Handwritten title on an opened book in French and herbal tea.

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Lire, livres, ivres, liv

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A Month Writing In French

Two weeks before the end of July I opened the newspaper and found a call to submit for a writing competition in French… so I said to myself, why not, because nothing is better than a writing challenge that can help me test my capacity of finishing a piece of work in time. And I was able to finish writing the story to send it one day before the date of closing. My story is not grammatically perfect, for I didn’t have enough time to re-edit it, but I personally love what I wrote, I love the style and tonality in which I’ve written the story, I like that I was able to submit my work in time, I am proud of myself to have been able to channel the spirit of this ocean, marvelled by what she had to say.

I am realistic… I know that I won’t get the first prize, the money that could have helped me publish my first book, the consecration that would have tripled my determination to write more, simply because there are far more better writers than me that’ll take part in this inter-oceanic writing competition. Nevertheless, I’m proud of myself to have dared to participate in such a prestigious contest.

Though I adore the French language, which sounds to me as the most adorable and romantic language in the world, I still don’t get along very well with its grammatical rules, for it’s too complicated for me. All these verbs and stuffs and tenses are too difficult for me to retain, that is why I have chosen to write in English right from the start.

I won’t tell you that writing in English is easier than that of writing in French… nope, not at all, for the English vocabulary is so rich that there is a word to describe your every action and the least object there is, and I have a very hard time looking for the right words that would help me construct the needed sentences or lines. But still, the English grammatical rules are a little bit less complicated than that of the French, that’s why I preferred to go with the English language.

What I learned

Through this writing challenge I realised that I need to better organise myself, and find the best formula that will help me balance my everyday chores and writing. Have to say that so as to be able to finish the manuscript I have neglected some of my main house chores, and in the end, I found myself with a pile of clothes to iron.

Also, it came to my mind that perhaps I am too much into this — for I still haven’t made a single cent from all of these efforts I made. Perhaps I am pushing myself way too much, and that I need to take some step back from the online world so as to start thinking seriously about another method of promoting myself. But then again, it would be as if I have made all of these efforts for nothing. Moreover, I need to finish writing my book so that I can move on to other things.

I’ve learned to use Google Doc — which I find quite simple to work with, though not as professional as word (correction of sentences—which is good for non-English speakers), but heyy! it’s gratos, it’s free, c’est gratuit (well, apart the fact that I pay for my internet and bought my smartphone and PC), so for me it’s fine to swim into these waters (perhaps when the internet infrastructure of where I live will get better, all of the issues I face will be over). Now, I can’t wait to continue with the editing of my current book (which I have completely neglected for the competition).

I also learnt that I get bored quit soon when I edit my writings — as if I do everything I can so as to run away from the hassle of editing. For example, Googling for a word, and remain on the website so as to read more articles (of course those that interest me) than I should; afterwards, I would go listen to some music on YouTube, or else go on Pinterest (to find some extra inspiration), and again, I will remain pinning for extra minutes. Yeah ! editing for me is a hard process, perhaps due to the fact that I have already written the story, knowing the content from start to finish, and where it doesn’t seduce me anymore to go further. I will have to seriously work on that processing part, for I lose lots of time.

That I will need help, for I can’t do everything all alone. If ever I make it, I will need to pay for the extra work that I don’t like doing, or that I am not good at. Though an autodidact, I don’t see myself writing, rewriting, re-re-writing, edit, re-edit, re-re-edit, and this–until finality. Nope, not at all. Because first and foremost I am a fictionnaire, and writing is only the most suitable medium I found that suits me. What I truly wish for is to lay down on a sofa while narrating the imageries that take place in my imagination, and this, all the while a writer writes the book and takes the sole responsibility of editing, formatting, marketing, and selling. Let me tell you that it would have been heaven for me… but again, that’s only fiction🤣.

And lastly, I am seriously thinking about integrating into my writings some of the rules of punctuation I’ve learnt in French. My process of writing incurs my own intonation, and as for that to be effective, the use of punctuation is very important for me. I don’t know if everybody read books or poetry same as I do, but I tend to write as if I was reading a book, thus, the importance of the good use of punctuation for me.

screenshot of the story I submitted

What’s next

Well, return back to writing my book, thing that I’ve missed very much. You should see the mess my baby became since I migrated. All of the former edits I made (whole paragraphs I have deleted) have merged with the polished one, and it’s a whole wide big mess that I will have to work on… *sigh*. Just looking at it makes me want to abandon everything, but then again, I can’t have done all of this effort for nothing!

Also I will be polishing my social accounts, and why not create new onesBlog, blog, blog. I also have to start thinking about what to write for the next national competition; whose submission had its date limit till the end of this year.

To conclude, I have learnt things that will surely help me to ameliorate my writing skills, but above all, it has accentuated my rage and determination to finish my book.

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