Original English version published here in Matador Network
Je suis ce qu’ils appellent une “autrice de voyage”, ou travel writer en anglais. Figurez-vous bien ce terme. Pour une femme, écrire ouvertement et sous un nom de plume féminin, voyager seule en conservant l’apparence d’une femme, ne représente qu’un progrès sociétal très récent. Mais il y a encore du chemin à faire. Tout d’abord, tout ceci demeure très largement un “first-world privilege”. Ensuite, il s’agit d’un milieu professionnel dans lequel genre et genre littéraire sont encore en étroite interaction.
Original English version here
Je ne suis pas la seule blogueuse ni la seule contributrice sur Medium à écrire des textes dans plusieurs langues différentes. Nous sommes un grand nombre à avoir à la fois une langue maternelle et une langue véhiculaire (très souvent l’anglais), que nous utilisons pour différentes raisons.
L’audience en est une. L’anglais international est un moyen simple et efficace d’élargir le paysage dans lequel voyagent vos mots. Mais parfois, il existe une raison plus personnelle, plus intime, plus émotionnelle.
Jack London's The Road
I found my 1930s exemplary on the shelves of a second-hand bookshop, in Wellington, New Zealand. When I opened the book, saw the pronoun “I” used on every page and realized that this “I” actually referred to Jack himself, I was excited. I only knew Jack through his "The Call-of-the-Wild" kind of books. I smiled and pressed the book hard on my chest. I was going to love this one. And I did.
The Road documents the time Jack spent on the road as a hobo, a tramp, “nailing” trains, shivering, starving, getting ditched from trains, getting locked up and man-handled: namely, the time he spent traveling North America like so many other forgotten heroes.
At some point in the book, Jack jokes about the sociological value of his own writing. But this book — in my opinion — does have a tremendous sociological value. It documents an anonymous “right there, right then” that is not taught in school books. It documents that time, that space, those people from the inside, through an honest, fluid style.
I am a writer and I have been blogging for 9 months. Here is a report about all my choices, attempts, failures and successes as “a writer who blogs”. In short, my personal feedback. Hope that helps.
#1 Can a writer be a blogger?
Version française ici
I am not the only person in the blogging community or on Medium who writes content in different languages. Many of us have at least a native language, and a vehicular language (quite often English) that they use for many different reasons. A good reason can be audience. International English is an easy and efficient way to broaden the landscape in which your words are travelling. But sometimes, there is a more personal, intimate, emotional reason.
I couldn’t do it. Yesterday, I was supposed to post a story on my blog. But I didn’t. For the very first time, I failed in that task. For a few days now, I have felt discouragement. I have heard the Voice. You know which Voice I’m talking about: “Nobody is reading your blog, Carrie.”, “Do you know how much time you have spent on that blog, Carrie?”, “Do you realize your blog will never take off, Carrie?”
“How many precious moments with your friends you let pass because you woke up at dawn to hide and write?”
(Disclaimer: This article is written in the hope that no reader will take it personally.)
Are you friend with someone who just announced he or she was starting a blog or any other kind of writing activity? One that involves mainly words and no images, no painting, no drawing, no visual art that would have mechanically made his or her work more visible (literally) on social media? Then these guidelines are for you, as being your friend’s initial audience can be a tough job.
Do not Like: Share.
On April 22nd this year, I clicked “Publish” in my blog editor for the very first time, and it happened in a café. I used to go to a tea room just a few minutes away. Although I am very fond of that tea room, it somehow felt wrong for writing. It is small, tidy, quiet, but I didn’t feel like staying there for hours at a time with just a cup of tea. This café is a different story.