Tuesday, September 29, 2009

On How I Am Scared Before I Hit "Send"

I sent a story out yesterday. This scares me in a very uncharacteristic way. I started to wonder if anyone else gets convinced there is something wrong right before they hit "send," to the point that the effort is abandoned to check the formatting, the instructions, the FAQ's just one more time. It's probably just me.

I did all that three times yesterday before I convinced myself that I was doing it correctly. I'm a follow-the-rules kind of girl, and in general, I think that's a good thing. Unless it paralyzes you temporarily, checking and re-checking is a healthy career-building habit. Right? I'm not being silly about it, right?

All the blogs I read from agents and other writers sing the praises of those who follow the rules. I can hang with that. But, there are tons of rules. And they are all individually set out. So it makes me a little paranoid that I am following the wrong set of rules. Sheesh. I'll get used to it, I really will. I'm just glad a camera is not set up in my office recording my spinning behavior.

As a matter of fact, I really like rules. The thing that set off this whole episode was the LACK of comment on which font the publication would like me to use. Ah!!! Some are very specific about font and size, and here, there were not any rules about this. I read their entire three page submission instructions looking for the rule. No rule. So, I did what I do in the rest of my life and used my best judgement. I hit "send" and then laughed at myself for worrying about something so trivial.

At least I hope it's trivial. If it wasn't trivial, they would have had a rule. Right?

Jo Taylor

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