it is dying.
Also the people in my country that actually read, usually go for translated works instead of domestic--not to mention that they are usually cheaper than domestically written books, (but I think that the main reason for that is that the authors in my country don't really write interesting fiction novels, and don't have the fame or the name of international authors.)
But, you may also say that if I really love writing, money is no concern. But in reality, if I want to write and enjoy it, I need to earn money from it in order for me to give a hundred percent of my mental and physical energy into it, though I think that I would keep writing even if my work would earn me any money.
So basically, a lot of concerns popped up as I thought about it more and more, so I decided to make a "pros and cons" list, and here it is:

Pros And Cons of writing in English (non-native):

Pros- Bigger market, easier to get published (I can publish my books on amazon KDP. ), Easier to get fans, readers, and an overall crowd. and to my knowledge (correct me if I'm wrong) authors who publish on KDP and other E-Book sites earn on average minimum wage. which sounds pretty good to me.

Cons- my writing is really slow (a max of 500 words a day), and since I have many grammar errors I need a freelance editor for that and from the reason that I plan to self-publish (if I go with the KDP publishing). I have a hard time to learn the dialogue and the slangs of English speaking countries. also, I am not planning to immigrate to the US (for example) in anytime for at least the next five years, so that would make it harder to maintain the English voice. and I have a smaller and more limited vocabulary.
there are many examples of famous writers that at the beginning wrote in their native language and then they moved to another state and changed their writing language. but I'm not planning to move.

Pros And Cons of writing in my NATIVE language:

Pros- Really easy to write (1000 words a day easily), re-writes are quicker, i can control the dialogues better, and i have a bigger vocabulary.
one thing that plays a little role in my line of thought is the fact that I consider myself as a bit patriotic, and I sort of think that if I write and publish in my own country I would help to support the market and would try to revive the dying market.
another thing that helps to support the case of writing in my native language is looking at all the none-English authors who succeeded. for example Paulo Coelho (known for his famous work "The Alchemist"), and much more examples of writers who kept writing in a different language than English and they were good enough to be famous and get published. and I sort of believe that too if I'm good enough, the language doesn't matter.

Cons- I can't publish my short stories on the internet in an Ebook format, the market in my country is pretty small and even the successful writers here, and I mean REALLY successful, that are known, by almost everyone in the country, make just the same as a worker on a minimum wage. its pretty sad.


I think that the real difference is when you start out, I think that it would be easier to start to publish in English in amazon KDP, but I also believe if I'm good I could be translating my work to international audiences.


So now, after a year of writing in English, the argument is still going inside my head. I actually finished my first short story after many re-writings and getting critiqued by friends and family who know English and were kind enough to give me their opinion.

What do you guys think? which language should I choose? I would be really happy to hear your opinions.

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cynicalwanderer
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Re: A Pretty Huge Dilemma...Need Advice

Postby cynicalwanderer » Mon Jun 06, 2016 3:46 pm

Personally, I would advise you to write the first version in your native language, get all the rhythms and meanings of what you want to say perfect, and then afterwards do a translation to English.

That way the initial writing should flow more easily and naturally, allowing you full reign over your creativity in your native thought patterns. It'll also give you a solid basis for doing translation work after that, and the time you spend doing that won't be wasted, as you'll be improving your English in the process of looking up and checking that your intended meaning is coming across properly. And lastly, of course, you'll have both markets covered as well.
"I've stopped giving advice. Even when people ask for it, they resent getting it." -Ross Macdonald.

yoniyoniag
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Re: A Pretty Huge Dilemma...Need Advice

Postby yoniyoniag » Mon Jun 06, 2016 11:43 pm


yoniyoniag
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Re: A Pretty Huge Dilemma...Need Advice

Postby yoniyoniag » Fri Jun 10, 2016 1:56 pm

UPDATE:
Since writing this post I have spent a few days writing in my native language instead of just in English. and I think that I can boil the dilemma down and concentrate the arguments in order to make it shorter and simple to understand.
So, after writing in my own language for the first time since a long ago. and it made me realize a few things:
one, both languages actually felt pretty natural and good for me to write. (the small difference is that obviously the native one is smoother and the vocabulary is bigger overall.) also, I think that I'll need an editor to help me with the English voice and dialogue. here the native language is taking the advantage.

the second thing is publishing: in English I can publish it online which makes it easier to get an audience but I have to hire a freelance editor, the native language would be published more traditionally (with a company.) I think that English takes the advantage in this one.

the third thing is, me, being a young man working to save money for a university and rent, I can see English as taking a big advantage in publishing and helping with money on the side from KDP and online publishing.

after boiling and distilling the problem down,
what do you people think?


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