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… and I’m turning more work down than I’m accepting! This happens every year at this time, without fail, as though agencies and clients have suddenly woken up to the fact that Christmas and the year end are round the corner and they really need to use up this year’s budget before it’s too late. Unfortunately there’s only so much work a freelancer can fit in, especially at this busy time of year, so I’ve been referring clients to colleagues left, right and centre – although many of my colleagues are in the same boat, but I’d rather suggest an alternative translator than just say an unhelpful “No”. I’m already booked into mid-February next year, so offering an alternative deadline isn’t really an option (though worth a try!). What I’m definitely not prepared to do is compromise my family time over Christmas and New Year – even if I’m working like crazy at the moment to get everything finished on schedule!

Fortunately I had a couple of quiet days earlier in the month, so was able to get my Christmas preparations on track, Christmas letter written, Christmas cards sent… and online shopping is always a boon for freelancers working from home. I’ve had a constant influx of parcels this week as family members send all their packages here since I’m usually at home! I’ve taken to sending an e-Christmas message to clients in recent years for environmental reasons, and due to the spiralling cost of postage, but I genuinely do think that an e-card (home-made and relevant!) is more appreciated by busy clients, especially if you combine it with a note of your availability over the Christmas holiday period and thanks for work and support received over the year. I love receiving feedback about my card and the fact that it enables you to further a relationship with clients out of the normal stream of events – which has to be a good thing.

This will be my last post of the year and brings to an end my first year of blogging. I’ve really enjoyed writing my blog – much more than I expected! It’s been a great opportunity to share my thoughts and interact with colleagues on a wider platform – and also a great ice-breaker when you attend conferences and events. I’ve also loved the opportunity to write creatively without the constraints of a source document – and I hope that my rejuvenated love of writing is reflected in my translations too.

Wishing you all the very best for a wonderful Christmas and a very happy New Year!

Poppy  Christmas card Dec 2014