Dutch and I had a good run. Sure, there were some ups and downs. Perhaps a couple of more downs than is usual in such relationships. But I never thought I would come to a point in life where I had to admit we just weren’t meant to be.
My daughter and I do still speak Dutch to each other, but only half of the time. We’ll pick the language that’s most efficient in expressing what we want to say. Often that’s English. It’s not uncommon for us to switch a couple of times between languages in the same conversation.
My five year old son, no matter how much Dutch I speak to him, flat out refuses to use it. He will talk to me and respond to me in English. He does the same thing at school. He understands Dutch and Papiamento just fine. He just won’t speak it.
On top of that, I’ve fallen in love with an Englishman. When there’s a strong emotional and intellectual connection between two people who are by nature kind of patient, loyal and a little stubborn, thinking in ‘ever after’ might not be as naive as I sometimes fear.
English is now my adoptive-mother tongue. I spend most of my time reading, writing, speaking and thinking in English. But I will readily admit I’m not as intimately familiar with the language yet as a native speaker. And this is where the editors on Medium come in. I’ve had a couple of great experiences with publication editors who made a few changes for style and flow, who then notified me of these changes for me to sign off on. Which includes a story in the publication we are talking about. I’m not sure if I was just lucky, or early enough that the workload was still light. I just know I got edited before publishing and my story looks better for it. And it helps me so much to improve my writing.
I wouldn’t even know what sixth grade English would look like. I hope I am somewhere above that. I do know I am hesitant to submit original stories to publications because I think I am creating work for the editors. I would much rather have them request my stories that I have published under my personal account. It’s something I’m trying to get over.
My situation might or might not be unique. Still, when I think of the many stories written by people about how intimidating Medium is; that they spend more time on editing and sometimes don’t hit ‘publish’ at all, I can imagine some go the other way; hitting ‘publish’ without any edits lest they lose their nerve. I can understand you’d rather spend your time writing than editing. But I don’t think the idea editors can’t be bothered and just publish things to attract readers is very fair.
If that were the case, would the publication not be filled with life-hacks, listicles and click bait?