Translators very often suffer from creativity deficiency, tired by thousands of thousands words that need their logical abilities, but not necessarily these of imagination. After some time, we all end up (temporarily or for good) too fed up with our profession and desperate to go out there and paint a chapel, or write a 3-volume novel. In fact, translators usually suppress their creativity to “translate faithfully and accurately”, becoming more and more deprived of the ability to think outside the box. This limiting of creativity leads to deteriorating of quality of work. Why? Because creativity is much more than painting Picassos or composing Mozarts. Creativity is about coming up with ideas to solve problems. And translation is all about problems, isn’t it?
Grab these useful tips on letting your creativity free step by step every day.
1. Allow yourself to be a creative translator
As paradoxical as it sounds, set some time aside to use it for you creative endeavours. Sundays work well with me, as I’m usually not able to do any serious work then. Or half an hour every morning, before you sit down to work? Dedicate regular amount of time to be creative, tell yourself you are going to be creative and do whatever your right hemisphere tells you to.
2. Give your mind something fresh every day
We are all locked in our offices for most of the time. Regardless of their Feng Shui and cleanliness, we are all tired of them from time to time. It is essential to get something new: go for a walk, read an article on new areas, go to a gallery, and so on.
3. Watch others
Well, you can treat other translators as competitors, but you may well simply use them to generate your creative ideas. Get inspired by them, learn from them, enjoy their articles and blogs, talk to them on Twitter, list down things you like about their education and website.
4. Record your thoughts and ideas
Do know this feeling when you’re doing research for one of your translations, something inspires you and you feel the urge to pursue it, but you scold yourself and go back to work? All these promises to follow up are in vain, as you simply forget what the whole thing was about. Always, always have a piece of paper at hand to note down these flashes of ideas.
5. Keep a toy in your office
Or something that reminds you of your childhood, the most creative period in your life. If it’s a toy and you can play with it, that’s even better. Talking to a child also works.
6. Take time off
It is essential to have time off when you don’t really use your brain (learning French or going through articles on translation doesn’t count!). It is somewhat ironical that brain works best when we don’t think, but when our thoughts wander in different directions. Our brains need this time to subconsciously deal with problems and generate ideas. Having regular breaks is as important for translators as having regular working hours.
How do you boost your creativity? What do you do to be more creative?