Metaphors for writing L1 vs L2

Writing in mother tongue vs. writing in a foreign language

At least for me, writing in my mother tongue is like painting with a brush and a palette containing a large number of colors. The brush is a multi-purposed, versatile one, adapting seamlessly to different situations and audiences. I can also mix colors in various proportions, which instantly creates a much more diverse array of colors.

On the other hand, writing in another language is like playing with a small number of Lego blocks, with a highly limited choice of colors. I can build things, this way or that, only to find that it leaves much to be desired. I can neither create a new block nor new colors at the moment. The job requires me to spend a substantial amount of time and energy.

What would be your metaphors for writing in mother tongue vs writing in a foreign language?

 

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