Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Past Comes Back

Every once in a while the past comes back to bite you on the... well. You know.

In any event, here's a story for you. Once upon a time, when I was quite a bit younger, I signed up for a one-day writing seminar held on the campus of San Francisco State University (where, coincidentally, I was working for the B'nai B'rith Hillel Foundation). At the time, I still clung to my delusions of grandeur, believing that one day I, too, could join the ranks for published writers.

The gentleman giving the seminar was an energetic, emphatic man named Gordon Burgett. To this day, I still own the book the instructor had written, which I purchased at the end of the seminar. Its title: Ten Sales from One Article Idea. Not surprisingly, the subject of the seminar was how to earn a living by selling (and reselling) your non-fiction magazine articles. As the introduction to the book states: "This book describes...a marketing process that takes an idea, molds it to fit ten kinds of markets, sets it into a time frame, and shows the key correspondence at each step." Basically, we learned how to research and write one article, then sell almost exactly the same article (with strategic revisions) to ten different magazines.

Why, you are almost certainly wondering, am I boring you with this peculiar tale?

As you know (assuming you've been keeping up with recent posts), Avi and I are in the process of translating about 20 magazine articles, from a wide variety of publications, on the subject of Italian perfumer Lorenzo Villoresi. It's been quite an experience; interesting when we learned something new, rather tiresome when we end up translating basically the same article over and over again.

Yes, in the process of completing this translation project, I have seen in action the very concept conveyed in the seminar and book from those long-ago days. Frankly, it makes our job a bit easier when all we have to do is simply copy/paste a previously-translated article. Of course, the writers do make those strategic revisions from one article to the next, and we need to pay attention to that. But it has been fascinating to see the process in action, as it were.

In other news, I have been hard at work on my niece's knee sock. I have also brought my in-progress top-down V neck sweater (pattern by KnittingPure & Simple) out of time-out and worked on that. It's really still too hot to knit with a sweater sitting on your lap, but I really wanted to make some progress on that.

1 comment:

Joansie said...

Interesting how that works! It's like having a template and filling in the appropriate info for the recipient.

Can't wait to see those socks.