Time Management for Translators and Jack of All Genre Links

Today is another linkdump day, because I spent the evening at the monthly translators’ meet-up and also have two bigger translation jobs going on at the same time. Until yesterday I had three, but I got one of those translations out of the door today, which gives me more time to focus on the other two. In the past few days, I’ve been dividing my time equally between the different projects, but switching gears is always jarring (the texts are from different fields – one shipbuilding and one vehicle engineering). So I’ll probably concentrate on the more urgent of the two remaining translations to get that one done over the weekend and then give my full attention to the second project.

In case anybody cares about translation time management, when I have more than one current project, there are several criteria which I use to determine which one gets tackled first. I usually tell customers “first come, first served”, but if I’m working on a 120 page document and another customer approaches me with a single e-mail or a two page document, the short one gets preference, so I can get it out of the way to focus on the longer document. If one document has a long deadline and another is very urgent, the urgent one gets preference. For example, the translation project I finished yesterday was not only shorter than the other two, it was also the most urgent. If I have two extremely urgent documents (as a rule, most customers would love their translation done yesterday. They also have unrealistic ideas of the time translations take – hence while it’s okay for an engineer to spend several weeks writing a document, they expect the same document to be translated in two days), I contact the customer to determine how urgent the project really is. Sometimes they really need it yesterday, because there’s a quotation or publication deadline or the printer is waiting or the end customer is arriving for negotiations the next day or someone is leaving for wherever the next day and needs the document. Many times, however, you can extend the deadline by a few days. That’s also the reason why I usually give the customer an estimated delivery date that is approx. two days later than the delivery date I actually think I can make. Because first of all, it’s better to deliver early than to have to ask for an extension. Plus, the approx. two days are a great buffer, if something unplanned happens, e.g. you get ill, you have computer troubles, another customer comes with a “I really, really need this yesterday” job, etc…

And now for some links:

Victoria Janssen has a post on worldbuilding in urban fantasy at Heroes & Heartbreakers.

I’m a multigenre reader, but SF and fantasy are my first love, so I generally find myself drawn more to urban fantasy with its stronger worldbuilding than to paranormal romance, where the worldbuilding is often (though not always) sketchier. And while I like HEA endings as much as the next person, I don’t mind waiting for a few books to get there.

While on the subject of genre preferences, the western is probably my least favourite of genres or at any rate the one I have read least. Which isn’t all that surprising since westerns are pretty rare on the ground in Germany, unless it’s Karl May or Romanheft westerns, both of which are very different beasts. But even though it’s not my genre at all, I really like this interview with western writer John D. Nesbitt at Booklife Now. Lots of interesting answers and advice, even if you don’t write westerns.

Though come to think of it, I actually have written a western of sorts, i.e. a short story set in the Old West. I wrote for an anthology of lesbian genre fiction, which fell through, and since then I have been sitting on it, because there are not a whole lot of markets for western short fiction and those that exist do not exactly seem open to LGBT themes, even though there is nothing more explicit than a kiss and some unlaced corsets in the story. Another one to be published as an e-book, I guess, especially since it only gathered “good rejections” of the “This is really good, but we don’t know what to do with it, sorry” sort.

Yeah, Jack of all Genres, that’s me.

Talking of which, Kristine Kathryn Rusch has a post on why writing more books and stories is the best promotion of all.

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