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5 questions for an engineer about writing in English

What do people say about writing in English when it’s not their first language?

Louise is a structural engineer from France who worked all around the world during her 40-year career. She recently retired and is writing a memoir in English about her experiences on the job.

  1. How do you feel about writing in English?
    I’m used to writing reports and articles, so writing feels fine. I really like that there’s no pressure of external deadlines. That makes writing more fun for me.

  2. What’s the hardest thing about writing in English?
    Finding the right style and sticking to it. According to my writing coach, I often mix more formal with casual language. That means the flow is not smooth. Also my writing is sometimes too technical, so I need to explain things for my readers who don’t know about engineering.

  3. How do you overcome this?
    The feedback and suggestions from my writing coach help me. Christina reads each chapter and gives me feedback. This improves the part I’m working on now, but also makes the next chapter easier to write.

  4. What are your writing goals?
    Finish this memoir by the end of the year! I want the book to be a Christmas present for my family. Many of them don’t speak French. And I hope young women who are thinking about or training to become engineers will find it interesting too.

  5. What’s your advice for others who need to write in English?
    Find a writing coach. Your writing will be better and more natural. You will feel more confident. The challenge of writing a book in English becomes possible and that’s very exciting.

See what others say about writing in English here, here and here.

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© Christina Wielgolawski