lost in translation · projects · work · writing

(Officially) announcing my book “Tapping Into Translators’ Creativity: Connecting the dots between translation and creativity”

BOOK COVER MAY KINDLE
My book is available in paperback and for Kindle here

 

Only translators know what translators do, how translators feel, what happens “backstage” when we translate, run, juggle, keep up with deadlines.

That’s why it was near to impossible to sit down and properly announce that the book I was writing is finished. The blog has become the “last” to know what I am up to. But I had to take a break from it in order to finish writing my book. And in order to create my professional website. And to keep up with work. And to think of what’s next.

I can now share the news: I have completed my project. A book that took about two years to write. In December 2016, I published the first edition as an ebook only (there was a post about it but it wasn’t an actual announcement) and then I was so eager to update the book with new content, make improvements and add pictures (for which I needed to get permissions) that in May 2017, the second edition was out. In fact the first edition is no longer available. I wasn’t happy with it. It was my first time. My first date. Do you remember how your first date was? Exactly… I might actually share a few thoughts with you about the process of self-publishing in case you are thinking of writing and self-publishing a book a translation related topic. There are a few things you should do first and there are things you should never do.

My book encompasses some concepts that you might not expect from a book on translation. Not a predictable topic, you may say. Creativity. Isn’t that what artists do? Well, I don’t think so and deep down inside you know you are a creator too. You are a creator every time you craft an email to a client you really want to work with. You are an artist when you design your translation site. You are creative when you come up with a marketing strategy and different ways to promote your services. You are creative when you work on a translation so it resonates with what the author intended in the original.

Right now, I don’t know what’s next writing wise. Actually, I think I might need to be more open with you. I have (had) another manuscript in the making. This manuscript is old. Older than “Tapping Into Translators’ Creativity”. It’s got wrinkles and I feel as if I need to write about something else. Is there anybody else who has had a similar experience? What happens with old manuscripts that never made it into a book because you decided that you wanted to work on another book instead? Do you go back or do you go forward? Which translates to….. a semi writer’s block.

That’s my dilemma. I am open to suggestions.

M.

balance · blogging · Christmas · creativity · fatigue · finding your way · freelance translation · freelancing · inspiration · projects · side projects · translation · writing · writing projects

An eye operation, a book, a fainting episode or saying goodbye to 2016

close up ragazza

 

It’s been a while I haven’t written on my blog. I kind of owe it to myself to write one last piece for the year about to end. Which translates to… trying to account for my mental whereabouts since April. I think I will just focus on the present.

First of all, I have a confession to make. I was thinking of abandoning this blog (and perhaps start a new one some time in the future) as I thought of blogging as an interference with everything else. That is why I haven’t written in 8 months. I gave priority to other things. And I got some pretty cool results, as you will find out if you patiently read along. I trust you will.

What did I learn from this blogging hiatus? Love for writing cannot be an interference with life. And when it does, you take a break.

Taking a break from writing has been impossible, though. The year 2016 has been a good one for me because I have finally finished and published my book Tapping Into Translators’ Creativity. Incredible. I did it. I got there, before the end of the year.

And this is one item off the list, my wish list, my writing wish list. The book is out for the world to read. That’s all I wanted. My exclusive relationship with the manuscript has ended.

A few days prior to the big day of my book’s release, my 7 year old went through an eye operation. I had hoped to avoid being busy with work before and after the operation and, fortunately, nothing major (that I could not manage) happened. Besides the book. I wanted the book to go live before the end of the year and considering it was impossible to have everything ready before December, it had do be right before Xmas and… a few days after the operation.

Theoretically speaking, being ready to publish isn’t exactly the best way to describe the end of a writing journey. The writing journey never ends. Right now, I am thinking of ways the book could be even better. But projects need a deadline and I gave me one.

I will make a tiny parenthesis here to say that in my book I speak of deadlines and of writers and translators. The writers featured in this respect are Tracy Chevalier who wrote her book Girl With a Pearl Earring on a 9-month (biological) deadline and Fyodor Dostoevsky who wrote The Gambler on a 1-month deadline because of an agreement he had with the publisher. Money problems. Inspiring stories we all need to know about. Us whose life is determined by deadlines.

And there I was at the hospital after the operation, fainting. Because of fear, of concern, of love. And because I have a low blood pressure. Let’s be realistic. I know what it means to go through an eye operation, as I went through one myself. But when it happens to someone so close to you, the feelings are just incomparable.

The nurses were nice to their patient (and to me). They gave me tea. I still need to arrange an appointment with my doctor to talk about this, when I am done with a couple of translations, when I am done with 2016. Here’s another deadline for me. See?

I wish you a happy new year and lots of interesting things to pursue!

inspiration · projects · translation · writing

The #xl8cr8 project

twitter cover_3

I need to stop working to make this announcement.

About a year ago me and Ela Hoffman e-met on Twitter. We talked about things we felt warmly about, things we had in common. Most importantly, creativity and art. We noticed patterns that translators follow online and offline and we felt impelled to join forces and create a project which would explore how translation and  creativity intersect and more.

A project began to take shape, evolve. The enthusiasm shared by a number of translators and interpreters is our driving force. Which translates to… immense gratitude for their support. I do not think I would have the courage to write this post here if it wasn’t for them.

To find out more about the Translators / Creators project, visit the site: xl8cr8.com.

If you work with languages, you may wish to fill out the survey right here.

Results will be shared with everyone.

For information on the book I am writing ( as part of the project) called “Translation and creativity: connecting the dots”  please go here.

To get a “first” taste of the xl8cr8 concept, check out this post I wrote on Globalme. It is called: 7 Ways Professional Translators Share their Creativity with the World

In this project I play a writing part while Ela is doing the designing (by the way, she is the one who designed the font and the logo) and she is also involved in writing.

Back to translation!

M.

creativity · finding your way · projects · side projects · writing projects

Some thoughts on how to shape your ideas into projects

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Dear all,

These last few days were pretty creative. Not hectic but creative and with small and diverse projects. I am working on a small fashion translation (into Greek) for one of my favourite Italian brands, whereas the one I delivered last week was about parenting. What’s more: today my colleague Ela and I announced the launch of the Translators / Creators project which I will be presenting on the blog soon because it deserves a whole post.

Today I want to share some thoughts on projects and ideas.

The more I write and the more I elaborate my favourite topics, the more I am enthralled by how these ideas and topics can evolve.

It would seem that for every idea, there is an appropriate project, a potential transformation into something more concrete and meaningful both for you and for others.

That is how I came up with the course “How to find the right business side project (and allocate time to it”)”.

I was not aware that what I was doing was taking an idea (time management) elaborating it (through personal experience with a side project) and finalising it with the creation of a course.

Since the day I started working on the course, a lot of “side project” work has been taking place! The course itself, as I mentioned here is inspired by the challenges of freelancing. But there is more. A lot of the ideas in the course sprung from the Translators / Creators project aka #xl8cr8 I mentioned before.

But I want to take a step further and look at the “ideas to projects” process.

1. Solutions (projects) are practically right under our nose. You just have to keep your eyes open. The other day I was over to a translator’s website and I saw what has been there all the time “under my nose”. I then Ianded on the website (through WordPress reader) of another translator and my “idea” just clicked. I connected the two “dots” and I think I am getting closer to shaping my ideas with a view to create the projects I am so much looking forward to.

2. Some ideas have a limited potential but they can still be pursued. For me, this is what I have been experiencing with slogan contests. Writing taglines for a wide spectrum of companies is good exercise for a creative mind but they are not what I would call a real diversification for a linguist or writer. It can only be “shapeable” into something bigger if you work in a creative company that provides this type of service along with marketing and campaign material for their clients. Or if you become famous for writing Pepsi’s tagline. But they have a team for that.

3. For every idea, there is the right project. Start writing down your thoughts and you will see whether they are “shapeable” into something bigger or not. I have found out that writing and putting your thoughts on paper, shows you whether there is a “dead end” or not. I think that most ideas have the potential to be shaped into a project or similar but perhaps not as big as you want it to be. For example, an inspirational phrase can be limited to a quote you can use for your site to attract clients, to share with friends on social media or it can be elaborated for a book or become a chapter of a book.

4. Work on your ideas until you see them materialise. Today I started making notes for a new course in an Excel sheet (that was awkward). Of course at some point, I decided to move everything into PowerPoint. Something unpredictable happened. The course idea developed just because it acquired a new “setting”. I added and removed lots of little clouds, boxes and arrows and I am getting there. And even if I don’t, at least I have taken a step forward. On top, I recalled another idea I had kind of archived in my mind and created another slide. I will try not to be confused but working on more than one project is fine with me.

5. The “idea to projects” process is only a fragment of the bigger picture. I realised this as I was making the draft of the course with the clouds and arrows I was telling you about before. Sometimes you need to start from “thinking small” in order to wake up and see that your ideas or even your projects are only a means to something greater and more meaningful. This means getting out of your comfort zone and into a new zone, a new dimension.

6. Trendsetters are go getters. Talking of a new dimension, have you seen the film “Interstellar”? That “5th dimension” had a bit of an impact on me. What we are currently witnessing in the digital world is bound to fade away and loose its initial charm while going out of fashion. Those who have had a tremendous success are the trendsetters and the early adopters (usually with the funds but not always). It is a wise to learn from the best but it is wiser to tap into what could evolve into the adoption of a new idea.

creativity · diversification · freelancing · projects · side projects · training · translators · writing projects

Self paced course now available: How to find the right business side project

productivity course

Hallo everyone,

I am pleased to announce that one of my writing projects has now been concluded.

How to find the right business side project (and allocate time to it) is a self-paced online course with a dual purpose:

  • Identify your ideal side project & find ways to allocate time to it

This is a very practical and straightforward course with exercises to help you understand yourself and your current situation better and put things into perspective. Which translates to… a course that could give you the right motivation for your side project plans!

More about the course:

This course guides you through a process that helps you take a good and honest look at how you spend your time. If you have side projects you want to dedicate your time to but feel that there is a lot of pressure from your main professional activity (e.g. translation), this course could help.

How you use your time is up to you. Some things are not necessary, others are just distractions that do not help you work on your projects. You may have to do some compromises.

Think of a garden full of weeds. You need to remove them if you want your flowers to blossom.

Who is it for:

  • Freelancers with another activity / business on the side
  • Creatives / freelancers / entrepreneurs who want to find and dedicate time to a side project
  • Freelancers who are parents
  • Busy freelancers
  • Freelancers who want to review their social media activity

The course is available on Proz.com HERE and it is offered in various formats. Choose the one that suits you best. Should participants need further assistance, I will be delighted to help.

On a more personal note:

This course has been developed in view of how hectic and challenging freelancing can be and how it might be easy to get lost in social media and all the information we are inundated by. Freelancing constitutes a challenge also because we are all exposed to the patterns of success of other freelancers and entrepreneurs and we often forget what our own innate talents are. Your side projects need to reflect your personality, skills and aspirations.

a presto.

M.