This is how I plan to work (better)

So, as you can see from last week’s post, my working day isn’t all that complicated. I reread what I’ve translated so far before going on, then aim to translate around 2,000 words more that day.

For Radisson, though, I hope to do things slightly differently, leaving me more time for research (it’s a historical novel) and, ideally, translating and pitching other novels to publishers. In the best of all possible worlds, I would also leave myself enough time to do some reading (Cormac McCarthy just to remind myself of what great writing should sound like, some Québec novels in translation to see if I come across any nice solutions to problematic translations, some novels I’m considering translating, and some books on the art and theory of translation). This is already a lengthy list but I’m aiming to fit in an hour’s afternoon reading, just to keep things fresh and allow me to keep things bubbling away on the back burner while I work on Radisson.

A post I came across a week or two ago gave me plenty of ideas on how I could better organize my working day. The post mentions that Geoffrey Samuelson-Brown, the author of A Practical Guide for Translators, aims to translate 1,500 words a day, leaving himself enough time for research and editing. He works for 22 days a month (giving himself weekends off), which adds up to a more-than-respectable total of 33,000 words a month (more than enough time to translate I Hate Hockey). Radisson is 68,000 words, which would work out at 46 working days (at a reasonable pace, while taking weekends off), leaving me plenty of time to provide for unanticipated disasters and proofread the whole thing again at the end. Sounds like a plan!

MY PLAN


MONDAY TO FRIDAY, 9 TO 5
9 am to 12 pm: Translate 1,000 words of Radisson
12 pm to 1 pm: Lunch
1 pm to 2 pm:  Translate and send pitches of other novels
2 pm to 4 pm: Read through morning’s work and translate 500 words of Radisson
4 pm to 5 pm: If I have time, catch up on some translation reading / read The Chicago Manual of Style for my 9monthswithcmos blog
(Keep other freelancing to a minimum on evenings and weekends)
(Blog on weekends)

I’ll let you know how I get on!

3 thoughts on “This is how I plan to work (better)

  1. Hi!I just found your blog and I would like to thank you for all the advice you offer for the translators who are starting in the literary field. I am a freelance translator from Spain and right now I translate, as you said, the type of translations that pay my bills. I started to email publishers a while ago, and no positive answer yet. But I am going to keep trying because this is really what I want to do, translate literature. So thank you for your tips!

  2. Pingback: My daily routine | Literary Translation

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