I always feel the need to tidy things in the summer holidays, ready for the ‘new term’. It reminds me of buying new school stuff in August. I’ve always loved pens. And new notebooks. I still do, even though there are fewer opportunities for using either of them. A new notebook is a new beginning. Nothing has yet been scored out, no pages removed, no corners dog-eared. Everything is possible. I could start that novel I’ve always wanted to write. Or maybe some poetry. Or the lyrics for a new song. In the end, most notebooks these days end up next to my computer, being used to jot down queries for the client, numbers of words in a document, information for the next invoice or notes to self. Sadly prosaic stuff, but I still love new notebooks.

I feel the same about a new translation job. I always make a bit of a start right away. Just the first hundred or so words. I like to have an idea of what the job will entail well in advance. Being a freelance translator (and I’m sure it applies to many other freelancers) is all about planning, because it’s all about deadlines. Short deadlines. Unreasonable deadlines. So it’s important to get a feel for the translation from the start.

Right, I’m off to tackle the overfull cupboard in my office!