December marks half a year as a fulltime freelance translator and was challenging due to just how quiet it was. However, it was still productive in other ways. Here's what I learnt from a quiet month.
1. Enjoy the time off (as much as possible!)
This is easier said than done as some days it's hard not to wonder where you'll get work from/why all your regular clients are silent and sometimes you don't want to plan ahead so that you're available for any project which comes in. However, after months with ridiculously late nights and back to back deadlines, it's important to try and enjoy the quiet times - no doubt later on I'll be wanting more of a break!
2. Make contact with clients
It's easy to panic and think all your clients have decided never to work with you again for some inexplicable reason. With it being December, I used the opportunity to send customers a digital Christmas card and touch base. It was incredibly reassuring how many responded saying they'd love to work with me in 2018! The reassurance that clients genuinely don't have work and haven't replaced you allows you to keep your head in the game and not internally implode!
3. Use the time productively
With a lack of work, I've been able to do things which have previously been pushed further and further down the list! Rather than wondering what to do, I could finally catch up on marketing content, business set up, plan ahead for CPD and my finances which leads me on to my next point...
4. Invest when appropriate
I decided to invest in the accounting software Xero and I cannot recommend it highly enough! It's made the whole money side so much easier as I can track every account, create invoices and quotes and see exactly what's overdue or what money I've been spending. I could do it via my spreadsheets but this is so much easier. However, it did take me a while to get my head around and get all my accounts reconciled so if I'd been working flat out it would have got pushed down the list.
5. Know that work will come again
Although it's only the 5th day of 2018, I've already translated 15 000 words. Work will reappear. At least that's what I've found so far!
See you next month to discuss what I learn in month seven! As ever, comments are very welcome!