Read this before you post this week. There will be a test. Because we love you and want you to be successful.

Yeah write weekly writing challenge #109 is open this week, don’t worry. We decided to attach this refresher course to an actual challenge instead of posting it separately because we’d like everyone participating this week to read it as opposed to it being read only by our regular nerds who read everything we write, even if it involves a porn picnic.

This Q & A is picking up where the series left off in May 2012. In a year, that’s a lot of people who’ve come and gone from our writing community and, even if we think you know why you badge your posts or why we write separate posts announcing the badges are ready or why we ask you write your posts for yeah write only and not throw us onto the pyre with 50 similar writing challenges, you may not know. That knowledge gap on our part is unacceptable, and we’re taking steps to fix that today.

If this is your very first time to yeah write: welcome! You are very fortunate to be here on a day we are sharing our whys and wherefores. If you get completely confused as you read through today’s post, please stop and email us, and we’ll respond privately with fewer words. Don’t be intimidated. We love our yeah write virgins.

yeah write Q & A, No. 7 in a series

Why do I need to attach your badge to my post? It brings negative energy to the feng shui of my blog.

Most users think it’s so their yeah write posts can be readily identified by yeah write visitors. Or that Erica M is so attached to her Photoshop handiwork, she must see it displayed across the Interwebs as often as possible. The primary reason: the backlink contained in the code, once installed on your blog, builds credibility with search engines. The more legitimate, relevant spaces linking back to yeah write, the stronger our position in search engine results. Those links tell Google or Bing or Yahoo we are not purchasing links or trying to otherwise scam anybody. Because your blog and the yeah write blog serve similar audiences, and yeah write likely has more inbound links than yours, your position rank rises along with ours. It’s a mutually beneficial relationship as we each grow our communities hand-in-hand.

Yeah, but you don’t need the actual graphic badge to include the link back to yeah write. Why can’t I just use a text link?

Search engine-wise, image links don’t carry any extra advantage over text links just as text links don’t carry an advantage over image links. But displaying the badge attracts readers who’ve yet to hear of the yeah write weekly writing challenge and increases the chance they may click through to find out what we’re all about. Our subscriber list grows, your visitor count can grow with it. If we’re not in this together, why are you doing it? That’s probably up to you to answer, though. We’ll give you some private time if you need it.

Why do you guys write an entirely separate post on Sundays to announce the new badges are ready? Seems like a dumb step.

Is that the same thing as dubstep? Cuz we’d love to become a YouTube viral meme sensation. The Sunday post contains 95% of what you need to know to prepare your entries for the upcoming week. It has the word count limit, any themes or prompts as well as marking the earliest date your yeah write submission can be considered eligible for the grid. It’s better to have all the necessary information in a separate kickoff post. This gives you a few days to start writing, and we avoid having to cram 1600 words of explanation into a post the day the grid opens on Tuesday KINDA LIKE WE ARE DOING RIGHT NOW.

Why can’t I submit the post I’ve written to yeah write then to Trifecta then to Write on Edge then to Just Be Enough then to Mama Kat’s then to wherever the hell I want? They are all the same and I want all the traffic.

It’s all about respectfully following the submission guidelines of each of these writing challenges and actively deciding the hard work of those editors or curators is worth your treating them as individual events. Why would you want the yeah write grid to become a duplicate of those other challenges or prompts because everyone added the same exact post to each one? Some of them have word limits, others ask you follow a certain format, still others want you to learn the art of writing or blogging by writing free-form. You know the quickest way to be pulled from each week’s yeah write challenge? By writing free-form. Not that there’s anything wrong with it, but it’s not the yeah write way.

What? I can get pulled from the grid? There are actual submission standards? That ain’t right.

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  • 500 words with 100 words grace
  • Tell us a story in plain language. Don’t assume fancy words no one uses in everyday conversation is impressing anybody. If the sun doesn’t cascade off your silky strawberry creme façade in a phone conversation with your sister, it shouldn’t be doing all that foolishness in your post
  • Be interesting, be funny, show seriousness, don’t be douchy, demonstrate empathy for all the other characters in your narrative, respect your readers
  • Be universal. We have many genders, cultures, socio-economic classes reading all the entries each week. Do your best to find common ground within the theme of your posts. A good place to start is within your conflict: man v. man, man v. nature, man v. society, man v. self. (Ed. note: man v. refrigerator is my personal favorite. Why does the bulb always burn out the same week Home Depot stops carrying the make and model I need to replace it? ~ehm)
  • Never rely on elicited reader emotions to tell your story for you. Holy smokes, everybody’s children are growing up right before their eyes. Unless you have one heck of a so what, stop sharing that story. Tell us instead how you can’t wait for them to move out so you can enjoy an effing Marble Slab sweet cream with a Heath bar mix-in waffle cone without someone sticking a booger in it
  • Wait. Before they move out: if you indeed have a story about one of your rugrats sticking a booger into your waffle cone, please tell it. That sounds interesting and brings its own so what to the narrative. Unless you cheat the ending of the story with something like “I realized then how precious time can be with our babies, and I am honored to be called a mother.” God bless, we are bored again, and you will see your submission back in your inbox

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Gaw. What’s the big deal? It’s just a link-up. Calm down.

Well, not exactly. Yes, we use the Inlinkz app, mainly because we love the customer service that comes with it. Also because it’s a self-serve app and our users can add their submissions while we are away from our laptops. When and if you ever get what we call a love letter, what others call a rejection letter, what still others call the worst thing that’s happened to them all year, it’s designed only to make you a better writer. We admit to taking people by surprise when we return their submissions for edits or rewrites, and their responses to our response usually fall along the lines of:

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  1. There is nothing wrong with my writing, so this must be a personal issue. You don’t want me around for some reason that has nothing to do with the basic elements of my submission. It’s because I am just too awesome, right, and you can’t handle how much.
  2. I knew my submission didn’t meet the yeah write guidelines as I was writing it, as I was adding it to the grid, and as I was waiting to hear back from you about it. I just wanted to see what would happen. You didn’t have anything else to do today, did you? This four-hour exchange is the most excitement I’ll have all week.
  3. *crickets* nada nothing zilcho except for the silent #1 and #2 on this list.
  4. Thank you! I knew I needed help, but I got lost in the weeds, and your suggestions are very helpful. I’m gonna rewrite and come back, okay? Are you sure you guys don’t need anything from me? Hole up, lemme buy a supporting subscription. Totally worth it, having an editor in my back pocket.

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We are not a traditional link-up, linky, linky party, blog hop or anything like it. In the middle of directing relevant traffic to smaller blogs that may not otherwise get much attention, we are here to teach the art of writing well  for an online audience. To help our people understand what makes an actual story. We hope that’s why you’re here. 

The rules, the commitment, the angst, it burns

Don’t forget about the yeah write weekend moonshine grid! It’s open weekends only, beginning at 6 p.m. US eastern time every Friday. It closes by the following Monday at 12:01 a.m. Hang out with friends, add whatever you want to the joint as long as it’s not a commercial post or commercially sponsored. Don’t feel like organizing a narrative? Neither do we. Stick it up there, and make the rounds with the other weekend folk. It’s a free-for-all and a nice break from all the structure of the challenge grids. Please join us.

Pop quiz time

If you’ve read this far, leave us a comment and we will release your submission from moderation. Yep, that’s right. You’ll be stuck in queue until you leave us a comment saying you’ve read this whole thing and that you get what we’re trying to do. We are just like Mrs. Pescenye, your 12th grade honors English teacher who called you a lazy student out of love, gave you that well-deserved “C” on your essay written on the bus on the way to school for which any other English teacher would have given an “A”, then with encouragement and guidance, forever changed the trajectory of your life’s work. Leave the words “it took me half a day to read this whole thing” in comments, and you’ll appear on the grid if, of course, you meet all the other submission guidelines.

Yeah write weekly writing challenge #109 is open…

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