Freewriting in a non-native language


When I practice freewriting, I usually start with listening. Sooner or later a word, an idea, an image pops up in my mind. The first sentences are often useless, but soon a powerful word comes, determining the direction of further thought. Does the same scheme work in my freewriting in English language?

The pale sun is faintly shining through the clouds, looking like a light gray circle, and in the same way my personality only barely shines through the veil of the foreign language. When I was writing this sentence, I was lacking some words like shine through or veil, and without them, there was no hint at the next step in my freewriting.

But there’s also another, much more important problem. I don’t feel the magic of the words in the same way as I feel it in my native language. So my main obstacle is not the lack of vocabulary knowledge, but the lack of physical life experience connected with words in foreign language. The foreign words still have meaning, but are neutral, aren’t charged emotionally. As a consequence, I get much less soul nutrition from my writing in a foreign language.

Paradoxically, I freewrite in English even faster than in my native language. I spend less time on evaluating my writing just because I am unable to detect all the content I could then find unworthy, and that’s good for freewriting, even if there’s more noise in it. In general, there’s less self-criticism and shadow in my English writing at the level of meanings, though there’s more of it at the level of grammar — sometimes I am feeling that I speak unclearly, lack the exact words or correct grammatical constructions. If only there could be a way to recreate in another language my inner map connecting words, meanings and feelings! But my thinking patterns are, like a message in a bottle, contained in the sea of my native language and I can’t get access to them from inside the other language. Or maybe there is a way to achieve it? The question is still open to me.

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