‘It’s always been a dream of mine to have done a TED talk – in the past.’ Tim Urban made me smile with this statement in his TED talk about procrastination. And I agree wholeheartedly with his sentiment.
I want to be an ultramarathon runner, an accomplished painter and a pro karaoke singer – in the past. It’s no good telling me I could be any of those things if only I believed in myself, put my mind to it and worked persistently towards the goal. I don’t want the determination and the hard work. I want the status now, with all the effort behind me, so that I can relax and bask in the afterglow of glory.
I’m not sure writing a blog was ever on my bucket list. If I had known how much time and mental energy it would take, I might never have embarked on the journey. Writing a professional blog is different from writing a personal one, and l have expended many a little grey cell in pondering what would be appropriate to share with my potential readers. Indeed, a few posts I wrote never got published.
The name of this blog indicates that I wanted to write about the scenes that are usually left on the cutting room floor. Director’s cut versions of films are not generally released to the public. The main reason is that anybody with money invested in the film can impose changes that might make the film more profitable at the box office. This can mean excluding scenes that would earn the film a more restrictive rating, but more often it means that the film is simply shortened to provide more screenings per day.
STP has no external investors controlling how and to whom we tell our story. So, my vision for Director’s Cut was not for less censorship in my communications but rather for a new vehicle. The channels traditionally reserved for business communication don’t allow much room for personal reflection and for showing why the director shot a certain scene in a certain way. Adding a few new angles of exposé might thus enlighten the viewer.
If someone is not a fan, a director’s cut might of course bore them and prolong an already agonising show. A director’s cut version should never be made compulsory viewing – which is why plenty of my colleagues at STP have never read this blog. But human nature being what it is, most people are curious enough to take a peep at the deleted scenes.
I googled “why people blog” today and got some interesting answers. Apparently, many blogs are constructed like personal online diaries, typically concerned with relationship problems or techie news. Though both of those topics admittedly have some relevance, I must say I try to steer well clear of both in my life. I certainly could not pass as an expert on either – so dissecting my love life or evaluating the latest translation technology in a blog was never an option.
Some blogs are issue-based, where the blogger is trying to provide information to sway people’s thinking in a certain direction. That was not one of my objectives when planning this blog, and I don’t think it works on that front either.
Other people simply write to create a record of an era. There are elements of that in my writing. This blog has documented aspects of my second year as the managing director of a fairly large translation company, and I have tried to share the spotlight with professionals, mentors and organisations who have brushed shoulders with me and supported me along the way.
Advertising and branding are also valid reasons for blogging. Perhaps there has been a modicum of that in Director’s Cut. I prefer a subtle approach to making STP known, and long to show outsiders what we are like as a company. Not many things are unique these days, but STP has a combination of characteristics that make it different from most other LSPs.
This is not only my opinion, but the view of many seasoned translation industry professionals. I am reminded of how different we are when I talk to sales experts about planning a training course for our staff, when I tell a market research organisation what kind of questions STP is seeking to answer, or when I read angry online posts by freelance translators about how all translation companies are nothing more than brokers.
I know my blogging has been a one-way street because I haven’t opened it up for ratings, feedback, questions and answers. It was never intended to promote products, seek sponsors or reach the great public. I’m not sure I would have had the time to be as interactive as that would have required. But I’m grateful to those of you who have emailed me privately, encouraged me on social media or come to chat about the topics face to face. I have felt my thoughts resonate across our community, and that’s what matters to me.
This is my last blog post for now. I’m going to take a break from writing, but it doesn’t necessarily make this the FINAL curtain. Let’s say it’s an entr’acte and I may yet return.
By that time, blogging may well be old news and I will have to turn to, who knows what… vlogging?