As I click-through from blog to blog, I can’t help but to be in awe of my fellow bloggers. I especially admire and respect the ones who post daily.
There are photo blogs where every photo deserves a pause and a closer look. Having played with Canon 5D and lightroom myself, I appreciate how difficult it is to consistently produce high quality work. There are artists who post pictures of their art work each day, whether it is one-oil-painting-a-day or one-drawing-a-day or one-watercolor-landscape-a-day. Having done painting and drawing myself, I know I could not possibly commit to that, or I won’t be able to do anything else. Although secretly, I wish that I have chosen daily posting of photos or art work and not writing. Most bloggers are writers, who write prolifically and thought-provokingly. I don’t know how much time everyone is spending on writing their blogs, but I think they all write much faster than I can. I’m writing in the speed of a snail or slower.
My purpose of this blog is simple – I want to practice writing regularly so that I could go on and write stories that captivate people’s imagination just like the thousands of stories that have enraptured me. My struggle is whether I shall write in English or my native tongue Chinese. I have no experience in either. After I left China, I have not written anything other than Happy New Year or Happy Birthday on cards in Chinese. So needless to say writing in Chinese would be a huge challenge as well, but at least I won’t be a laughing-stock as at least I won’t be making stupid language mistakes. Writing in English is different. Although I have learned English as a second language in school back in China, I have not ever taken even one English literature class anywhere. I learned the language from listening and talking to people around me. My writing was limited to business emails and presentations and maybe once-a-year personal Christmas newsletters to family and friends.
But I have read great books from non-native speakers, namely Ann Rand, who came to America when she was already 20 years old. Therefore it is not impossible. Yet, there are three things against me, in addition to my somewhat non-distinguished innate language ability. 1) I don’t read nearly enough. I have listened to many audio books, but that’s very different from reading. 2) I cannot recite any great works in English. In Chinese traditional teaching, reciting the 300 poems from Tang Dynasty would be part of the beginner’s course work. 3) I don’t have much practice in writing.
If this blog is to solve problem #3, I need to solve #1 and #2 as well. And reading Chinese novels online 16 hours a day is not going to help my cause.