• Heather Watson

Killing time (constructively)

Updated: Mar 27, 2020

So, as a freelance translator and motorsport PR person based in Italy and working largely with the Italian-English language combination, the most worrying effect of the current epidemic for me so far is the inevitable dearth of work... This seems to be a hot topic among my colleagues on social media and I realise we're all in the same unstable boat navigating some very choppy waters right now, but some work would be most gratefully received! As almost all my clients are in Italy and/or the racing arena, work has quickly tailed off, many firms taking the decision to shut completely for a few weeks. I'm of course grateful that I've remained healthy thus far, but I'm currently down 80% on last month's earnings, so you get the picture. Despite this, I am attempting to make the most of this unexpected 'free' time. While waiting for new work to come in, I'm doing my best to keep busy with things that are at least vaguely work related... In my case, this means:

1. Signing up for an online marketing course. Although this involves an initial outlay, it's something I've wanted to do for a while and this seems like the perfect opportunity, as I have time to fill and the skills gained can hopefully be of benefit as I work to build my business.

2. Language study. It's so hard to keep up my other languages while living in Italy and working mainly in the Italian-English combination, so I'm doing an hour a day of Spanish or French, using textbooks I have here at home, as general revision. I sometimes translate from these languages, so any additional study is useful.

3. Reading in general. I'm a bookworm and have somehow amassed around 30 books that are still on the 'to read' pile. So I'm finally able to work my way through them, focusing more on the non-fiction, so linguistics and psychology in my case, so that I feel I'm actually learning something!

4. Updating my website. I realise I don't dedicate enough time to actually marketing my business (hence the decision to do a course that will hopefully help!), so am trying to do a bit more, also updating my skills and increasing my interactions on the LinkedIn and ProZ networks.

5. Register with some (translation-related) volunteering sites. With more time on my hands, I'd be more than happy to help United Nations Volunteers or Translators Without Borders with their work.

So all this will hopefully keep me occupied for a while and perhaps even alter/enhance my future work routine. And here's hoping that the work will pick up again in the not too distant future! I'll keep you posted... #lifeinthetimeofcorona #freelancelife #killingtimeconstructively #constructiveapproach #keepingbusy #lifeinitaly

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