yeah write #130 weekly writing challenge is open for submissions: personal essay and traditional blog anecdote

yeah write #130 weekly writing challenge is open for submissions: personal essay and traditional blog anecdote

yeah write #130 weekly writing challenge is open for submissions: personal essay and traditional blog anecdote

It’s good to be back

I’ve had three weeks off from opening the grid on Tuesdays. We had a wonderful guest editor, Deb Quinn, and then Erica M took over for me last week when I was still coming down from my blog conference high. 

Truth be told, I tried to write a post last week but had to send up a flare when it was headed badly off course. What I wanted to say was clear in my mind, but the stars and words weren’t aligning the way I needed them to. I was stuck and I knew exactly what was wrong:

My enormous mug of coffee was not directly to my right so I could grab a sip in between sentences.

The ritual of writing

My posts are written in my home office at generally the same time every Monday. My coffee is always right there when I need to contemplate my next thought. So when I was sitting on a bed in a hotel room in Atlanta last week, no coffee in sight, I couldn’t think straight. Nothing in the room felt right for writing and without the typical prompts and cues from my surroundings, and maybe with a little conference fatigue, I couldn’t get this post to sound like I wanted it to.

The whole thing reminded me of a lesson on rituals during a class I took last year. Basically, writer Bret Lott (whom I know nothing about other than his ritual) explained how he got up every day, had the same coffee in the same mug and wrote in the same place while listening to the same music until each book was finished. This ritual got him in the right position mentally and physically to accomplish his task. 

It didn’t occur to me until I couldn’t write last week’s post that I have rituals of my own. Without those mental triggers signaling it’s time to write, I had a hard time switching gears. Now, back in my little office, the story I wanted to tell you came together straight away.

So now that I’ve validated the theory, at least for myself, I encourage you to look at your routines. What do you think? Good advice or a bunch of hogwash?

Please consider donating to two charitable causes

Some of the charitable organizations and events yeah write has supported since its first challenge in 2011 at the request of our subscribers include charity water, Equality Now, BP MS 150, and Builders Beyond Borders. Please consider donating to one or each of the causes we’re promoting this month:

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Our newest perk package: The 2013 Best American Series

October means the publication of the latest The Best American Series, and for the next several months, our perk package awarded on the challenge grid will include three books from that series: Best American Short Stories, Best American Essays and Best American Non-Required Reading. Some of our editors will throw in their personal favorites, and we will occasionally offer our classic writing bundles featuring Stephen King and Anne Lamott. The perk packages are our way of saying thank you for being so faithful to the cause of promoting the good works of others while practicing the craft of writing for an online audience. There are so many other places you could be each week, and we thank you for sticking with us.

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 #130 is open. Bring us your best stuff.


About the Author


  • Erica M [Tue] 8 Oct 13 at 3:47 pm

    My brain is filled with past failure, so even with a box of my favorite v5 Precise rollerball pens and a sketchpad journal, I can never seem to get started.

    • Michelle L Author [Tue] 8 Oct 13 at 5:12 pm

      This only goes for yeah write posts. Everything else, particularly the book, meh. And I have a favorite pen too!

  • Marcy [Tue] 8 Oct 13 at 3:40 pm

    I don’t have a ritual and find that I can write anywhere as long as I have just been inspired by finding a certain angle, a little spark that shows me a way into telling the story. (This often happens while driving.) Then I start telling it in my head and transcribe it as soon as I can find a place to write. It’s a bad habit because I am not able to consistently write pieces that I like. They are really flat if I haven’t found that little spark.

    • Michelle L Author [Tue] 8 Oct 13 at 5:11 pm

      That’s how I do a lot of my prewriting. The shower seems to be most conducive for thinking up things to write. Somehow though all the notes in the world mean nothing if I’m not sitting at this desk.

  • Linda Roy - elleroy was here [Tue] 8 Oct 13 at 3:25 pm

    I know exactly what you mean about the ritual of writing Michelle. I thought it would be fun to go to Starbucks to write last week. I spent the whole time trying to find the right table that wasn’t to high to type at, a chair that wasn’t too uncomfortable. A spot that wasn’t too close too anybody else. Then which coffee to order? Why are those people talking so loudly?
    Got nothing done. Good coffee though. I almost have to be home in my typical surroundings to get down to biznez. 😉

    • Michelle L Author [Tue] 8 Oct 13 at 5:09 pm

      I just cannot write at Starbucks. Way too much stimulation over there! But the coffee’s good, so sometimes it’s fun to pretend I’ll go there to write!