The Blogger’s Block: how events can make you feel uninspired

I haven’t written on my WordPress for a long time now, and I guess it is because the flow of the events that recently hit me has distracted me a lot.

If I don’t keep on writing I won’t improve my English writing skills, I said to myself, so I have decided to write a little just to get used to that again.

I’m probably going to write the most useless post ever, but I guess I need to start somewhere somehow, right?

Honestly, I believe I wasn’t very much inspired because of this bunch of unstoppable events – the graduation ceremony, the loss of a relative, disappointment from some people I care about, the volunteering project, the surgical operation, the application I’ve sent to the University for a MA in Translation and Interpreting, the TOEFL test and so on….

For the most part, I was mentally busy; a moltitude of feelings, ranging from the brightest happiness to the purest disappointment, has fogged my mind.

It’s not that I don’t know what to say, I’d actually love to write about many things. It is that I don’t know how. It’s like having a bottleneck at the bottom of your brains, where your thoughts are relentlessly trying to go through all together like a bunch of rushing cars driven by Greeks or Southern Italians. A total mess, basically.

Some people suggest to take a long break when you feel blocked. Well, the idea makes me very anxious, and I want to break the circle.

So yes, I don’t care how bad this post is, I will keep on posting useless stuff until inspiration comes back.

And you, do you know any good way to get rid of the writer’s block?

aenbarz

How I joined the SEO experts group on Elance: my SEO test results

Elance.com

As most of you already know, Elance is one of the best platforms where any freelancer – from SEO consultants to Designers – can look for a suitable job.

Once you sign in and complete your profile, it is highly reccommended to take a few tests to prove your skills – depending on your field of expertise.

Being myself a SEO content writer, I have taken a SEO skill test in order to gain access to the SEO Experts group on Elance. The purpose of being part of a group on Elance is one of the keys to become a successful, reputable and known freelancer, although not everyone can access to the group: as a matter of fact, you must pass the test first.

Meta tags usage, SEO techniques, search engines algorithms and much more were all included in the test ; I admit I’ve found it really hard to give the right answer, since it seems to be a little ambiguous.

SEO techniques and other related topics indeed, are often a controversial and somehow an ever-changing topic, and while some experts agree on certain aspects, some other disagree on those.

I must also confess that, during my test, I have browsed some questions I wasn’t sure of, and I have noticed that many users publish some answers to this test on their blogs!

Well, in my honest opinion, I wouldn’t rely on those if I were you – OKAY, OKAY, I have peeped a little at  those blogs too, and I find most of them totally wrong and misleading.

If you want to get a good knowledge of SEO, I advise you some e-books you may find online, or, if you can afford it, you may want to take some online SEO training classes.

As for my result, I am proud to announce you I am now in the top 10% in Search Engine Optimization on Elance. Yay!

Oh, you thought I’d post my answers? Well, I am sorry if you haven’t found what you’re looking for, but if you need some tips I will definitely help you!

Good luck guyz!

Aenbarz

Last minute dementia, bits and bobs and my resolutions for 2013

Dear followers,

Today’s the last day of 2012 and while the most of you are probably enjoying your time eating mountains and mountains of food, I am here working – translating, writing and proofreading even today!

Well, I admit I’ve spent a few hours of this last day in total dementia playing with Lucy, in fact I have made a Christmas-themed video featuring her (you can see it here), and I have broken my glasses while running after her too.. -.-‘

Il buongiorno si vede dal mattino, we say in Italy.

Anyway, this little incident won’t prevent me from writing my good intentions for 2013, indeed here they are just for you:

1. Quit smoking. I am not really willing to do so at the moment, but I have a good “starting intention” – therefore I have bought an e-cigarette with liquorice aroma, in order to start to climbing on the  ” stairway to the non-smokers’ heaven “. :p

2. Save more money and invest it for my future education. Beginning my professional life as a freelance translator is a good revenue source, and I have also invested in a website I have created to list my services ( click here if you want to check it out). I will start to look for more jobs and save more money for further education -We love to keep our skills well sharpen’d, don’t we? I’d also love to thank whoever is helping me to improve my skills and my clients, who put a lot of trust in me and always give me good advice.

3. Read more books. During my academic years, most of the books I have read were for my literature exams: I have learned to love Anne Radcliffe’s The Italian, to re-value Pride and Prejudice, I’ve found interest in Schiller’s and Lessing’s works, to joke on Ezra Pound, to find my fantastic and weird ideas mirrored in “Ansichten Eines Clown”, and admire Keats’ poetry, as well as Rilke’s or Brecht’s. But I haven’t finished reading ” The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”,  neither have started reading “The Lord of Flies”, just to name some of the books I’m willing to read.

Well, for now that’s all. I hope I’ll manage to keep faith to all of my good intentions. 🙂

How about you? What are your resolutions for the new year???

Feel free to comment and share the love…Happy 2013!!!!!!!

Aenbarz

“Quick, cheap, good: pick two” – Translation for dummies

Dear followers,Image

today’s post is dedicated to clients and other people who don’t know exactly what are the implications of a translation.

And generally, those kinds of people are the same who, per say, expect to have the Masterpiece delivered in one hour, and ideally, in exchange of a few pennies.

The aim of this post is to incept ,with some of my brilliant wit (ha ha.), a different idea and a better perspective of our (yes, the translators) job which cannot be quick, cheap and good at the same time, and I’m more than happy to explain you why with some nice examples:

Quick and good (and not cheap). Imagine you commission this beautiful and skilled translator (me) to translate a 5000 words engineering project, and imagine you need it within one day. Now, imagine this poor girl (me) reading your project, printing it, uploading it in a CAT tool. Imagine her research to adopt the best contextual translation, which in certain cases it may mean hours and hours of word search. Keep in mind she is a translator, and not a vocabulary, so it is absolutely normal what she does. Imagine the amount of coffee she needs to avoid falling asleep. After 6-7-8 hours non stop, the translation is finally completed at the speed of light. But she hasn’t finished yet. She needs to print the file and proofread it. More coffee, eyes are red. Do you really want to underpay such a long and strenuous job? I mean, you need a translation to be delivered in 24 hours, and you expect a high quality work, and it’s okay…But…Do you know that employers get paid for extraordinary hours? So do translators. 🙂

 Cheap and Good (and not quick). Same scenario as before. You can’t or you don’t want to pay that much money. In that case, if you really want to stick with your budget, don’t, really, don’t ask for absurd deadlines. Give us more time, even a longer deadline than the estimate one. You won’t like to be pressured in exchange of a few pennies, will you?

Quick and cheap (and not good). What more can I say? Would you care spending money, health and time to proofread or find the most perfect translation for such a deal? I don’t, sorry. Unless you’re asking me to translate one single sentence. In that case, I might take the trouble of double checking for that.

I hope this will clear things out a little. Just put yourselves in our shoes, that would be great if you’re looking for a translator. If you’re looking for slaves tomatoes instead, I’m sure you’ll find plenty in the black food market :p

Cheer up guyz!

Love,

Aenbarz

Ps. Check also the Italian version of this post, translated by the talented Sheireen! Go to Sheireen’s Words

To work or not to work, pros and cons of a freelancer

Dear followers,

I know I don’t update my blog very often, and this means one thing: I’m really, really busy working. Which is good for me. To be honest though, it would be even better if projects didn’t come all together in one week -and with one week deadline!
Besides shifting from a scientific to a tourism-related translation and back, I had to complete a SEO content project for an old client, set up my new website, AAND….crème de la crème, I have been hired as an interpreter from an Italian woman who needs to be cured in a British clinic. Starting from December and for three weeks, Aenbarz goes to London! Which is also good for me.
Working is indeed very important to me, especially considering my economical situation; Az wasn’t so happy though, when I shamelessly forgot about the Christmas concert we’re supposed to attend together. :/
Which isn’t good for me. Az is more important than my job. My friends, my family, the ugly Lucy (yea my horrific dog) are more important than the richest job on Earth. In that moment I felt tiny, for some reason I thought about the day I’ll have a family: how am I gonna be a good wife and mother, if – whenever I’m very busy working- I forget about my people, my promises and other important events in my life?
In conclusion: having a job and keeping yourself busy are a
great thing. Nevertheless, working isn’t your life. It is just one of the small components of your life. A good tip for freelancers who make use of platforms such as Elance.com would be this: don’t apply for more than one job in one week if you don’t plan first your whole day and all the possible scenarios that come when handling more than one project; everything should be planned in function of your everyday, social life.

image

The horrific Lucy