I started my translation career in 2004. I enjoy translating. I always wanted to be a translator, so I guess I am doing my dream job. I always wanted to be a writer too though, and started writing professionally eight years ago.
After a couple of years of translating, I was yearning to write something of my own. Yes, translation is writing, but it is restricted writing. I do commercial translation, not literary translation, so most times, the translation has to be faithful to the original, both in style and content.
I was aware that, even though I was writing, I was writing someone else’s words and thoughts. I was following their thought processes, using their vocabulary and phrasing. I didn’t feel like any of it was my own.
When I started writing as a career (graded readers for learners of English), I felt I had more freedom, but again, I was restricted. This time, it was by vocabulary and grammar, which was graded to suit the level of English learners.
I felt complete freedom when I wrote my first novel In the Shadows of Mountains. At first, this freedom was almost Sartrean. I felt uneasy, not scared, but a bit, well, kind of seasick. I could write anything. There was nothing stopping me – no one else’s ideas and words to follow, no vocabulary or grammar restrictions. It was just me, and the blank page. And whatever I wrote, I was responsible for it. As I progressed through the novel, I felt this uneasiness lifting, and I felt like I was soaring. After so long writing other people’s words, and following strict grammar and vocabulary guidelines, I was discovering my own voice. And it felt great. I can’t wait to write my next one.
2 thoughts on “Writing – appreciating the freedom”
Yeah, not having to be restricted to my clients’ demands and approval is exactly why I love writing fiction. It’s great to have that freedom, especially in the creative art that is writing. Thanks for sharing!
Thanks for the comment. It’s liberating, isn’t it? It could become addictive!