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OK, I lied

Last week, I said that I was ready to jump back into writing, reading and commenting here at yeah write—I had the week off from work, giving me the perfect no-excuses opportunity to resume the writing life. Instead, my cat Bennie’s health took a turn for the worst and, well, most of the week was spent grieving.

Writing can be a healthy way to process loss and, because loss is a universal experience, readers also find healing through works about grieving. One of my favorite books is Joan Dideon’s The Year of Magical Thinking. In one year, Dideon lost both her husband and daughter; through the book she articulates the experience of grief in a way that is poignantly simple:

“People who have recently lost someone have a certain look, recognizable maybe only to those who have seen that look on their own faces. . . The look is one of extreme vulnerability, nakedness, openness. It is the look of someone who walks from the ophthalmologist’s office into the bright daylight with dilated eyes, or of someone who wears glasses and is suddenly made to take them off. These people who have lost someone look naked because they think themselves invisible.”

This is exactly how I felt after my parents and sister died: invisible. Everything else, most especially the grieving, took up so much energy that I couldn’t make my presence known to anyone. I would not have known how to express this invisibility if I hadn’t read it, if Dideon hadn’t struck that particular chord in my heart.

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Nonfiction know-how:

inspiration and the 5-minute essay

Time flies whether you’re having fun or not, and there’s an essay hiding in even the smallest increments. You don’t need to encompass your whole life in 1000 words; what if you just focused on five minutes? Rowan gives us some tips on finding your story in among the ordinary moments of your day.

This week’s ultimate question:

Who cares?

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. Our email subscribers can also join us in the yeah write coffeehouse at its 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.

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

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Submit to the yeah write #262 nonfiction challenge

The yeah write #262 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]

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