Today, I modified my index page adding some paragraphs as an excuse for this long delay in official launch of my homepage for Turkish language translation services, Turktrans, and stated that I need to allow myself a little more time for thinking over some new possibilities. I can be called “obsessive” with respect to my attention to details, or more correctly, my obsession to learn and analyze in minute details any topic that happens to attract my attention for the time being.
Almost one and a half year since the first crawl of Turktrans, and I am yet to launch it! Of course, I was really busy with translation projects during this period. But whenever I found an opportunity, I delved into the endless possibilities of Internet in search of a “nice” design layout for my website, of documents explaining this or that aspect of online business, of PHP scripts, code snippets, web images, specialized dictionaries, glossaries, etc. And since a great bulk of new materials is added to the information mass of Internet each day, it seems that this search would never end.
Is it practical? Absolutely not! It distracts me, takes all my spare time, and yields almost nothing practical. It is something like a novel that is continuously rewritten and finishes at infinitum. Each day, the novelist adds some new episodes, deletes some others, modifies this or that scene, and simply cannot manage to put an “end” to his novel.
Of course, someone can call it “a search for perfection.” Yes, this is true in a sense. Perfection is the ultimate goal that we all should strive for. Nevertheless, it is not something that we achieve for once and all. Like learning, it is a gradual process, an endless succession of little accomplishments. But the necessities of life requires practical imperfection. By “practical imperfection,” I mean a level of imperfection that would be acceptable and allow day-to-day functioning. Otherwise, waiting, or more correctly, postponing till an absolute perfection is achieved may turn out to be a waiting forever.
Usually, people start with whatever they have at hand for the time being, and try to improve afterwards through the process. I admire this in others as a virtue, since I often find it difficult to start away anything with only just available means, and instead find myself driven into an endless search for “a better one.”
At this point, I remember one of my all-time favorite books by Gail Sheehy: Passages: Predictable Crises of Adult Life. In my opinion, she is one of the most influential writers of our time. Mentored by Margaret Mead (an eminent anthropologist), she casts vivid insight into the turmoil of inherent crises in human life like going to school, changing careers, getting married, being a parent, etc.
There is a comic in the book depicting the “I am not ready” attitude of a man at different stages of life.
When it comes to going to school, he cries: â€œBut I am not ready!â€
After school, he starts working, and cries: “But I am not ready!”
When he is summoned to military service, he cries: “But I am not ready!”
Then he gets married, again crying: “But I am not ready!”
Becomes a father himself and cries louder: “But I am not ready!”
At last, he becomes a grandfather, runs away from home, finds himself a dark hideout, and cries out:
“I am not ready, and will not come out until I am ready!”
I wish I had translated the Passages into Turkish. It should already be translated into Turkish. I remember offering it to some publishers during 90s. But unfortunately I failed to find a publisher to publish its Turkish translation.
Anyway, and not infrequently, the “not ready” attitude is in fact an inner resistance against the thing that the person says or thinks that s/he is not ready. For whatever reasons. And now, I am becoming more and more aware of my inner resistance against launching Turktrans fully, and hiding this resistance behind the veil of a strive for perfection. And I have to work over it to overcome this resistance.
By the way, any productive work is possible only against resistance which is the cause of procrastination that impoverishes both the quality and quantity of any work be it writing a novel, starting a new job, or doing day-to-day translation assignments. I will try to elaborate later on resistance and procrastination from the perspective of a freelance translator. For now, I should focus on trying to overcome my own resistance, and launch Turktrans with whatever I have at hand with all the practical imperfections.
If you found this page while searching a translator, please visit my Turkish translation homepage.