As I’m currently translating a novel and writing another one at the same time, I’ve paid attention to how the two things are sometimes get in each others way and sometimes complement each other. There are times when I am happy with my writing and can easily switch over to translating, not really sad to leave my own fantasy world and ready to take on any challenges that translating another writer’s fantasy might pose on this day. At these times, it seems like I’m subconsciously doing some kind of beatmatching (to use a DJ term) – meaning that I got the two novels playing at the same tempo and phase (the beats of both tracks are playing in-time with each other), so that I can easily change from one novel to the other.
Of course, there are also other times, when I cant wait to switch from an unfulfilling writing session to translating to get some “real” work done. Or the other way round, when I actually want to continue writing, but have to get some translating done. Then the beats don’t match at all, of course, and it is very hard to get into a flow state while putting the words down. At these times, the synapses in my brain don’t seem to want to dance, but linger awkwardly around the corners of the dancefloor, waiting for others to make the first dance move.