Playing favorites

Last week I decided to submit a post to the challenge grid and I was thrilled when it won crowd favorite in the open voting. For those of you who are new around here, we editors can submit to the grid, but we are not eligible for the invitational or the jury prize. But maybe you saw my win and thought perhaps it was unfair or the fix was in. I assure you it’s not like that. A few weeks back, I came in dead last. The time in between I was somewhere closer to the middle. Since March of 2012, I have been all over the place: Top Row Five, Jury Prize, bottom third, last, and pretty close to last. 

There are many factors that determine where someone will end up after voting is done and some are out of our control no matter how great a piece we write. You can never predict the number or quality of the other submissions, the mood of the readers or the vibe of the grid. 

The difference between first and last

I can’t give you the magic formula for how to win, but I can tell you something that I’ve learned in my time here. Wins don’t happen on accident, at least not most of the time.

My piece last week took weeks to write. I spent hours thinking about the post and making notes before I sat down to write. There were multiple drafts written over many days. I was certain I was done at one point, but couldn’t pull the trigger on it. I slept on it, found two sentences that dragged the whole thing down and made one more change before publishing.

The post that came in last was another story altogether. I banged that one out in thirty minutes. I gave it a quick read-through to look for spelling and grammatical errors, but there were no major edits. I didn’t write it with the challenge grid in mind and the decision to submit it was a last minute one. I wrote it, but I there was no passion in it, and it showed.

Show us your passion this week. Treat your piece with the respect it deserves. Let it rest and, if it isn’t ready, give it a little more time. We’re willing to wait for your best work.

This is the second year yeah write will be blogging alongside BlogHer’s NaBloPoMo for 30 days in November

nablo_13_175Go here to learn all you need to know about NaBloPoMo. There are great prizes, a full lineup of guest bloggers, and the guidelines you’ll need to follow to join in the fun. 

Just in case you’re thinking this isn’t for you, that it’s too much work, here’s a sampling of what you could win if you join in the fun:

  • Stephen King’s On Writing
  • Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird
  • The 2013 Best American Essays
  • The 2013 Best American Short Stories
  • The 2013 Best American Non-Required Reading
  • A basket of Trader Joe’s non-perishable goodies from yeah write editor Stacie
  • The book Why We Write (edited by Meredith Maran) from Jake of Jake vs. The City
  • Two hand-knit beanies from Jennifer of I’m Dancing in the Rain
  • Two book bundles from regular yeah write guest contributor Deb of MannaHatta Mamma including copies of You Have Lipstick on Your Teeth edited by Leslie Marinelli
  • The best homemade fudge you will ever know from Alisa of Ice Scream Mama
  • A book bundle from yeah write editor Kristin including Difficult Mothers by Terri Apter and The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson
  • A handmade sock puppet “for moral support” from our newest yeah write subscriber Laura at phrogmom’s weblog
  • A book bundle from yeah write editor Erica including The Art of Possibility by Rosamund Stone Zander
  • A book bundle from Gina of Does Anyone Care What I Write containing her two favorite books of 2013

Just remember: all challenge grid posts are NaBloPoMo posts, but not all NaBloPoMo posts are challenge grid posts, so if you’re going to cross-pollinate, make sure your challenge grid post follows our submission guidelines even as it fulfills your daily NaBloPoMo commitment. Wet, sloppy kisses to anyone who does both successfully.

Welcome to yeah write #133 weekly writing challenge

Odds, ends, reminders

  • The badge you will need to add to your planned submission is over in the sidebar
  • 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

Yeah write #133 is open…