Posts Tagged 'entrepreneurship'

Time is fun when you are having flies

Ahh… With Beloved off to a long day at school and the networking meeting I planned to attend moved to a far-away location I don’t feel like going to, I’ve decided to spend some of my time writing a new blog post. It’s been too long.

Where did I leave you guys again?

Oh, right.. Work. Things are well, in that regard. Very, very well. I’m on the cusp of securing an assignment big enough that I will be able to start paying the rent and have enough left over for some health insurance. It likely won’t last forever, but I’ve been offered a little over five months duration, so it’s a very good start. It should also provide me with taxable income, which provides me with something to deduct tax from, which provides me with a reason to maybe spend some money on office furniture. this means that soon-ish I will no longer have to work while sitting on my bed.

Kermit the Frog is copyrighted by The Muppets Studio LLC (but original credit goes to Jim Henson, of course)

Last weekend we jetted off to the Pacific Northwest to attend a cousin’s wedding. It was quite the event. I don’t know about you folks, but I had never been to an actual black tie event before and I seem to be one of the few people  who does not enjoy playing ‘fancy dress’  every now and then. Still, despite my trepidations of the wardrobial persuasion (I wore pants, y’all, and lip gloss) it was a highly festive occasion. The bride looked lovely, the groom seems like a cool dude, the toasts were moving and it was lovely to talk to all of Beloved’s relatives. Also: whisky sours! And rain, which made me think of home.

The weather here in the Bay Area is.. funny. It’s October, but projected temperatures for this week are expected to hit the mid-twenties (in Celsius – I’m not fluent in Fahrenheit, sorry). It’s also been dry as dust, with one notable exemption on a Saturday morning. Thats when the local stadium flooded. I wonder if I’ll ever get tired of all the sunshine.

So far I’ve not felt any earthquakes. I hope it stays that way for a while because all our books came in and the bookshelves have not yet been secured to the walls. But: books! At last! Finally! A reunion of the paperbacked companions. Most of last week has been spent alphabetizing fiction and categorizing the non-fiction. We seem to have a strong overrepresentation of the letter H (Haldeman, Harrison, Heinlein, Herbert, Hobb) and of books pertaining to language. I’ve got about a box and a half of non-fiction left to sort, but everything else is in its place.

 

With the shipment of books also arrived our silverware (so now we eat like grown-ups again), the good kitchen knives (ah! slicing and dicing and chopping and throwing it all in a pan) and the single sketchbook I allowed myself to keep. So yesterday I went out and bought a mechanical pencil and an eraser. I look forward to spending some of my leisure away from the internet, because that has been hard, lately.

New project: Make plans for the holidays. We’ve been invited to go east for Christmas and it would be lovely if I got the tickets sorted before I take on the big work project.

Talk to you again soon, dear blog-pals. But first, let me scour your blogs for updates 🙂

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The Smitten Entrepreneur

Picture by pumpkincat210 under a Creative Commons License.

By which I mean to say: I am now self-employed. Sole proprietor of my business. Embracing the American spirit of small business ownership and all that. Pioneering. Frontier mentality. *cough* Sorry 😛

Sure, it doesn’t fully solve the immediate lack of forty hours of revenue generating activities per week, but it makes me flexible, allowing me to jump on Craigslist gigs, work with my old employer and do it all within the letter of the law. Also: tax deductions. Useful in case I end up making money. Which I already did, a little, with the freelance work I talked about in earlier posts, but I needed a way to justify those funds to Uncle Sam’s tax folks. So here we are…

I built myself a website, had business cards printed and obtained a ‘home occupation permit’ (to allow me working from home) and a business license. Uhuh! I’m the real deal. Even snagged a signature from a big, burly fireman to certify that there are smoke detectors and a fire extinguisher. I’ve been networking with folks and am hoping to reel in some more assignments soon.

But Smitten Immigrant, what is it you actually do? 

Right.. I should probably mention that. The job title I invented for myself is ‘language professional’. Which means I offer services as an editor, proofreader, translator (between my native language and English) and (copy) writer. Stuff like doing linguistic quality assurance for software translations, translating user interface text, but also more traditional red pen circling of errant commas, missing capitals and ambiguous phrasing.  Possibly telling you to tone down the enthusiastic superlative language of your marketing pitch because in the ‘Old Country’  your exuberance just gives cause for cynicism.

Hey, hey can we see? Show us!

Err.. no. Well. Not on here. I have considered connecting this blog to my website, since it is a large collection of my personal language wrangling that people may like to see, but I have decided against it. This is my personal blog, where I do not want to proofread what I write. I don’t want to think about the commercial viability of my posts, nor wonder about whether things may be too personal for possible clients to read.

I’m not under the illusion that a dedicated sleuther would be unable to find both my website and this blog and connect the dots. It’s not a matter of deep importance that the two never be connected. But I don’t want to make this little corner of the web a marketing instrument, which is what would almost inevitably happen if I added it to my portfolio. I’m not interested in the ‘brand’  Smitten Immigrant. I don’t plan to become a marketing guru or even a professional blogger on a personal title (although I am not averse to writing blog posts for payment).

The big thing that looking at a wide variety of language jobs has taught me, is that I want to write your text for you, or my text for me, but not the other way around. I don’t know if that makes sense to people whose field of work is not closely related to the realms of marketing and or social media, but it makes sense to me. I’m a language professional, not an internet personality. I love my work because a good writer (and even more so a good editor and most so a good translator) is invisible. It’s not me you should want, it’s the words I stick together.

Imagine you would ask me to write something. A job application for instance, which needs a good mix of personal showcasing and high quality writing. As your hired wordsmith, I need to write you. Because they need to hire you (not me). And so I need to ‘be’ you, adding nothing but the linguistic quality that makes those HR people sigh with relief because that letter is such an effortless read.

Are you averse to accepting work form people who have found this blog?

Not at all. If you see me play with words  (which is really what I do here, at The Smitten Immigrant) and you like it, superfluous commas and all, then feel free to hit me up and ask me for my professional details. I’ll happily share. I just don’t want to encourage the process the other way around.