Creating Margins

by | Uncategorized | 4 comments

One of the writing rules I’ve heard often is to be sure there is plenty of white space on the page. At first, I wondered what that meant. I believe this refers to having a good balance of dialogue and introspection to ensure the reader isn’t overwhelmed by all the words on the page. Dialogue on a page creates white space. It breaks up line after line of complete sentences.

Another rule in writing is proper manuscript formatting. Writers are advised to create 1″ margins on all sides of their manuscripts. Manuscripts with 1″ margins appear clean and uniform, and the margins allow editors, agents, contest judges to write comments in the margins.

Creating white space and margins in our lives allows us to clean out the clutter and extra busyness that bogs us down. Filling every moment of our lives causes extra stress as we juggle more activities and events in our lives.

Lately I’ve been mindful of creating margins in my life. Since returning to school last September, I’ve had to develop better time management skills as I continue to work full-time in my home, care for my family, prod my boys into getting their homework finished, teach Sunday school, and finish my novel. Instead of constantly adding to my life, I’ve had to reevaluate my priorities and eliminate busyness that crowds those margins. Creating white space hasn’t been easy as I’ve had to make some difficult decisions, but my life feels calmer and less stressed.

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  1. Bhaswati

    I am so glad you did that, Lisa. I have done the same over the past couple months, and it seems, one of the victims of my de-clutter mission has been the blog. I am slowly bringing it back into the fold, though, still not overcrowding my schedule.

  2. Stephen Bly

    Dear Lisa:

    I would like to send you an attachment of a possible personal interview for your consideration that you're welcome to use for your blog. You may tweak it however you like to fit your format. Included is a picture of me and a cover copy of my new book, One Step Over The Border (Center Street/Hachette Book Group USA), to be released June 12, 2007. I can also attach a sample excerpt from the book.
    It's a contemporary romp. A buddy road adventure. Some call it CowboyLit. Rodeo cowboy Hap Bowman's on a quest to find Juanita, a gal he hasn't seen in 18 years. But will she have the 'mark of God?' There's more details in the interview and at the official website . . . .
    In addition, I'd be delighted to send you a comp copy of the book for your personal review, plus provide a freebie for your readers. Just send me your address and I'll get them to you ASAP.
    Let me know if you have any questions or need more information. You can find out more about me and One Step Over The Border at and

    On the trail,
    Stephen Bly
    Christy Award winning western author of 100 books, including Memories of a Dirt Road Town, The Mustang Breaker, Wish I'd Known You Tears Ago, Paperback Writer, and Fortunes of the Black Hills Series

  3. jamie ford

    Beautifully put, Lisa. I've had to do the same. Things that had to go were the amount of television I used to watch, and some hobbies that just cluttered up my life too much.

  4. Lisa Jordan

    Sury, de-cluttering isn't easy, especially when we have a tendency to hold onto stuff and I'm not referring to only material possessions. 🙂 I would like to get in the habit of blogging daily, but until then, I'll blog when inspiration or extra time allows.

    Stephen, I'll contact you about your book. Thanks for thinking of me!

    Jamie, TV is a huge margin stealer. I've limited my TV viewing to one night a week–can't miss Grey's Anatomy :-). Freeing up my calendar has given me a certain sense of freedom.