How to write

I recently took part in a conversation about how to write. Someone was feeling stuck and we were talking about how we get our mojo back when it goes on hiatus. Everyone seeks inspiration in different places and what works for one won’t necessarily work for another. But we did all mention one thing we do to kickstart ourselves after a period of inactivity: sit down and write.

I know what you’re thinking and yup, that’s exactly what I’m saying. If you’re feeling like you’re stuck and the words won’t come, sit down and write. Remember that no one ever needs to see those words. Personally, I have tons of drafts that go nowhere, scraps of papers and notebooks filled with paragraphs and sentences that are, quite frankly, pure crap. They are half-baked ideas and sometimes single words that I couldn’t stop thinking about. Sometimes I’ll use those ideas to expand on later, but mostly they just sit there, proof that the line was clogged with so much gunk.

That’s my best piece of advice – just write. Let the ideas start to flow. It might still be a while before something good comes out, but that’s okay. You can’t write anything worth reading if you’re writing nothing at all.

First time here?

Yesterday’s kickoff post is the best way to find out our schedule, our latest news and happenings and get a first look at the week’s ultimate question. Make sure you’re signed up for our email blasts so you never miss one again!

If you’re new to yeah write or just new to the nonfiction challenge, please pop over to read our submission guidelines. The rules are a little different for each of our challenges and we’d hate to have to send back great writing on a technicality.

If you found us because you suddenly saw yeah write in your stats, do not be alarmed! Sometimes when community members spot excellent writing out in the wild, they send the post over to us. We hope you don’t mind, but more than that, we hope you’ll take a look around and hang out for a while.

Have questions you can’t find the answer to by poking around the site? Email us or find us on Facebook or Twitter and we’ll happily help you out.

Just the basics

Today the grid opens for our nonfiction writing challenge. There is a limit of 1,000 words, no exceptions. The nonfiction challenge closes Wednesday at 9:59 p.m. US Eastern. Voting opens one hour later for both our readers and our editorial staff. On Friday, we will publish editorial picks and announce the popular vote winners.

The ultimate question: who’s gonna pay the check?

Each week our microstories challenge, which opens on Wednesday, gives you an ultimate question to answer in exactly 42 words. Here on nonfiction, we like to offer that question up as an optional prompt. Use it or don’t, it’s all up to you!

Still need a bit of inspiration to get you going this week? Stop by the coffeehouse for a shot of espresso. Every week Nate discusses a technique used in one of last week’s winning posts, and gives two suggestions for how you can incorporate it into your own writing! Check it out!

The yeah write #213 weekly writing challenge is open for nonfiction: personal essays, creative opinion, mostly true stories based on actual events. You can check out the submission guidelines and join us with your essay using the link below.