Blogger’s block and what to do about it from Deb Quinn

I’m stuck.  My last post on my own blog was weeks ago, and even then the post was only a picture. True, it’s a pretty awesome picture of ostriches, but still: very few words were involved.

Husband says oh for god’s sake just write something which, you know, on the ol’ helpful-spousal-comment scale, doesn’t even break the top ten.

It’s a nasty sort of death spiral, frankly: the longer I go without writing, the more I think: I can’t write just anything now; I have to write something, you know, significant.

And then again—galling, I admit—maybe he’s right. Maybe it would be better to break whatever logjam exists in my brain with just: anything. That’s what Anne Lamott says in Bird by BirdShe talks at length about the importance of shitty first drafts (students always giggle when I assign this chapter in class because you know, there’s a swear word in the title), about taking things one piece at a time, and about the one-inch picture frame she keeps on her desk.  “All you have to do,” she says, “is write whatever fits inside that picture frame.”  

In other words, you don’t have to write about everything, just the one thing, and then maybe this other one thing, and then maybe that one thing over there. And maybe not everything has to be Significant or Meaningful. 

Oh lordy, I hate it when Husband is right but I might have to grant him this one and then face an uncomfortable truth: the only way through bloggers’ block, sadly is to go write past it. (See what I did there, see? When in doubt, pun)

Don’t get caught up in how good “everyone else is” on the grid. You have a story to tell

A community of great writers, like these on the yeah write grid can help, as long as you can avoid what sometimes happens to me: omigod everyone else can write whassamatta with me? And when those voices start clamoring too loudly, I turn again to Annie L who confesses that she sometimes imagines dropping those jealous voices in a little jar, screwing on the lid, and putting the jar up on a tall shelf. Silenced.

Maybe you’re not experiencing blogger’s block this week; maybe you’re just bounding along the ol’ wordpress page; maybe you’re pulling out your hair in frustration or cleaning the entire house in a fit of productive procrastination. But regardless: look through your one-inch picture frame, find some words, and then find some more. I’ll see you on the grid.

But first maybe another picture of ostriches. This time, though, I’m going to write longer captions. It’s not much, but at least it’s a start.

It’s another prized book bundle week from Deb Quinn and yeah write

I know I get excited when it’s a prize week here at yeah write. Throughout the friendly competition and celebrating being in the top five of the challenge grid or the crowd favorite or an editor’s pick or, the ultimate, jury prize winner, just being recognized is usually enough. But it’s cool when the guest editor or the yeah write editors attach an extra incentive to the challenge in honor of good writing. This week, it’s a book bundle containing the In the Powder Room anthology You Have Lipstick on Your Teeth: And Other Things You’ll Only Hear from Your Friends In The Powder Room. We are also throwing in the classic writing books On Writing by Stephen King and Bird By Bird by Anne Lamott. It’s always nice to get paid for our efforts and, as all true artists know, books and craft supplies are better than money.

Prize week eligibility

  • Challenge grid must reach 30 or more entries on the grid; no prizes will be awarded at 29 entries or fewer
  • Jury prize winner must be a current yeah write subscriber as of the end of this week’s voting period
  • Crowd favorite winner must be a current yeah write subscriber as of the end of this week’s voting period
  • Open to U. S., Canada and international residents willing to supply yeah write editors their postal addresses for shipping

The speakeasy is back from summer hiatus

Now that summer is over, the speakeasy is back in business. If you’re a poet or a fiction writer, there is a challenge grid just for you. Please head on over and check it out. If you have the inclination, you can participate on both grids, however please be sure you’ll have the time to read all of the entries and vote responsibly.

Odds, ends, reminders

  • This immediate past Sunday is the earliest your submission can be dated
  • Your post can be no longer than 600 words
  • Personal essays or traditional blog anecdotes only
  • There are no weekly prompts; the topic is yours. Be compelling
  • The grid is open from Tuesday at 12:01 a.m. to Wednesday at 11:59 p.m.
  • There is voting. Voting will take place Thursday from midnight to 10:00 p.m. US eastern
  • The challenge grid is limited to 50 bloggers
  • The winners’ post will be published by noon on Friday
  • No self-promotional posts are allowed on the yeah write grid, including those containing links to other blog events and Internet contests

Welcome to the 2013 fall writing season at yeah write weekly writing challenge

Yeah write #128 is open. Bring us your best stuff. Your blogger’s block in comments…