Ok, so barring a post that I wrote eight months ago and then posted around ten minutes ago, I have become delinquent with my blog. I have been cheating on creativity with productivity, and focussing all my energy on my—pause for dramatic effect—work.
Before I started freelancing, and in those first few months when I was, at best, scraping by, the old pros assured me that it would take six months to get established. I held on to that number like a beacon of hope. “Sure, things are rubbish now, but I am only three months in. Of course they are! Why would I expect anything else?” Then, “OK, so now I’m five months and 25 days in. But that still isn’t six months. At six months I’ll be turning down work left, right and centre! Maybe I should hire an assistant now…”
Obviously, six months is not a concrete timeframe. As this imaginary deadline approached, I became nervous. I know a lot of translators and, in my experience, we’re a delicate breed. We pore over every carefully crafted sentence for hours and tie ourselves up in knots about the two possible, and near identical, translations of an almost irrelevant word. Add to that a complete lack of external validation and you have, in my case, a disaster theorist. What if I was the exception to the rule? What if it took me 12 months to get established? What if it took 18? What if no one ever contacted me to offer me any work ever again and I never made a penny? Or what if I actually just wasn’t very good at my job?
On Judgement Day (1st July) I received no new work. Fortunately, I was preoccupied with a job I’d started on 28 June and otherwise too distracted to notice that I didn’t actually receive any further new work until *over* six months after my initial freelancing start date.
But then, something wonderful happened. Things actually did start to pick up. OK, I might have been in the slower freelancing group and it might have taken me slightly over this magical six-month mark to get going. But things did get going.
Don’t get me wrong, every time I take a job I fear it will be my last. One day, I only had an hour’s work and immediately took to Monster to search for employment opportunities in the surrounding area. In an attempt to stash away enough money for an unknown quantity of rainy days, I worked all last weekend and have consequently thought every day since then has been Thursday. I haven’t perfected my methods yet, but I feel grateful that at least I have something to work with now.
The new plan is learning to become a more well-rounded, better organised freelancer, who doesn’t take absolutely everything that’s offered to her and turn into a reclusive crazy person.
So cheers to that and cheers to Friday! Oh wait…