At some point every writer has to bite the bullet and start down the submissions trail. It’s not easy taking that last leap – and nor should it be – but it’s something every writer needs to do if they wish to be taken seriously in the industry. After all, you can’t really call yourself a writer if you never put your work out there, cross your fingers and hope, can you?
This is where I’m at right now. I’ve put the novel on the backburner for today (or at least for the morning) while I work on a submission for a short story I wrote a few months ago. It’s been sitting in my “completed works” folder on my Mac for a while now, just waiting for the right competition to come by so I can send it away and wish it luck in the world. I think I’ve found the right comp for my story – but how do you ever really know?
The submission guidelines were easier to understand than I thought. If they’d simply said “industry standard,” I would have been freaking out, because who in the amateur world knows what “industry standard” really means? Thankfully they’ve made it easy for me: 1.5 line spacing, typed, white A4 sheet, one-sided, generous margins.
Oh, the generous margins conundrum! How wide is too wide? What is considered “too thin” in the world of margins? I don’t really know. But I’ve been told that editors love a good 3cm margin, so that’s what I’ll be using from now on… or until an editor tells me otherwise. So if you’re an editor reading my blog and you don’t like 3cm margins, please speak now or forever hold your peace!
Soon, “Heart” will be released into the cutthroat world of acceptance and rejection. How do I know the story is ready? I don’t. I’m just going to cross my fingers, close my eyes, give the envelope a little kiss and let it go. And hope for the best. It’s all any writer can ever do.