Trusty Transcriptionists is celebrating six years in business! I looked back at my entry from the fifth anniversary, at the time, I was very uncertain if I would last another year. It's sort of like, um, if you thought there was uncertainty then, wait until you see what's down the turnpike in March 2020! Yikes! I'm happy to report last year turned out to be a good year with steady work and lots of new clients. For the past six months about a third of my time was taken up transcribing interviews for an award-winning documentary maker. Transcribing the countless documentary interviews was one of the most challenging but also exciting and fascinating projects that I've had the privilege to work on. I was also fortunate to work with many other clients, old and new, on an extensive range of projects throughout the year.
The sixth anniversary finds us in extraordinary times indeed. My work life at present is not too different from my everyday working life, in that I work from home. I have not had any radical adjustments to make to my lifestyle. As my work is all done remotely without the need for any social contact, I am in a decent position to keep working through these difficult times. However, my clients' work necessitates social contact for the most part (except for Skype or telephone interviews of course). Social distancing has meant that I have lost the bulk of my regular work, like so many other people across the country. I found myself with very little work in April, usually one of my busiest times of the year. There is a silver lining to the cloud, in that I have a large project arriving next week and another starting in May, these will keep me busy. These clients had already recorded their interviews prior to the lockdown. I feel fortunate about that. Being busy with work allows me to escape, feel productive and not overthink things that I have no control over.
I was certainly not without a million things I could do around the house, and I started by tackling some of these that have been on my 'to-do' list forever. But let's face it, they've been our lists forever because they are things that are either boring or difficult. We always use the excuse to ourselves that we don't have the time. But I think many of us are discovering; we actually don't have the inclination. One night several weeks ago, I found myself playing a newly acquired Scrabble app until one o'clock in the morning. I then continued to play for hours on end the following day. That was the moment I realised I had to bring some structure back to my day. I am an old hand at this, and I think my years of acquired self-discipline when it comes to a work/life balance will allow me to get through this with relative ease. But even with six years of experience of being self employed and working from home, I was reminded of how quickly one could slip into a malaise. There's a fine line between enjoying a bit of relaxation/distraction time and becoming consumed with something that becomes unproductive. If you suddenly find your hands have permanently moulded into the form of a claw due to clutching your phone for hours on end staring at little lettered tiles, you are not alone. Just step away from the phone!
If you have stumbled onto this entry during the height of the crisis, I hope that you are well. There is so much uncertainty about the future, but I think the only thing we can do at the moment is to take things one day at a time.
With my warmest wishes,