Sometimes, 42 words is more than I can muster. And sometimes, it isn’t enough. Every now and then, I find I need to drown myself in words, breathe them in until I start to choke and somebody needs to pull me out. This has been one of those weeks.
I’ve been in between jobs for the last month; my new permanent position starts tomorrow. As soon as the offer came in, I made a promise to myself: to use my remaining free days wisely, to write as much as humanly possible in the time that I had. It’s not evident, I know – I haven’t posted a thing to my blog in weeks – but I swear, I’ve been writing. I’ve been keeping that promise.
The other promise I made was to find some balance. To make time for other things. Binge-writing is fun; it is even necessary, sometimes. On the other hand, some days it is enough to muster those 42 words, those 14 lines, that one story. Or even to take a break from writing and let myself catch my breath before I start to drown.
These are promises I made to myself. Let’s see what promises you have made to others.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]
Answer the ultimate question in exactly 42 words: what did you promise them?
This week, we’re exploring your fidelity, and the third person neutral pronoun. If it bothers you, go ahead and interpret “them” as plural, but we won’t hold you to that.
To give us a good answer, you’ll need to tell us two things: what you promised, and to whom the promise was made. You can promise to do or be, and you can promise it to any third-party responsive entity, singular or plural. That means you can make a promise to your mom, your dog, an alien, or the collective student body of Yale, but you can’t make a promise to yourself or your writing desk. (The raven is fair game, though.)
Don’t get disqualified on a technicality
READ THE SUBMISSION GUIDELINES. Take us seriously so we can take you seriously.
COUNT YOUR WORDS. Use your eyes, not your word processor. Your post may not be eligible for voting if you go over or under 42 words. And remember, any words surrounding your microstory — explanations, references, footnotes, shout-outs, etc. — will be counted against your 42-word limit. (The only exception is photo credits.)
PROOFREAD. Nothing is easier, and nothing will get you bumped from the voting grid faster than typos, spelling or punctuation mistakes, or grammatical errors. You’ve only got 42 words; mistakes stick out.
ANSWER THE QUESTION. We try to give you some basic guidelines with every question; pay attention to what we’re looking for. Keep in mind that your post has to make sense if your reader doesn’t know the question. Don’t use the question as your title or anywhere else in your piece.
The top 42 entries will be open for voting on Thursday
You may enter only one gargleblaster microstory. Submissions are moderated. All entries will show up on our submissions grid, and up to 42 entries will be moved to the voting grid, which opens on Thursday. Everybody: read, comment, vote! Participation is the key to making this community work.
If you don’t make the voting grid, don’t despair – you’ll get a detailed love letter from our wonderful submissions editor, Rowan G., letting you know what needed improvement. Email us or head over to our pages on Facebook and Twitter with any questions.
Winners will be announced on Friday
Look for Friday’s combined winners’ post to see the crowd favorites and editors’ picks from across all of our challenge grids.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]
Submit to the yeah write microstory challenge
What else is happening around here?
We’ve got the nonfiction challenge opening on Mondays, the fiction and poetry challenge on Tuesdays, the microstory challenge on Wednesdays, and the come-one, come-all moonshine grid for the weekends. We’ve also got a great hangout space over at the coffeehouse. Make sure you subscribe to our weekly e-mail blast so you don’t miss out.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]