It’s that time of year again! Well, technically, that time of year was two weeks ago, but considering I’ve been off on maternity leave, I’m hoping you all forgive my tardy post. 2014 passed in a blur of deadlines, documents and, in the second half, dirty nappies. My grand plans to schedule posts went somewhat awry when my son made an earlier-than-expected appearance, but thankfully projects were covered and continued over the the last 5 months with my amazing colleagues. We had a little Skype chat last week and decided on a number of goals we’d like to aim for in the next 12 months; some of them are collective and some of them are individual, but as we chatted I saw that most of them were related to consistency.

Feast your eyes on these posts…

Some of my translation friends wanted to settle on a specialism as they feel that they want to get more in-depth knowledge and position themselves as a real expert to clients. Others want to work on gaining regular clients, thus gaining repeat business and avoiding the feast or famine cycle that can be so prevalent in the freelancing world. There have been some brilliant posts written about this – one of my favourites is on Corinne’s blog and it’s titled Avoiding Feast or Famine by Marketing Consistently. Corinne recommends devoting a chunk of time to it daily; advice which is oft-repeated and probably less oft-realised! There’s also a great list of tips on The Wealthy Freelancer, some of which I have started to implement in the last 2 weeks. In the post, Pete talks about marketing being an ongoing exercise, not just when it’s baked beans and overdraft o’clock. When it comes to what to do if you do hit a famine period, Catherine at LinguaGreca has some great advice for dealing with freelancing famine, both for planning ahead for these times (having an emergency famine fund being a vital strategy) and for what to do during these times; whether you decide to embrace them and take a break or how to dig yourself out.

Really recommended reading

Whether you enjoy the quiet times or not, they do give you a great opportunity to catch up on some reading. Most translators do more reading than the average person, however, most of it isn’t (purely) for pleasure. Sometimes we feel guilty at reading a “regular” book when we think we could, or should, be reading something that will further our mind, business, or bank account. For me, a good way around this is to read something from one of my favourite translator authors, so I fool myself into thinking I’m hobby reading, but at the same time I get loads of great ideas for Silver Tongue. I thought I’d include some of my favourites and, maybe, in the next few weeks, post some longer reviews. Enjoy!

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How to Succeed As A Freelance Translator by Corinne McKay

This is an absolute classic and I treasure both my copies, hard and soft. It guides you through the pitfalls of starting out and provides great examples and advice. I refer to it all the time.

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The Entrepreneurial Linguist by Judy & Dagmar Jenner

Judy and Dagmar’s book is a bit of a bible for me. Like many translators, I didn’t have any experience in starting a business, marketing it or making it profitable, so their guide is a fantastic source of information and tips.

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The Bright Side of Freelance Translation by Nicole Y Adams and Andrew Morris

I absolutely ADORE this book. If you’re ever feeling down, a bit uninspired or jaded about your work, this book will pick you up and have you raring to go again. It’s full of insights and stories from fellow translators (it’s so much fun spotting Twitter friends!) and you’ll gain as much from reading about their experiences as you will from the tips and advice they offer. Best of all? Nicole and Andrew offer it free for download on the link above – aren’t they fab?

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Found in Translation by Nataly Kelly & Jost Zetzsche

Ever find yourself at a party fending off comments about how translation isn’t really needed? This book will provide you with a gazillion comebacks on how translation is all around us and affects each and every one of us. It’s also a great pick-me-up for when you’re feeling a little lost, as it gives you a real “I am translator. I am AWESOME.” feeling.

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