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.

writing

Changing through writing

396219

 

Some old posts on my blog make little sense to me. It’s normal, right? Life is changing me. Writing, reading, work, family changed aspects of my character, and also that part of my character that is eager to write. Self-publishing was the big stepping stone. It was a mirror for me. I have learned things that I would have never been able to understand otherwise. I am thankful for that.

For example, as I am a private person, getting a book out has been really challenging. Self-publishing takes a lot of guts. Which translates to… an experience to learn a lot from. The result is not just a book, but how the book changes you, how it shows you what’s up next.

In life we are invited to take risks and follow our dreams. Those who love our work, will see us through.

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!

finding your way · freelance translation · freelancing · motivation · work · writing

9. Promise yourself

8450fa6011854758f1f6a47120a35193
image source

Lessons in freelance translation, n.9

Ever get that feeling that life is just too overwhelming and you don’t know what to focus on? Projects you started, book(s) to finish, new ideas surfacing. Which translates to… a feeling of overwhelm when I don’t have a translation to work on.

Today was one of those days. I delivered a small fashion translation this morning and I am free. No other deadlines. The good side of it is that these couple of days I wrote long emails to friends, something I haven’t done in a while.

As far as (writing) projects are concerned, I still have a long way to go but I made a lot of progress as my book is almost finished (oops, have I told you I am writing a book?).

However, I know my limits, I have my priorities so I cannot dedicate all the time, energy and money on my writing project. I wish. But I have made a promise to myself not to give up. Freelancers constantly make promises to clients. How about making a promise to ourselves? Work towards the dream.

For some people it takes longer than others and this is why I needed to get this off my chest. I am fast at things I have to do but slow in doing what I want to do. It is a struggle within.

A promise to ourselves, to work on a side project or to conclude one is good for morale. When times are hard, we can look at our achievements and boost our confidence.

M.

bohemian · fashion · finding your way · freelancing · life lessons · translation · writing

The many faces of Tilda Swinton (on freelancer’s versatility)

Tilda Swinton from the film “Only lovers left alive.”

“Tilda Swinton is 55 years old”. This is the title of the article I was reading last night. As I was scrolling the incredibly diverse pictures from movies with the Scottish actress, famous for her role as Orlando, I realised I had something to write about. I had no idea what but Tilda’s “many faces” are bound to give me ideas.

I remember reading a stunning article on The Guardian a few years ago, before becoming a translator. It was about the talented, intriguing and unusual Tilda Swinton, actress, model, icon of noble descent with looks and gaze of a solemn, aristocratic yet familiar character, both a woman of next door and a lady to respect. What sets her apart is that singular chameleontic appearance, a self which seems to float between characters, a person of many layers and faces, yet as authentic as one can be.

Life is bound to throw circumstances at you which you might not expect. You might need to shift your focus. Learn your lesson. Read a new book. Finish the one you started. Not to mention continue writing the one you started. Which translates to… an overwhelming loose ends to take care of.

Keeping up appearances is old school. And it is boring. I’d go for a change of direction even if it is on terms of how I perceive life’s events and challenges. I still wear the same outfit. But I wear it with a new conscience. State of mind. I elaborate what happens to me and I don’t want to convince anyone about the changes. I change. The many faces I have are basically one face reflecting an acknowledged and essential versatility.

Many faces means many resources for better life management.

As freelancers, we ought to be as flexible as we can possibly be. This applies not just to how we communicate and work but to how we perceive things and what we learn from life. The learning process requires flexibility. You need to “bend” your convictions if you want to move forward.

Flexibility requires you to act and be someone else so you can be yourself. You are the administrator, the translator, the proofreader, the business owner, the cook, the parent. It is a process.

Happy birthday Tilda Swinton!

diversification · translation · writing · writing projects

Joining the dots: My article for the ITI Bulletin (Sept/Oct 2015) on Diversification for translators

explosion-1246507_960_720

Hi everyone,

I am happy to let you know that I wrote a piece for the ITI Bulletin, featured in the latest September/October 2015 issue. Which translates to… my first writing piece published on paper (if you exclude a couple of articles I wrote for a magazine and a newspaper back home in my early 20s).

The topic of this article is diversification for which I wrote previously here. The idea has been percolating in my mind recently and finally took shape with this article (page 16 of the issue if I am not mistaken). It is inspired by Steve Jobs’s “connecting the dots” theory and the importance of asking questions.

The power of introspection through words is absolutely cathartic, revealing and …educative.

M.

beauty · creativity · finding your way · inspiration · motivation · writing

3 Italian holiday locations for writers and translators

Hi everyone,

As I was talking with a friend the other day who wants to visit Italy, I thought it would be a good idea to write that travel post I have been thinking of.

Italy is not just about Venice, Florence, Rome. Places that, of course, I recommend everyone to visit because they are just spectacular.

What about an authentic break to nourish your writing soul? A holiday that has nothing to do with waiting in line to see the Uffizi, the San Marco Basilica in Venice or the Vatican museum? Isn’t that just too stressful?

A break to help you finish your novel, start afresh, overcome writer’s block, get ideas for a new book or simply take a break from an intense year of translating or writing, or meet people. Which translates to… staying in a place that you would usually be passing by or perhaps still haven’t heard of.

I am quickly illustrating three Italian towns from three different regions in Northern Italy hoping to offer you some off the beaten track ideas for a relaxing and inspiring getaway.

What these locations have in common? The water! One of them is inside a lagoon and the other two by the lake!

Chioggia

(Veneto)

Canal Vena in Chioggia

Not all Italian houses that float on water are in Venice! But they can definitely be close to the world’s most unique city on water. Chioggia is in the Veneto region of Italy. A medium-sized fishing port inside the Venetian lagoon offering easy access to the Adriatic sea. Find out 17 things about this little promising town on the Virtual Tourist here. On a more personal note, I always buy fresh fish from this town whenever it is available and it is just delicious and nutritious. Fish is the word.

Varenna

(Lombardy)

Colourful Varenna on Lake Como

Highly recommended for inspiration and romantic strolls, Varenna on Lake Como, is a special, picturesque little village definitely worth seeing if you are visiting Lombardy. Combine it with an excursion to Menaggio and Bellagio and you will not be let down by the sheer beauty and elegance of the place. Varenna’s uniqueness is summarised in the title of a post I fished out called Varenna, Italy: Lake Como Without the Glitz. 

Stresa

(Piedmont)

View to Isola Bella from Stresa.

The queen of Lake Maggiore, Stresa is just breathtaking. Nothing more, nothing less. You will be inspired by those fabulous classy hotels, the impeccable and simply mesmerising beauty of Lake Maggiore dominated by the Borromean Islands – with Isola Bella being the most famous one. Find info on Visit Stresa site. An interesting fact of interest to writers is that Stresa hosts the Stresa Literature Award.

To write you don’t need to travel of course but if you want to do it the right way, think of places that are stress-free and help you breathe new air and be who you are. My suggestion? Don’t go there alone. Arrange it with other like-minded people like a sort of retreat.

M.

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.