When writing about an experience or event in my diary, I sometimes write about it twice, so there is one version from an objectively descriptive (outward-oriented) perspective, and one version from a personal, introspective perspective.
Analogy: an experience has many layers, that can be explored separately – just like musical tracks in a music editor
Good writing is hard. Raining words down on a piece of paper (well, screen) is easy; but it is hard to carve the story out, to shave off the unnecessary fluff and stray side-stories.
Stray stories, long sentences and over-informing are my weak spots as a writer, so I try to be very disciplined and weed out the clutter. William Strunk sums up beautifully what needs to be done to stories (and blog posts):
A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts.
I used to write long before the Internet and the so called globalisation came along. I did not imagine that my language could later become obsolete (sort of).
When I grew, up I didn’t really consider the world outside of my country relevant. My country was where all the REAL people lived; foreign countries were all together like a distant stratosphere. I guess everybody grow up in the middle of the world no matter where they live.
Later it became obvious that my home country is not the centre of the world; more like a tiny splash of green dots on the world map. Everybody there are now told that they need to be very fluent in English because English is the Lingua Franca of the world and the Internet. Internationalising the youth is such a high priority that the State subsidises both tuition fees and living costs for studies abroad.
I live in Australia now, on the opposite the side of the Earth from where I was before. I speak English, think English and write English since six years ago. I sometimes have a chat with the dog in Danish (our dog understands any human language pronounced in a soft, friendly voice) and I have one Danish client. That’s about it with speaking anything but English. Continue reading →