Motivation for beginning translators

Getting a business up and running can be a slow process. Sometimes it’s difficult to see the progress you’ve made, since they day-to-day looks so similar. If you are new to the translation industry, don’t lose heart!

I’ve kept a paper journal since the day I decided to really make a go of freelancing, and it has helped keep me going through some tough days. I jot down my goals big and small, the steps I’ve taken towards them, and successes I’ve had about once a week. Even if I approach a check-in with a negative attitude, once I pick up the pen I start noticing all my little accomplishments. Compiling them into one or two paragraphs has done wonders for my confidence, especially when I was working full time on top of building my company. It’s concentrated progress.

Joining my local ATA chapter also helped. Chances are, whatever you’re going through, someone else has, too. Or at least they can empathize. Being able to grab the occasional cup of coffee and commiseration with other professionals has made working from home feel much less like working on a deserted island.

And, of course, I take regular breaks. Not just from the computer screen, but from my general routine, too. Just last Friday, instead of getting down to business as usual, I let myself get pulled into a good book. I felt guilty at first “abandoning” my job, but you know what? When I had read my fill, I felt so energized! And my business brain was much better for it.

How do you stay motivated when you’re learning something new? What do you do to remind yourself of the progress you’ve made?


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