How will I get my finished work into a reader’s hands? With homework and other assignments, the answer may seem as simple as “turn it in,” but even here the inspired writer has pitfalls to avoid. Print your work on clean paper and staple or bind it neatly. Double-check the instructions, comply with the rules, and make absolutely certain your work is free from typographical errors and other avoidable flaws.

If you want to write for traditional publication, your completed project will need an agent, a publisher, or both. If you want to self-publish electronically, you will need to decide on a format and a retailer, like or

Regardless of your goals, you must do your homework, know the submission guidelines and follow the rules exactly. If the assignment calls for electronic delivery, use a format that’s easy to read. Avoid unnecessary graphics, funky fonts, and other distractions. Every writer wants to be original and distinctive, but it should be your writing that sets you apart. Gimmicks are not the way to writing success.

And if you don’t know how to achieve this final goal, don’t panic! Upcoming articles in The Inspired Homeschooler will help you find your way through the writing and publication maze. In the meantime, listen for your inspiration, organize your goals, and above all...keep on writing.

Copyright 2012, used with permission. All rights reserved by author. Originally appeared in the January 2012 issue of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, the trade magazine for homeschool families. Read the magazine free at  or read it on the go and download the free apps at to read the magazine on your mobile devices.

Susan Spann is a partner in the law firm Llewellyn Spann, where she specializes in copyright, trademark, and corporate law.  Formerly a professor at Trinity Law School in Santa Ana, California, she currently teaches business law at William Jessup University.

Publication date: December 17, 2012