How to know if you have writing talent when writing in a foreign language?

I’ve grown up learning English as a second language, but in a system where my first language was hardly ever taught. In fact, I’d say I know more about the rules of the English language than the rules of Arabic. It is only natural that the narrator’s voice in my thought is in English. Still, I’m not a native; so how do I know if I have the talent?
The answer can’t be good grades in writing classes. Good spelling and (somewhat) sound grammar were enough for an A. After all, the teachers were not looking for ‘it’. They were not building writers. They were building students who might eventually use English on daily basis at work, or watch an movie without subtitles every once in a while. My writing did not need inspiration since technical correctness was the criteria.
The answer can’t be reviews from my friends. I can jot down 500 words nonsense, and they’ll just admire it because very few people write in my culture. Prolificacy shocks them. Awe strikes them just by the length of my writing. If they struggled with writing assignments, then someone who writes with their own free will must be talented.
Aside from my culture, can the answer be how much I love to write? I love to write therefore I’m talented? I love to sing in the shower, but my voice would destroy lives. Another strike…
I googled my question, but in every forum it ends up in a debate about skill vs talent. I already know my skill is lacking. It’s something I’m willing to work on. But I do believe in talent, or an innate capacity towards growing. Some people are born with higher IQs, some people with characteristics that allow them to be better public speakers. Of course a person can learn to perform better on a test or use better body language in a presentation, but they might still lack ’it’.
So how do I know if I have the writing ‘it’?

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Courage to experiment and step out of your comfort zone

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When I wrote my first fan-fiction, my first ever piece of fiction writing in English, shamed bubbled inside of me. Before pressing the post button, I had decided that it was worth more as a hand-fan. The first good review- ah- I danced like the Oogachaka baby. It gave me enough boost to write a second chapter.

A few months later, I was organizing my stories, and came upon that first one. It was traumatizing. I had a horrible plot, awful grammar, spelling mistakes I didn’t know were possible. My eye itched for the rest of the day. Then I realized, I improved. What if I never wrote that first chapter? What if didn’t have the guts to post it back then? I would have been a different person if I let my insecurities rule me.

Here is a great voice:  I will the beast of “I’m not good enough” in the eye and poke my tongue at it! I’ll be good enough, oneday. And the next day, I’ll be even better!

So, I recently I wrote a weird short story (I might post it later), about a girl who think she’s in a dream. I wrote first person and in present tense. Above all, I made it confusing and dream-like on purpose, just to experiment. . Some people laughed it off (a friend of mine told me she was uncomfortable listening to it). Some people loved it, or at least loved some aspects of it. I might not write in that same style again, but I learned a thing or two.

Whip your insecurities; you are you’re worst critic. Experiment. Write something even if you think people might hate it. It might turn out great. And if it doesn’t, let it teach you how to become a better writer and how to to write something people will truly love.

Think of it as wearing a color you’ve never worn before. Orange or Purple, something you never had the courage before to wear. It might be your color!

Deciding which story to write

 

Over the past few days, I’ve been visiting the novel graveyard (Aka my documents) trying to decide if any of the stories I started and buried had any potential.

They were all first or second chapters, so it was hard to tell where any of them was going, so I decided to go with my heart and choose to continue “Teacup Rebel”. I had started writing “Teacup Rebel” a few years back (3 years I think). I sent the first chapter to one of my closest friends, and asked her for her opinion. She replied with the below (keep in mind that she is not a native English speaker):

This is DEFINITELY WORTH CONTINUING!!

You have an amazing imagination you remind me of Harry Potter.

I cant wait till i know whats in your head.

It is such a sad story be aware it might turn into a scary/sad story you do not want this to happen or you will just sound crazy and a perv.

You have to explain character more, what is the Myth, how do they look like, why people think of them as completely ordinary and are not mortified by how they look (The first thought that came to my mind) you want to show how chibis are ordinary but you need to mention their origins, their look, what they are capable of and what they are not,and most importantly how small are they??

On a seperate note, you choose the same words so many time (sadist) maybe also a bit predictable sometimes, like leaving things might get them stolen, or she will convince her friend and she odes convince her im not telling you to be talkative but still less predictable more imagination when it even comes to regular conversation as not to be boring.

The idea is excellent, beyond the word excellent but is your goal is it to show how small people can change the word, or how small insignificant people are mistreated but they can still rise above? we need to reach a goal in the end,

Finally, you are my PRIDE AND JOY.

Thanks a lot babe,

and plz keep sharing and if u dndt like my review i will not tell you my opinion just share bas 😀

I didn’t continue the story then. She used to ask me a lot about it,  tell me how much she believed in me, and how shameful it would be if I wasted my “talent”. I brushed her words it off. I thought because she was my friend, it was an unspoken rule she’d encourage me even if I sucked. She died about a year later in a car accident, and I started to realize how she was one of the rare people who ever believed in me. So, I think I should continue “Teacup rebel”  and dedicated to her memory (even though she did not like that title).

Sorry for being a cliché and over-sentimental. I know that being a cliché is close to an abomination in writing.

Anyway, the story is set in a world where countries have been disbanded. It is a world without belonging, without religion, and without culture. The council rules, and the council members are the ultimate ambassadors of democracy and peace, except for Chibis. Those Chibis look like humans and speak likes ones, but they could fit in the palm of your hand, like moving Barbies. That’s what they are: things, entertainment, and the all around pets. They have no rights or will of their own. Tatsuo, the hero is the story, has lived all his life in a cage, and he is sick of it.  On the other hand, Nouri, the heroine and a blogger with 5 million subscribers under her belt, wishes for her own cage. Cages keep you safe, and she likes ‘safe’ and ‘comfortable’. The story unfolds after she buys Tatsuo and dresses him in purple pants and a fish net.

Obviously, it’s a fantasy, which is not my forte, but if I’m getting my knees wet, I’m might as well take a dip. So far, I have 3 chapters done, and I’ve started the 4th today.

 

The image is from http://cherishedtrinkets.co.uk