What are you afraid of?
This past week, I spent some time in the yeah write coffeehouse* trying to encourage more nonfiction submissions. The biggest barrier for most was a lack of time. I totally get that – by the time I’m done with work, freelancing, family obligations and volunteer commitments, I have little time or energy left for personal writing. The only way to have the time is to make the time, but no one needs to hear that.
The other big reason was fear. I want to talk about that for a bit. Fear will kill you. Fear robs you of opportunities and, if you miss enough of them, eventually leads to regret. If you’re afraid to submit to the nonfiction grid, let’s explore that.
There are two main fears I can think of regarding nonfic:
- Fear of rejection – What if I get a love letter? What if I do terribly in the popular vote? What if everyone hates my story?
- Fear of being vulnerable – What if I tell this very personal story and I’m embarrassed? What if my family hates me?
The thing about rejection is that none of us is immune. We will all face it. Sometimes it’s warranted and sometimes not, and other times you’ll never know what exactly someone didn’t like. Facing it and practicing with it will make you stronger and thicken you skin. Don’t hold back on fear of rejection. It stings, but we’ve all been there.
Remember this: nonfiction doesn’t mean your most intimate moment or your most heart-wrenching story. It simply means something that happened. It means not made up. Sometimes the simplest tale of life told in your unique voice with your particular take is enough to make a stand-out essay.
If you’re new, if you’ve been lurking, I encourage you to give it a try this week! Is there something else you’re afraid of? Tell us in comments? Feeling too vulnerable for that? Send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I’ll post it in the coffeehouse anonymously on your behalf and you can get feedback from the community.
*The coffeehouse is a gathering place for yeah writers who subscribe to our newsletter. Join in the conversation – we are all about helping to bring writers together.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]
New feature! Nonfiction theme of the month: irony
We’ll be exploring different themes every month to help you stretch your writing wings. This month’s completely optional theme is irony, and your assignment – should you choose to accept it – is to take at a photograph and tell us what’s really going on. For more on irony, check out Rowan’s article in our writing help section.
This week’s ultimate question: why are you naked?
This optional prompt, which also serves as the ultimate question for the microstory challenge opening Wednesday, is here to serve as your inspiration for your nonfiction submission. Already have your own story thought up? No problem! The prompt is only there if you need it.
Want more info?
Is this your first time here? Check out Sunday’s post which kicked off the week here at yeah write. If you don’t think you can remember to check back every Sunday, you can sign up for our email blasts directly to your inbox. Our email subscribers can also join us in the yeah write coffeehouse at its new home on Facebook.
If you’ve never taken the time to read them, please take a moment to familiarize yourself with 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.
Did you happen to end up here because you suddenly saw yeah write in your stats? Sometimes members of our community spot excellent writing and they send those posts on over to us. We hope you don’t mind. Take a look around and get to know our community. We’re sure you’ll be happy here.
Submit to the yeah write #235 nonfiction challenge
The yeah write #235 weekly writing challenge is now 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.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]