I’m addicted to this song at the moment – it just about sums up my life right now 🙂
P.S. If you want a good exercise in speaking French, try singing along with the lyrics…
Tuesday, did a full day’s work finishing off the current translation and have ended the day in quite a strop, for reasons unknown. Probably because I’m tired. Poor sleep is a real killer of productivity. Yesterday turned into a more traditional Bank Holiday than I expected. We spent the whole day in hospital after Chewy chopped the end off his thumb.
Anyway, enough moaning. What I wanted to do is give fellow translator Corinne McKay‘s blog a plug. I generally find something useful and interesting in her posts. Last Friday was no exception. Through her I’ve discovered The Freelancery blog which is great. I’ve started working my way through all of Walt’s posts – I’ve only ever done that once before with a blog. Plus, I’m happy to see that I’m following a well-beaten path in the area of rates and ignorant customers!
Onwards and upwards.
Over the past week or so, I’ve prepared quotes for two big jobs. Both would have taken about three weeks work and were priced accordingly. I haven’t heard back from either of them. Neither have I heard back from a potential client in Malaysia, and nor have I heard from the agency I contacted yesterday about a translation that seemed to be right up my street. It’s all very discouraging. It’s more than 6,000 euros of business I’m not doing. What am I doing wrong? I suspect I’m too expensive, or maybe too slow, but really, I’m just guessing.
On the other hand, I spent most of yesterday immersed in a translation. The more I do translation, the more I like it. It’s like meditation to me. I become completely absorbed by the words and the challenge of capturing the author’s thoughts in another language. Also, as time goes on, and more of my translations are being published I’ve found enormous satisfaction in the fact that knowledge is being disseminated to people who, if it wasn’t for my work, wouldn’t be able to read it.
It’s been another difficult week (third in a row). I’m not sleeping well and consequently I lack motivation and I’m very tired by lunchtime. Oh well. Things will turn around eventually I suppose.
It’s Friday again already. The end of a difficult week. As much because of all those things that didn’t happen as something that happened.
Well, next week should be different. We’re moving later this year and next week we’re planning to let our landlady know we’re leaving, and start looking for a new place to live (we’re moving to Toulouse, about 500km from here). If I wasn’t still a bit down, I’d be really excited. I’ve been really looking forward to the move.
See you on Monday.
What a difference a day makes. Today has been a big improvement on yesterday. The job I’ve been waiting for all week finally arrived, plus the next two chapters in a slow-time book project. Chewy’s back, and I’m perking up a bit.
I went to my usual French class this morning and that was better too. Last week’s session was a big of a drag, but this week was fun. There is one thing that drives me crazy in these classes – the irritating English. And what irritates me most about them is the nonsense they talk. Last week an allegedly native English speaker tried to maintain that there was no such thing as ‘exploding’ with anger in English. OH YES THERE IS. In the same session someone offered ‘sensible’ as a translation for the French ‘sensible’. It really doesn’t help!!!! And a few weeks before that, another compatriot tried to tell the French speakers that cows ‘browse’ grass. Not where I come from they don’t.
So Francophones beware. Next time an Anglophone tries to ‘help’ you to speak English, get a second opinion!
Well, this blog was supposed to chart the ups and downs of establishing the business, and right now it’s a pretty big downer. I much prefer writing about the ups, but at the moment there aren’t any.
I should be happy. After several weeks of full-on work, I’ve got nothing to do. But instead of going out and enjoying the sunny weather and taking advantage of the down time I flump around the house, waiting for something to happen. I hate it hate it hate it. I could be doing useful background work like researching translation tools or working on my website, but I don’t want to. Like a kid during the summer holidays I’m bored, but I don’t want to do anything. It’s so hard to keep going when there’s no obvious reward. Where’s my self-discipline? Where’s my initiative? Where’s my passion for my work? Why don’t I just go out and get a job?
People who have a job have it soooo easy. They don’t have to figure out what to next and then summon up the energy to do it. If they sit around all day playing cards their boss is going to be on their case pretty quick. Not mine. I can play cards all day long if I want, and nobody will care. It doesn’t help that Chewy’s away at the moment. Much as I like to think I’m invincible I think I go a bit loopy when I’m left in the house on my own for too long. Sometimes I wonder if I haven’t got an undiagnosed mental illness – a touch of bipolar disorder perhaps?
I long for stability, predictability, routine. I just want somebody to send me an article to be translated once a week, 48 weeks of the year, and that would do me fine. Instead it’s feast or famine. Feasting I can do. It’s hard work, but that’s ok. Famine really gets me down. I need to find an ongoing background project that I can use to fill in the gaps when there’s nothing else on. Something that will take ages, like translating the Bible or something. Hmm. Maybe not the Bible.
At Christmas, I read a book called ‘Who Moved My Cheese‘. I highly recommend it, it’s a fantastic little book about finding your way in life, and today when I asked myself, ‘What am I doing? Where am I going?’ the answer came to me. I’m looking for my cheese!
Yikes, it’s nearly a week since my last post. Note to self: must do better. So what’s happened? Errr. I can’t remember.
One thing I can remember is that there’s been progress on the flyer. I’ve sent the agency the text. This is MAJOR step forward. I’ve been trying to put together the text for a flyer for about four months now and never managed to do it. Finally, it’s mostly done. I’m pretty happy with it so far. We’ll see what it looks like when the designer has worked his wonders on it. Other things have progressed on the design side too. The logo(s) was/were done a little while ago, now I also have a business card, a compliments slip and a letterhead. It’s all so purdy! I love it!
I never anticipated the psychological effect that bringing in a professional designer would have. Now it feels like the business is bigger than just me. It has a presence, a life of its own. It has a ‘look’, a personality that’s different to mine. My baby is growing up :-). Once again I’ll give the design company, CreativeEdge a plug; thank you guys, you’re really great.
Now back to the editing…
It’s been a bit of a slog so far this week. I’ve been feeling a bit out of sorts and sorry for myself. I could do with something to cheer me up. It’s just arrived in the form of an email that goes like this:
Juste un petit mot pour vous informer que le papier vient d’être accepter. Les reviewers (americains) nous ont félicité pour la qualité de l’écriture (cela ne m’était jamais arrivé) et nous avons simplement eu une question sur le methode.
I think I get more excited than the clients do when stuff like this happens 🙂
After ten days on the road, I’m back. It’s funny to see that my last post was ‘wiped out’, because if I thought I was wiped out before, it’s nothing compared to how I am now. It’s been a very difficult and demanding ten days. In fact, so far the whole of 2012 has been exhausting.
That’s all for now. More to follow when I’m feeling stronger.
First thing this morning, I was all wound up. I had to inform a client of the €1,300 bill that translating his article was going to incur. Plus, I had a thousand other more minor concerns. By mid-morning, we’d agreed on a fee for the translation and I could give myself to full-time worrying about whether I was going to be able to meet my (self-imposed) deadline. When the deadline was agreed, my aunt was still alive. Now I have a funeral to fit into the schedule. Then add the guilt of even questioning how I’m going work around the funeral. Followed by a full-on day translating like fury because I don’t know when I’m next going to have a clear space of time to work on the article (we’re going to London tomorrow). And finally ending up exhausted by all the other details of life – is there any fresh food in the fridge that needs to be used up? I need to wash my black trousers for the funeral. Is the bin empty? How am I going to get from London to Newcastle? I mustn’t forget the adapter for my mobile phone.
10pm and a stiff whisky is the answer. No wonder I drink.