I have been working in the field of educational publishing for around seven years and there are many positives aspects. I started writing mock exams for the Eleven Plus, before getting more involved in book publications. The education industry is exciting and certainly has more and more potential for growth. Innovative thinking is highly-valued, and if resources are produced with requisite care and attention to detail, it is possible to make a difference. The writer’s life is, moreover, satisfying and fulfilling as your creative impulses are harnessed and tasks that bring something into existence tends to give satisfaction.
There are, however, a few downsides to working in the educational publishing industry. Salary is the first issue. Improved finances are certainly not the first motivation that propelled me into this vocation. It is only when you become relatively senior when you start earning good money and there are many better paid career paths. Sometimes, I think that I ought to have followed my mother’s advice and become an accountant. Writing had to be a calling.
Writing is also a cerebrally challenging field. Brain ache is a common complaint and this can often by accompanied by general apathy towards the writing project at hand. This can in-turn, affect the writer’s attitude to the material he or she is producing, leading to sub-standard production. At these times, taking a short break or holiday is advisable.
Another issue that I often encounter is the temptation to reinvent the wheel and reproduce the work of others. Many times, I have come across excellent work, and have only wanted to slightly modify it. This is especially true in the education field, where it is especially difficult to explain a concept in a unique manner. The only suggestion I can make is to research carefully and then spend your own time thinking about what needs to be explained. Then draft and redraft your work.
The final problem, is the never-ending process of editing, formatting and proof-reading work for publication. It usually ends up driving me up the wall and I start losing the will to live; it is a wonder that anything ever reaches publication, such is the desire for perfection. After a time, you realise that although it is your baby, it can never be perfect and you ought to unleash it upon the world despite your unease.