Perseverance and Translation

So I wrote the first draft of this article about a week ago on a flight from Los Angeles to Philadelphia.

I thought it was pretty good. I went back to it a few days later and… it was gone.

Somehow it got deleted from my phone and I didn’t back it up. Yeah for me.

But what better way to start out an article on perseverance, am I right?

So, perseverance.

If you’re already a seasoned freelance translator, you undoubtedly already know about it.

You’ve needed it.

We all know that being a freelance translator is not an easy profession. There are plenty of rejections. Highs and lows.

But it’s all part of the process of becoming successful.

If you’re a new translator, one that is just starting out in the profession, you don’t know what’s waiting. You might have a good idea. You (hopefully) know someone that’s already been through the process.

But nothing can give you the proper perspective like actually being in the trenches and actually doing things.

So what is perseverance?

Here’s a bunch of cliches:

  • When the going gets tough, the tough get going
  • Put your nose to the grindstone
  • Never give up
  • Put one foot in front of the other
  • Burn the midnight oil

Perseverance can be any or all of these.

When I think of what perseverance means, though, and especially in context of become a successful freelance translator, is this:

Doing what it takes to continue progressing towards your goals, especially when things are not going as smooth as you would like.

Now let’s look at the areas you’ll likely have to apply it on your journey towards becoming a successful freelance translator.

Finding Clients

No other task is as important for a translator just starting out than finding paid translation clients. Without clients that pay you, you have no freelance translation business.

But finding clients is not always an easy task. In fact, it’s almost never easy.

And a lot of times it downright sucks.

But without clients, you’re not a real professional freelance translator.

The thing you have to remember with finding clients is that it’s never just a straightforward issue.

That’s why you always have to be on the lookout, actively finding new ones.

Never be afraid to tell people that you’re a freelance translator.

Always follow up with past clients, requesting either repeat work or info on potentially new clients.

Consider replacing old clients that are either too difficult to deal with or aren’t willing to pay you what you want and replace them with new clients.

Working Conditions

A lot of new translators I know that cone from a normal job background have a difficult time adjusting to the freelance translator lifestyle.

But being a translator who works from home is not like showing up at the office every day.

And if you’re not careful and commit to the changes, you could find yourself not having the success you think you deserve.

Instead, you need to persevere.

Overcome the feelings of isolation by connecting with other translators on a regular basis, both online through email and social media as well as in person.

Stick without your home work schedule, even when it’s tempting to abandon it today in place of watching YouTube videos, cleaning you’re bathroom, or playing video games.

Take time everyday to focus and think about why you started this journey in the first place and where you know you’ll get to eventually.

No matter where you’re at on the road to becoming a professional freelance translator, being able to persevere in the face of discouragement and both ups and downs will propel you forward to where you want to be.

Want to have more ups than downs as a translator? Buy my book.

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