|Photo credit: My awesome Margin button is courtesy of the|
extraordinarily generous Melanie over at Only a Breath.
My word for this year is Margin.
(The word nerd in me is thrilled to have such a writerly word as my focus for 2013.)
For writers, margins are a big deal.
I once experienced an anxiety attack when I learned that the first reader for a contest I had entered assumed that everyone knew their submissions should have 1.25 inches margins. Mine were 1 inch.
I couldn’t breathe. My heart raced. I was sick to my stomach for several days before I found proof that the margins had not been specified in the entry rules and that submissions with 1” margins would not be disqualified.
We writers take this margin thing seriously.
As we should. Because those margins are important.
|We need margins as badly as our books.|
You couldn’t stand to read a page like that for long. Your eyes would start to cross, your mind would protest. And those words, no matter how powerful, no matter how polished, would go unread.
As a writer, I’ve come to realize that as much as we need the margin on the page, we need it more in our lives. I know that in my case, without some margin in my life, there are words in me that will go unwritten.
There are books and poems and articles and devotions that swim in my head as I go through my day, but without some margin, they will never find their double-spaced voice in Times New Roman 12 pt.
As 2012 came to a close, I’m sure many of you were, like me, disappointed in your progress as a writer. Maybe your blog didn’t take off or your agent didn’t sell your book. Or maybe, like me, you didn’t finish the book and when people ask “How’s the writing coming?” you’ve started changing the subject.
Maybe we have really good reasons. I know I do.
But as valid as those reasons are, I’m thinking that as writers, it’s time we took our margins a little more seriously.
|It's time to make some hard choices and give |
ourselves some room to live.
It’s time we said no to a few more evenings in front of the TV. Or maybe (gulp) it’s time we said yes to a few more mornings that begin before the sun comes up.
No one can set our margins for us. It’s something only we can do.
But we have to do it.
Because something tells me that the writers who change the world are the kind of writers for whom margins are a big deal.
Now it’s your turn. Let’s learn from each other. How do you create some space for writing in your busy life? Share it with us. You never know when your idea may be just the thing a fellow writer needs.
Don’t forget to join the conversation!
Lynn Huggins Blackburn has been telling herself stories since she was five and finally started writing them down. She blogs about faith, family, and her writing journey on her blog Out of the Boat. Lynn is a member of the Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild and the Word Weavers, Greenville. She lives in South Carolina where she hangs out with three lively children, one fabulous man, and a cast of imaginary characters who find their way onto the pages of her still unpublished novels. She drinks a lot of coffee.