Your diary is covered in so many appointments that you wore out three different pens writing them all. You are hustling so much to get clients or prepare for interpreting that you have eaten breakfast on the run every day for the past week. The only time you get to sit down is for five minutes at your latest event, while the clients are having a coffee break.
It sounds like success. Your bank balance might even say it is success but it isn’t. It’s an accident waiting to happen.
How much would it take for you to hit a scheduling disaster? A late train? A storm that cancels the plane you need to be on to catch the bus to meet the guy you will have a meeting with in a taxi going somewhere else?
The busier we are, the more space we need. To give your best to every assignment or project, you need to have spent quiet time, with little rush preparing for it. No one presents well when their pitch was written on the back of a Subway napkin on a bus between two other meetings.
The key to creativity is space. Space to explore. Space to breathe. Space to think about who you are and where you are going.
The key to successful interpreting is space. Space to think. Space to prepare. Space to get into the shoes of your client and walk around a bit.
The secret to great events is space. Space for networking. Space to digest knowledge. Space to relax.
If there is one gift I could give to my fellow Edinburgh conference interpreters, indeed to all conference interpreters, it would be space. Space between assignments to prepare for them, both terminologically and mentally. Space to process each assignment and space to relax in-between.
How do we get that space? That’s for another post.