I write all my life. This passion start when I was in secondary school. We had this writing skills class that all of my friends hated. I was always the biggest fan of this class. Writings have been always easy for me. I was always the favourite student of my Literature teachers. So some of my friends were annoyed by me. (perhaps they were a bit jealous ?) In my opinion, I have never been one of those annoying nerd students.
When people come to ask me about how I did start blogging my answer makes them surprise maybe a little bit disbelieving. Because I’ve been blogging since 2005. Unfortunately, I’ve only written in Turkish which is my mother-tongue until I have started writing in English late 2013. After I moved to NY in 2011, I attempted to write in English a few times. My first writings were awful back then. It was painful for me to practice and write in English. Because of this lack of confidence, I was afraid to send business e-mails. I really hate when someone sends me a bad business e-mail which is covered with simple grammar mistakes in Turkish. So I really don’t want to be in the same position as people that I hated before. ?
Those thoughts made me not writing, not practising. Fear is the most dangerous thing for passionate people or anyone for the matter. And It’s really hard to overcome when you lost your confidence in yourself. And trying to adjust to a new life in a new country with a new language can easily damage your confidence. I was in that phase in my life for a while and I did suffer a lot from that.
I was in this limbo for at least 3 years to grip my confidence back. After I’ve started to read English books in Kindle (Kindle is a lifesaver at this point) I got my confidence in speaking first. I realized that I was speaking with some words that I even don’t realize I ever truly check the meaning of it in my own language. It was a weird feeling. How could anyone know a word without really knowing the meaning in your own language? That was a very curious feeling. I knew the meanings know with an instinct. And that instinct comes with my reading books in English.
Finally somewhere between 2013 to 2014 I decided to create alleygirl.com. If you have a stomach to check my first posts ?they were pretty awful but little by little I overcome this fear. And I started to realized that how meaningful to try to learn a new language and try to explain myself my emotions my life with it. Since then writing in English make me feel pretty cool and fun. You can make some mistakes while you are speaking in daily life but writing is a totally different thing and I fully feel ashamed if I make some mistakes about it. Because writing is my passion from the very ages.
At this point, I needed professional help but somehow It should have been an accessible one. I can’t really recall how I ended up discovering Grammarly. That would have been so cool if I could tell the story of the lifechanging moment. I have used Grammarly with the free version for a very long time. And I realized my writing score is generally around 80% which is very cool actually. (They give a score to tell how structurally good your writing is) I wish I could have been more generous to pay the money they deserve every single penny sooner. It’s better late than ever, right?
Writing is my passion and I really want to write a novel someday. I actually collect my material now and making my writing practice with you here in alleygirl.com with a help of my pal Grammarly. If you have the same issues as mine,
Firstly, own a Kindle
Or a similar device which comes with a dictionary. It’s the biggest challenge when you try to read in a new language. But how are you supposed to know the every single words? Are you going to keep checking in the dictionary? Our generation is so lucky to have this technology. In Kindle when you don’t know the word, you simply hold on to that word and a dictionary appears on top that world telling you the meaning and also usage of that word in different sentences. Check the words that you don’t know. Every. Single. Time. This way to you train your brain to keep the words in your mind longer than usual.
Start to read in English
Do it right this second. The best way to start reading in a language you want to improve is by reading your favourite novel in the new language you want to learn.
I went with Harry Potter for two reasons. Firstly, Harry Potter is written as a children book. So your language level must be somewhere within 10 year to 12 years old kid. Keeping that in mind Harry Potter was the perfect choice for me. It’s easy to understand because It has a simple structure and easy words.
Secondly, I love the story so much. There is no way I could have been bored when I read Harry Potter. No way. So pick a book that easy to understand and the one you enjoy the most rereading. You can’t imagine how I started to feel at the end of the book. I started to doubt that It was different in my language. I thought the translators changed some stuff. No, they didn’t. I was just new to this new way of understanding two languages at the same time in the same subject fully. It’s mindblowing really.
Start to Write Something You Like and Other Might Interested
And don’t hesitate to share with the people. Some may be judgemental but some can be really helpful about it. Always mention that you are new to this language and one of the reasons you write is improving your language skills. You can try to be a part of the groups you who helps new writers or new language learners. They are the best people make you thrive.
Sign up to Grammarly
There is no doubt that if reading books help me 60%, 70% the rest is thanks to Grammarly. also this great program called Grammarly that I’ve been obsessed with. The program’s free version shows your little misspellings and some minor grammar mistakes. And I have been using the free version for quite some time now and I am feeling pretty amazing with Grammarly because It helps me to do fewer mistakes. Because I did those same mistakes thousands of times, now, I write the correct way because of it.
Thank for reading me and as always until next time,
P.S. Main image is from www.geekinsider.com