Oh dear oh dear oh dear. Where did the last year go? I see my previous post was on 23rd June 2012. That’s more than a year ago. It wasn’t supposed to be like this. Looks like I’m going to have some catching up to do 😦
Oh lordy, its day five of editing the Norwegians’ book chapters and it’s doing my head in. At first I thought they were really, really clever and I couldn’t understand their work because it was so complex and difficult. Now I realise it’s just immensely confused writing. It makes me think that this is the case for much of science, and a lot of the reason why many people avoid it. They think it’s difficult to understand and they’re not clever enough to grasp it. But in fact, the problem lies in the fact that it’s really really hard to write in a way that explains ideas fluently and clearly.
It’s exhausting work. I can only do a maximum of two hours stints. After that my head is so fried I have to go and lie down for a while. In fact, I’ve started displacement activities. I keep finding reasons to go to the shops or read something else, just to avoid working on the Norwegian stuff. I can’t even say it’s nearly done. I’m five chapters into a twelve chapter book and I’ve heard there is worse to come 😦
In other news, yesterday someone asked me to quote on their article about dog-walking… I’m keen to do it. They’re not Norwegian 🙂
Oh dear, I’m looking at my posts for March and it’s not looking good. It wasn’t supposed to be like this! The plan was to post Monday-Friday. I think the solution is to resume my practice from last year and post first thing in the morning, while drinking a cup of tea, and before I get out of bed. Like now, for example.
Lack of blogging is down to lots of work. Existing clients are getting busy, but I still need to fetch in some new ones. On that subject, version one of the marketing brochure has been produced. It’s not there yet, but the fact that it exists is another step forward.
Hmm. Yesterday I said I would (should) set some goals for February. I’ve never been very good at this goal-setting thing. I don’t really believe in it. Most of the best things in my life have come about through the unexpected random intervention of others, rather than being the result of me consistently working towards an end point. Well, this one time, I’ll force myself.
By the end of February I expect to have my marketing material ready. Specifically, the new logo, stationery, business cards and a brochure. Let’s say that I’ll also have a list of ten potential contacts to send it to. And a covering letter.
We’re going to London for a few days at the end of February. It would be great to have a brochure ready to advertise the editing work. If I did, I could distribute it in some of the many London universities. I’m hedging my bets on this one.
I also want to see if I can improve my search ranking on Google. I guess the first step is to find out what it is now.
I could join the SFT (Société française des traducteurs).
and the rest
And the rest is the most important stuff. Do work and get paid!!!
My other half’s been working at home for a day and a half now (because of the snow), and I’m reaching the end of my tolerance. Our
shack house isn’t setup right for me to be able to close the door and work in peace. Plus, he doesn’t altogether realise that I have my own routine and (even when he’s trying to be helpful) he disturbs it.
Finishing off loose ends
Nevertheless things have moved forward. I’ve finished N’s editing job and finished another slow-time book chapter that’s been hanging around for ages.
I’ve realised it’s already the end of the first month of the year. I’m thinking it would be useful to do a bilan at the end of each month to see what’s been achieved. Off the top of my head, this is what happened in January:
- Actual work:
- 2 x conference paper translations,
- 1 x article editing,
- 1 x presentation editing,
- 1 x book chapter editing,
- 1 x response to reviewers editing (maybe another article almost published).
- Researched the market and hired a design company.
- New logo design is almost finalised.
- Watched a very good webcast on improving your SEO ranking. Have renewed enthusiasm and new ideas.
- Kept contributing to TranslatorsCafe.
- Re-established contact with an existing client.
- Made contact with editor at Ashgate (publishers).
- Updated LinkedIn profile (French and English versions). Looks good!
- Contributed translations to Wikipedia. I’m not sure this strictly counts as networking, but it puts my name out there.
- Received confirmation that I’m now registered as a Traductrice with the French authorities. Technically it’s a small change, but it’s a big hurdle out the way for joining the French Translators’ Association.
- UK pension payments are up-to-date.
- Paid Q4 Social Security contributions (on time).
- Kept up the blog!
- Mostly high. There’s been a steady stream of work, a returning client, and the intense exercise (i.e. fitness bootcamp) outside in the winter sunshine is doing me a power of good. On the other hand, receipts this month = 0. That’s a bit of a downer.
- I’ve been published!!! Must find a way to promote this.
- Failed to take part in any of the Proz webcasts on CAT tools. Partly their fault. The more I see of Proz the more incoherent and disorganised it seems.
I guess tomorrow I should set some goals for February. Hmm.
Last Tuesday it was 16 degrees and I was running around outside in a t-shirt. Today it started snowing at lunchtime and now we’re snowed in. It’s likely to take a while to sort it out. Like the UK, there are lots of snow-ploughs down here in the south of France. Unlike the UK, they’re all located in ski resorts. If it doesn’t melt overnight, tomorrow will be chaos on the roads.
Save over £500!
The time was put to good use. I spent the entire morning on the phone to HM Customs & Revenue trying to straighten out my National Insurance contributions and Pensions Forecast (I’m not sure if the fact that I am in possession of a Pensions Forecast makes me grown-up and responsible, or depressingly old). After endless time spent waiting for someone to answer my call, it turned out that the information I needed was written on the back of the piece of paper I had in front of me. OWWW! Anyway, the upshot of all the effort was that instead of paying over £660 pounds in contributions I only now have to pay £128. Result!
Then I made appointments for all the unpleasant checkups of life. I usually do this in January to get it over with. I’m a bit behind schedule this year.
Things are going well with the logo design and I went through another round of development with CreativeEdge. I love what they’re doing. It’s going to be great!
the ideal client
And finally I worked on N’s project. This came in yesterday afternoon and it’s an editing job. I did some work for N last year, and he’s back for more. He’s the ideal client. Doesn’t complain about the price, pays in advance, takes an active interest and is very appreciative. He said he found me through a Google search. I’ve no idea how. Even I can’t find me on the Internet. But I have some new ideas about that. Watch this space.
I’d like to post more, there’s quite a few things piling up that I haven’t mentioned, but (due to the Bootcamp) I seem to spend a disproportionate amount of time either cooking, eating or washing up!
Tomorrow is our rest day. Hopefully I’ll have a bit of time to catch up.
Like last Friday, I’m dragging my bones. It’s the Fitness Bootcamp. It’s great, but by the end of the week, not only am I aching all over, I’m really deeply tired.
All the same, I’ve finished off the editing job. It will need a final go-over on Monday, but it’s largely done. Like everything I’ve ever done, I think it’s good. I’ve tightened it up a lot and it’s become a fairly fluent read; although I’m not quite sure what purpose the third section serves 🙂
The week’s over. It’s time to rest and recoup my forces for whatever life throws at me next.
So here I am, day in day out, churning out journal articles, conference papers and reports etc. that head off into the big wide world and, like ungrateful children, I never hear from again.
So yesterday I was chuffed to bits to discover that one of the papers I’ve worked on appears to have been published in the Journal of Risk Research. It’s particularly good news for reasons I’ll go into more, probably tomorrow.
In other news, negotiations are progressing with the design agency. They want payment up front before they begin work (should I be worried? I don’t do this). After that, we should be in business.
The day after the day before.
Spent most of today completing the translation from yesterday. Now it just needs a final polish to the English.
I heard back from Creative Edge. It’s a go. They’re going to do stationery, a logo and a leaflet for a very reasonable price. Yippee!
A productive day. Good.