The Alchemist's Lair
Thoughts on writing, language, life as a freelancer,
and what comes to mind.
and what comes to mind.
It's inevitable. When birthdays strike, memories follow ... and today is a big one here on the MTM Translations' side of life, as I usually call it.
Fifteen years as an independent translator and copywriter.
Way more than the average life of a pop band. And 41.6% of my life so far.
The best thing? I still love every minute of it. Ups and downs.
The occasion calls for proper celebrations ... but I don't want to end up with a neverending list of lessons learned and bla bla bla. So here's my take on the classic "top five".
By the way: I know this is technically an anniversary rather than a birthday ...
... but why on earth shouldn't I celebrate with some cake?
1 piece of advice I'd give to young freelancers
Want to be excellent at what you do? Nurture your hard skills. Dig deeper.
Reading a blog post or two won't make you an expert translator or copywriter.
Webinars are good for theory, but what about practice? Find relevant in-person courses where you can get feedback on how you are doing.
Get your hands dirty and put some money in it. The info and tips you can find in free stuff (webinars, blog posts, guides or else) are only the tip of the iceberg.
1 photo that wouldn't have been
That's me at the XIII FINA World Championships (Rome, 2009).
Behind the camera, alas.
This is probably the best sports shot I will ever take ... and it wouldn't have been without MTM Translations. In fact, I was working at the championships as a translator for the international press room - and took this picture one sunny morning over a coffee break.
I still have fond memories of that project. Live coverage of press releases is hectic and exhausting, with crazy working hours in a crowded room - but you definitely learn something about time management.
Plus, I saw the best swimmers, divers, and synchronettes in the world in action.
Two weeks of pure bliss.
1 flaw that became a valuable helper
When I find a name, a professional title, a date ... I just have to double-check.
I lost count of the times this has been useful, so I think I'll just stick to it.
1 bold move that paid off
Attending my first conference, in 2009.
It looks kind of absurd now, but that was a scary thing for my younger self.
Guess what? I loved it - and still do.
It wasn't just an effective cure for shyness. Making contacts with fellow professionals also brought me precious collaborations, and solid friendships as a cherished extra.
1 bold move that didn't pay off
A snail-mail campaign, in 2011.
You can't always win, right?