Keep on Writing

(Uhm yeah, I lost a key there on my laptop)

In case you don’t realize it, English is not my first language…

It just happens that I love to write in them and to use them on a daily basis with Lil’ A. He is growing up between the two languages, English and Indonesian just as Mr. X and I had agreed on.

Maybe it’s a matter of personal taste but

I’ve been blogging in a language that I learn from childhood for years now yet lately I’ve been feeling like I’m not good enough. Reading other blogs who can push out beautifully written and crafted words make me envy and make me feel little doubtful of my own writing.

I suck at grammar!

Yes, I can spell and pretty good at it but grammatically, I am challenged.

Even when my Indonesian friends said my writing is good I still feel like I’m not good enough. One of my friends think my English is on a native level and she asked how I learned, where I learned. I had no definite answers. I grew up a miner’s daughter – or so I lovingly prefer my father’s job as – I was surrounded and exposed with English language since early on. English course? What course? Tried that many moons ago but I never got to finish it because I was bored.

Even when people at my office had ‘nominated’ me as an unofficial translator – I still feel that I’m not good enough.

Even when some of our projects managers who are Australians had asked before “Why do you sound so American, Maureen?” – I still feel I’m not good enough.

That no matter how hard I try, I will never write as good as everyone else and this thought has been weighing me down lately.

Feeling like I am not good enough in this whole blogsphere. Maybe I lost my mojo?

Then last month, I got my first ever fan e-mail. Well maybe it’s not even one but it came from someone I didn’t know who was pointed in the direction of my blog. He commented on my ‘bravery’ to blog about my divorce journey so openly and I told him that despite how open it may look like, what I blog about only covers the outer layers. Blogging through my divorce helps me cope and most definitely cheaper than seeing my therapist! Reading my reader’s comments – especially those who had been through the same painful journey of ending a marriage truly help.

My writing has got me through some of my most hellish time, it’s my therapy because as it allows me to bear my soul, my pains, my joys, my hopes, my dreams. So I shall continue writing, continue blogging, continue forming sentences with simple words to express what’s inside me.

If it could inspire others who was or still is in the same/similar situations as mine then I would be honored.

I may not be the most popular blogger or snag a book deal but for now, I am good enough to have my own little corner here in the blogsphere to be me and make new connections with others.

I am good enough in this sea of many great bloggers with all my grammatically challenged sentences, I am my own person, I am me…unique and different.

This post is inspired by Just.Be.Enough. A powerful group of women pioneered by Elena to empower, to inspire and to celebrate ourselves.



  1. September 12, 2011 / 7:42 pm

    I am impressed you are writing a blog in a language that is a second language. You do a great job and I wouldn’t have known it wasn’t your first language.

    • September 12, 2011 / 10:58 pm

      Thank you Maria for your support! You are awesome like that!

  2. John
    September 12, 2011 / 9:25 pm

    I’m sure it WAS a fan email! 🙂 And I’m sure your being open about your divorce in public is inspiring quite a few people who are dealing with their own ‘stuff’. I’ve had to read a lot of writing by post-grad students in my time (both native speakers and non-native speakers) and your writing is way clearer and more engaging than most native speakers manage. I love reading your stuff, and if it serves as therapy and saves you therapist bills, then all the better! Blog on, Maureen…

    • September 12, 2011 / 11:01 pm

      John, thank you for being a great visitor of my blog and a friend. You’re so spot on that it saves up on therapist bills. I have other single Indonesian moms who quietly reading too and we communicate ‘behind’ the scenes but they mostly validated the emotions, the feelings that I had to go through so in a way, that is pretty amazing. Thank you again I truly appreciate your support!

  3. September 12, 2011 / 10:38 pm

    I find anybody who can read, write, and speak more than one language amazing. I’m a published author and let me assure you, if you have interesting stories to share, there’s not much an editor can’t fix. Keep your dream. Keep writing. Learn where you can. You’re truly amazing!


    • September 12, 2011 / 11:04 pm

      Aww thanks for the uplifting words of encouragements, Boone. It really means a lot especially when I was self doubting myself lately. Thank you again!

  4. September 12, 2011 / 10:41 pm

    I suck with grammar and it’s my first language..I barely end sentences with a period or capitalize things that should be and tend to run on and on with never ending sentences. i think you are doing a great job here and your space is just that, yours to express – that’s what people come back for!

    • September 12, 2011 / 11:06 pm

      Amy, you are too kind! Thank you so very much…I guess we truly are our own worst critiques, huh? I am never satisfy with the way I write but I know it’s part of the learning process. My writing will evolves with time and experience just the way I would be so embarrassed to read my old blogs.

  5. September 13, 2011 / 12:43 am

    Maureen, I think that’s awesome! You write so well for someone whose first language isn’t English (and writing is a great way to improve – for all of us!). And I think what you said about having it be for you is really important. You will always influence someone or make them feel better, even when they don’t send you an email. 🙂

    • September 14, 2011 / 4:57 pm

      Aww thanks Robin! Writing has certainly help me, I think if I don’t blog more I won’t find my own ‘writing voice’ and it would be so boring. It is a learning process. 🙂

  6. September 13, 2011 / 1:44 am

    I think your grammar is better than you think. I don’t think I would have realized that English is your second language if you hadn’t said as much and I used to teach English Composition. Thanks for sharing your blogs and linking up with JBE.

    • September 14, 2011 / 4:58 pm

      Oh wow, you used to be an English teacher? I have always love English when I was in school but dreaded the grammar part. Thank you for your kind support, Shannon!

  7. September 13, 2011 / 4:26 am

    You do a fine job with your English. (Remember, most native English speakers do not have a second langauge, so the fact that you are fluent in two??? Amazing. I enjoyed reading your post and greatly appreciate you stopping by my blog.

    • September 14, 2011 / 4:59 pm

      Charity, thank you so much 🙂 I do have to remind myself that I need to stop being too hard on me

  8. September 13, 2011 / 8:13 am

    blogging is such a tough space for me. at work I know I’m good at what I do, they give me paychecks. At home, I must be doing something right, they give me kisses. but on the internet. it seems there is always someone who puts sentences togther in a way I envy, is funnier than me, more honest. So, I get this.
    And for the record, I think you’re doing just fine. And I’m super impressed that you are not only fluent in two languages, but raising your son that way as well.

    • September 14, 2011 / 5:03 pm

      Krista, you are so right and so spot on but maybe one day we’ll bring some income too from our blogging love? 🙂 My son is American – Indonesian so I have always wished for him to be fluent in both languages since before he was born. That way he can stay connected to both sides of his worlds. Thank you!

  9. September 13, 2011 / 8:19 am

    Maureen, I think you do a wonderful job of expressing your thoughts on your blog. I think that means you are writing well. And the more you write, the more you improve, in every way. Hey, even native speakers make mistakes in writing, so it’s perfectly okay! But I think the important thing is, you’re a great story teller, and that’s more important than grammatically correct sentences.

    • September 14, 2011 / 5:05 pm

      Alison, I noticed that too…that even native speakers have spelling/grammar mistakes. Thank you for your encouragements. It means a lot! Next time I’m feeling down about my writing/blogging I will have to re-read your comment and everyone here because the support really overwhelmed me. 🙂

  10. September 13, 2011 / 9:45 am

    Well look at you! Linking up and putting yourself out there. How can you not compare yourself to others writings. Isn’t that what we all do? Instead of looking at what you can not do, maybe it is what you can learn from their writing to make your great writing better. It is so hard not to be competitive and what to make your blog better, we simply work hard to do our very best and make our blog our own. You’ll find your niche. I am so happy I found your blog and I look forward to reading more. -Laverne linking up from Just.Be.Enough

    • September 14, 2011 / 5:18 pm

      Thank you Laverne, you are so right. I am learning and just have to keep on swimming with the other great bloggers out there. I can’t be more grateful for the support this one post has given me. 🙂

  11. September 13, 2011 / 10:03 am

    I am so impressed! I can’t believe you can blog in a second language!

    Just Be Enough has really inspired me, and this post especially. You certainly shouldn’t feel small about something so amazing, and your writing really is fabulous.

    I can count to five in Japanese… but that’s as far as I ever got in a second language. 😉

    • September 14, 2011 / 5:21 pm

      Hey, counting in Japanese is so cool!

      Thank you Aubrey, it is really a second language although at home I speaks English with my son who is bilingual since birth.

  12. September 13, 2011 / 11:11 am

    your perseverance is inspiring, and your commitment to doing what you want to. unless you told me, i would have NEVER guessed english was your second language.

    • September 14, 2011 / 6:19 pm

      Thank you Ed, it is not my native language 🙂

  13. September 13, 2011 / 1:23 pm

    You do more in your second language, than 99% of Americans do in their own language.

    You can communicate so well in a language that is not your mother tongue.

    Your use of English is what endears you to me.

    It’s what makes Mo, Mo.

    You can improve over time, you know that’ll happen, but I would hate for you to lose your charm.

    • September 16, 2011 / 9:26 am

      Alexandra, you have always leave me the best comment and that’s just one of the reason why I love you! Thank you so much 🙂

  14. September 13, 2011 / 6:04 pm

    Beautiful post, Maureen! I think you are a wonderful writer and would urge you to continue to write! At the end of the day, with good bloggers, it’s not the grammar that matters, it’s their heart. You are a good blogger! I love you and your blog because of your heart. It’s your heart that always keeps me coming back.

    • September 16, 2011 / 9:27 am

      Aww thank you, my friend! Blogging has brought me to meet you so I’m thankful for that. PS: I puffy heart you too!

  15. September 13, 2011 / 11:03 pm

    Oh please keep blogging! No one ever feels completely sure of themselves with a lot of things but giving up is never the answer. It’s always better to be able to look back and say “I could’ve done that better,” than to realize that you didn’t even try.

    By the way, I highly, highly recommend a book called “On Writing Well” by William Zinsser. It’s a classic but it really helped me a lot. Good luck and keep on posting!

    • September 16, 2011 / 9:31 am

      I’m not going to quit, Nami no matter how sometimes I honestly feel overwhelmed by it all but I just love this whole blogging thingy way too much. Thanks for the book recommendation, will definitely look it up 😀 You rock, girl!

  16. September 14, 2011 / 12:49 am

    Just using language to express yourself is enough. I know there are all these rules that govern grammar and sentence structure in English, but in the end what you express is so much more important than what you write, if you know what I mean? Keep up the great work! ps – I would never have known it wasn’t your second language.

    • September 14, 2011 / 1:13 am

      Duh – never would have known it wasn’t your FIRST language… see? words just get in the way. 🙂

      • September 16, 2011 / 9:33 am

        Thank you, Jeniffer! I feel that way sometimes…you know if the grammar Nazi saw my writing I’d be locked up in jail for sure but thank you for reminding why I love expressing my feelings using English in the first place.

  17. sheila
    September 14, 2011 / 1:07 am

    Isn’t being grammatically correct only applicable at school? LOL

    I think you write well. Very well, really. But if you want to learn more about writing in English, you could perhaps take some classes. I’m sure there are online classes and I think there are free information available online, too.

    • September 16, 2011 / 9:34 am

      LOL that’s what I’m hoping, Sheila!
      I’ve always regret not taking writing course when I was still in the US but maybe one day down the line, I can do it online. Thank you! 😀

  18. September 14, 2011 / 7:15 am

    Just the fact that you’re writing in another language is amazing. I’ve been blogging for less than 12 months and there is so much about this who blog thing that makes no sense to me. Some of the very best writers out there have no following while many of the biggest hacks have huge followings.

    I simply want to put the positive out there for the world to see and if that doesn’t gain me notoriety then I’m fine with that.

    • September 16, 2011 / 9:36 am

      Thanks, ChopperPapa. I am a new fan of your blog btw and I think you are a great writer 😀 Thanks again and I’m with you I’ve seen so many blogs who have great stuffs posted with very low comments but they keep on writing and that’s what matters.

  19. September 14, 2011 / 12:30 pm

    I think it’s great that you’re writing in a second language. You do it so wonderfully, too!

    • September 16, 2011 / 9:36 am

      Thank you Kimberly 🙂

  20. September 15, 2011 / 7:57 am

    Oh sweet friend….you are tremendous in so many ways. You are amazing and I am so thankful that you linked again with JBE!

    • September 16, 2011 / 9:37 am

      Aww and THANK YOU for being the amazing brain behind JBE! Love ya!

  21. December 20, 2014 / 6:15 pm

    Oh man English is my first language and I suck with grammar. So don’t feel bad. You write from the heart. And you true self shines through.

    • December 22, 2014 / 1:32 pm

      Aww thanks so much, girl! My fiance helps me with the grammar bits sometimes but I usually just go with the flow aka how I feel lol. Thank you!

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