Eugenia Durante began her career as an editorial assistant for a B2B music magazine in London before moving to Bologna, where she is now based. Eugenia takes great pride in her localisation work and places a strong emphasis on understanding the audience she’s producing content for. Whilst Eugenia usually works 6 days a week, when she’s not at her desk she enjoys reading, attending concerts and keeping active.
Hi Eugenia! Where in the world are you based?
I was born and raised in Genoa, graduated in Milan and lived in London for one year. I am currently based in Bologna, a lovely city in Northern Italy where I live with my partner and my little black dog Etta.
How long have you been a freelance content creator and what drew you to this profession?
I started my freelance career in 2011. It was a frantic period: I worked as a content writer for companies and magazines while studying translation and interpreting in Milan. I also wrote live reports and interviews for some important music magazines and did a six-month internship at VICE magazine.
After graduation, I moved to London to attend a master course in Journalism; in the meantime, I became a full-time editor assistant and office manager for a B2B music magazine in Camden. I learnt pretty soon that the office life doesn't suit me - and nor does the British weather - so in 2015 I came back to Italy and started my full-time career in translation and content creation.
I love being free to choose when and where to work — I would never go back to a 9-to-5 job. Writing has always been my cup of tea: being able to do it as a job feels like a true blessing to me.
What does your average week look like?
I usually work 6 days a week. I wake up at 8am, walk the dog, have breakfast and sit at my desk from 9 to lunchtime. On Mondays I usually organise the week on my planner, answer e-mails, update LinkedIn, etc. After lunch, I work until 7pm. I like reading and going to concerts, so after dinner you will usually find me either on the sofa with a book or in a club.
Before the COVID lockdown, which started at the beginning of March here in Italy, I used to go to the gym three days a week. Now I try to find 30 minutes every day to work out. Taking good care of your body is very important, especially if you are sitting on a chair all day long.
What brings you the greatest satisfaction in your work?
In both copywriting and translation, I love the process of localizing the content for my audience. I love it when a client tells me that the content works well: it means I have understood the brand's tone of voice and reached the heart of the readers.
Translating for the fashion industry in particular is similar to a couturier’s job. You have to pick the right words and adjectives just like a designer would choose their fabrics and textures. In fashion, a good product description should evoke the same savoir-faire as the item itself: when it happens, it truly feels a bit like magic.
How do you stay focused when working on multiple projects at one time? Especially when you’re switching between copywriting, translating and editing?
I don't find it hard to keep focused. First thing in the morning I write down all the task I have to do during the day and then I simply follow the list. I take a coffee break between one project and another, and then I start again. I've always been a natural multitasker, so it's quite normal to me — plus I get easily bored, so changing subjects keeps my concentration levels high.
How do you maintain a good work/life balance?
This was hard at first, because I tend to work more than I am supposed to. Over time I have learnt not to work nights and take some time off during the day. I always cook my meals, so I don't eat junk food and get my daily dose of greens and proteins, and working out helps me being active and stay healthy. Also adopting a dog has forced me to get dressed in the morning (otherwise I'll admit it, I would just stay in my PJs all day) and go out more often. I keep the house clean and nice, I created a cozy working spot with a lot of light and keep it separate from the rest of the house. This way, I don't feel like living at work — I am sure you all can relate.
If you could go back to when you started as a content creator, what advice would you give to yourself?
Be kinder to yourself and be patient. There will be times when work slows down: relax, read a book, go out for a walk. Don't worry that much about money, keep on investing in yourself and never be afraid to ask. Cultivate relationship with people: a lot of clients will come to you this way. And start that German class — it will be much more difficult to learn a new language when you have so many words to write and so little time.