Three years of my life as an EU student of English Literature at the University of East Anglia,England.
“Working with Words” was a series of job-related talks organised by UEA’s Career Central: they talked about tons of different things, from writing science to music, publishing and even how to find a literary agent!
I went to “Getting Started in Publishing”, not because I’m particularly interested in publishing but because I thought it would be good to see how much you could do with an English Literature degree, and perhaps get more job ideas… However, it put me off publishing.
Like many people, I thought publishing was more about editing and proofreading… It turns out it involves tons of different things, such as general administration, a rough knowledge of writers’ rights, sales, advertising etc. It’s good to have a very varied job and get involved in the entire process of publishing but I just found it scary.
Former UEA students came and were saying how hard it had been for them to get into the industry, how they’d often relied on chance or series of unpaid internships. And the most depressing was when they said how much you have to love this job to do it, because the pay is not amazing and you often end up having to read tons of books per week to meet deadlines and be effective. I don’t want my entire life or career to feel like university around deadlines or exam periods and have no life.
I may sound naive and I know that getting a job isn’t easy, but I thought that publishing would be more fun. But after this talk, I don’t feel adequate for it at all. I’ll see, I still have time to think about it but I’m still much more interested in translation.
Has anybody had experience in publishing? Do you guys already know what you want to do after your degree?