Many a time I have seen advertisements that say you can use their products without having to reinvent the wheel. People make it sound like an unnecessary, undesirable and counterintuitive. Why?
I don't see it as negative in the least. I mean, if it were something like reinventing the computer I am using right now, then I wouldn't be up to the task. But what about translating? In a sense, I did invent the wheel vis-à-vis translation. I never took a formal translation course, read perhaps two books on translation technique, and mastered more than one CAT tool without reading as much as a manual. And here I am, over twenty years later going strong with all the skills I need to get the job done.
What I like about my background is that I necessarily had to break down texts and then put them back together again. If someone had told me exactly how to do it, maybe it would have helped, or maybe not. As I always tell my mentees: as long as it works for you, as long as you are successful and making money from your efforts. I'll never forget what my 10th grade Geometry teacher said more
than once "There are many ways to get to downtown". I'll never claim to have chosen the fastest or the best route, but I have chosen one that gets me there on time and standing pat.
So I invite you to choose a path yourself. Just remember that whether you study translation formally or figure it out on your own, make sure your wheel is true and rolls fast!