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Off topic: Longing for a change
Thread poster: nrabate

nrabate  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:36
Russian to English
+ ...
Feb 24, 2004

I don't know if it's winter doldrums, a protracted "famine" phase in the feast-or-famine cyclical nature of translations, or an early onset of mid-life crisis, but I am finding myself uninspired with, unfulfilled by, and plain tired of my translation work. After dealing with others' writing for many years, I feel a burning need to make my own voice heard.

I would love to hear if others have had similar issues and how they have resolved them.


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Martine Etienne  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 05:36
Member (2003)
English to French
+ ...
Yes, it happens to me twice a year Feb 24, 2004

When it happens to me, I try not to have too much work and I try to do something completely different: a manual activity for instance : painting, gardening. I believe this mood is due to lack of fresh air, it has already been dealt with in forums : open your windows, and breathe.
It takes some days and generally a new start is coming...

I wish you to feel great.


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Marina THETIOT  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:36
English to French
I understand Feb 25, 2004

Why not do your own writing?
You could write a little every day (or week or...)? This is only a suggestion but personally, this is what I do, with the idea of may be, one day, having something published...? (I know I can be a little too optimistic sometimes but, anyway, it's always good to write things out, sometimes, it helps to understand better...:-))
Otherwise, I agree, you can simply wait for the bad mood to pass, because indeed, the more often, it's just something that comes and goes just as quickly.
But, indeed, as we work on our own, it's more difficult to change our mind than in other professions.

Marina


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Giuseppina Gatta, MA (Hons)
Member (2005)
English to Italian
+ ...
It happens to me too very often and agree with Martine's solution Feb 25, 2004

Try to do very unusual and different things, especially creative ones, playing music, sports, and so on. Go away from PC, home and Proz, forget about dictionaries, software and CAT tools.
For me this is the only solution that works...
with much comprehension
Giusi


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xxxMarc P  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:36
German to English
+ ...
Own voice Feb 25, 2004

Why not start writing about translation, and publish your work on the Internet?

There's plenty to write about.

Marc

[Edited at 2004-02-27 06:54]


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Monika Coulson  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:36
Member (2001)
English to Albanian
+ ...
Take a long vacation Feb 26, 2004

This is the only way I rejuvenate myself and my passion for work. I have found out that vacations with a laptop and internet access do not help me very much. I would always take my laptop with me, always, until one day my husband decided that we were going to a certain X vacation without a computer.

First, I was a little bit upset with his decision, since I thought I would not be able to live without my computer and without internet access, but to my surprise, I really enjoyed that vacation and two others after that.

This has helped me tremendously to get back to work with lots of energy and desire to work.
Try it and you might like it too.
Good luck.
Monika

[Edited at 2004-02-26 00:18]


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nrabate  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:36
Russian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
thanks for sharing Feb 26, 2004

It is a relief to know that others have experienced this ennui. Translation is a solitary occupation devoid of opportunities for collegial interaction around the office water cooler. I am grateful to have my brothers- and sisters-in-arms on this site to turn to for support. Thank you!

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Sarah Downing  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:36
German to English
+ ...
Other Opportunities just waiting for you to find them ... Feb 26, 2004

I get that feeling every now and again, too, so I know where you're coming from. It mostly happens when I'm faced with a lot of non-creative translation assignments. I enjoy translating, but not all kinds of translations (the official ones or the technical ones can be a real bore at times).

However, I've got a few tips. While working as a freelance translator, I have in the past done things other than translation, interpreting or proofreading ... (and I'm sure you can too)

A colleague of mine gave my address to a market research company who were looking for native speakers to go on test drives with interviewees and interview them during the drive. This was surprisingly well-paid and a hell of a lot of fun. It also meant that I got out of the office for a week or so and met new people, but nevertheless was making money. I also did another job for the same market research company - interviewing British soldiers on army barracks (which you can't usually enter unless you have a special pass). This was a real eye-opener, I learnt a lot about organisation and it was also a breath of fresh air.

Last year the same colleague who recommended me to the market research company advised me to apply to a couple of PR/advertising agencies, as he had often read my work and felt that I have what it takes to do more journalistic work. Well, I spent about a day writing to as many agencies as possible, advertising my services for writing PR and marketing material. I got the addresses from a branch directory (Medienhandbuch/Media Handbook for Cologne). For a while, as is usually the case with agencies, I heard nothing whatsoever and started to give up on the idea of ever being contacted at all. I think it must have been almost a year before someone contacted me. The funny thing was that it wasn't one of the agencies directly, but someone who had had my name passed on to him. The bottom line was that he was looking for people to write for a corporate publication. Well, I did a test piece, they liked it, and now I'm on board. I write for them every quarter or so.

Basically, what I'm trying to say is that there are other things out that that you can do besides translation, but still incorporate these in your translation career. Have the courage to apply to agencies or other companies, offering your services as a journalist - you may be nicely surprised!

Good luck!

Sarah


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