#FailUp Friday – 001 Early Mistakes

#FailUp Friday is a weekly post where freelance education writers post mistakes and failures and what they learned. If you have a story to share, email it to Laura@WritingForTheEducationMarket.com and include #FailUp in the body. Let me know if you want it posted anonymously. Your story may end up in one of our #FailUp Fridays.

I began in the education market as an in-house editor for an educational design house that no longer exists. I wanted to write, but they told me they didn’t hire in-house writers. So I left after two years, with a sort-of promise from one of my colleagues.

My first mistake was when I was still an editor. I thought writers invoiced per manuscript page, not bookmap page, which inflated the amount I thought writers made.

After I began freelance writing, I made another error. I assumed every editor was like me, wanting the number of words assigned, no more or less, so that I didn’t have to waste time cutting copy to fit the page. An editor early on said I “wrote short,” because I gave her the exact word count, and she had nothing to play with. Lesson: It’s important to know what kind of editor you’re working with! That takes some time, which we often don’t have, given crazy deadlines. But I now “write long” when in doubt–an extra 50 words doesn’t hurt me.

-Judy Johnson

About the Author: Laura Coulter

I am a veteran teacher and current Technology and Learning Coach at the high school level. I have a passion for helping people, so I've channeled my education background and social nature into connecting freelance education writers with the companies who hire them.