When the canvas is a little too blank

I like to use this space to offer you some writing advice. Sometimes an article I read catches my eye and I want to share it. Other times we see a common theme spring up in a prior week’s challenge grid and that becomes the focus of the post. But this week, nothing was apparent. In fact, all I can think about is knee pain. For the record, this pain from weekend over-exertion is threatening to neither life nor limb, however it is proving detrimental to my concentration. 

I decided there must be some way to tie this into something helpful about writing. I’ve struggled all morning with how to relate this to what we do here in a relevant way. I’ve juggled words and phrases, attempting to see how it all fits together, only to end up with my morning completely gone. I refuse to believe there isn’t some way to correlate my poor knees to writing, I’ve just run out of time to find it. It seemed all was lost and I was left with nothing.

And then it hit me: That is exactly what writing is all about some days. When inspiration hits, we can madly pound at the keys, spitting forth literary gold. And yet there are those times when try as we might, nothing comes of what certainly seemed a stroke of genius when we thought of it. The good and the bad, that’s what we get from life as a writer. Some days you have to take those scraps of paper or those unfinished drafts and file them away, hoping that in time the deeper meaning will reveal itself and what seemed like wasted effort was really just a first draft of notes for something later. Some day I’ll figure out what to do with this tale of my aching joints, but until then, I’ll just have to admit that not every idea I have is going to pan out. 

Speaking of strokes of genius

For those of you who pay attention to such things — and we’re guessing many of you do — the 2014 BlogHer Voices of the Year were announced yesterday. You may notice a familiar face or two among the bunch, including several yeah write editors, regular participants, and e-mail subscribers! We are inordinately proud of all of them, so here we are, linking to their winning posts. Please go give them a read, and let them know that all of us here at yeah write are thrilled for them.

In the Heart category:

In the Humor category:

In the Exploration category:

In the OpEd category:

Call us smug, but we can’t help pointing out that Natalie, Cynthia, and Cindy all won with posts they wrote for yeah write. Congratulations to each and every one of you, and thanks for being part of our community! (Did we miss anyone? Let us know in the comments!)

Family-free for a third week

This is our third of four weeks of family-free posts at yeah write. When all of your inspiration stems from a family-themed situation, you might feel like you have nothing to share. But dig around and see if you can take what initially sparked you and go deeper. Why did that memory or scenario jump out at you? What’s the larger significance? See where your mind takes you when you explore your thoughts and feelings surrounding an event. 

We are looking to read your non-familial writing: that means no mentioning your immediate, extended, biological, or marital family. What does that leave? Well, frankly, everything else under the sun! Sometimes the one thing you can’t write about seems to be all you can think about, but we are pretty confident you can go the distance on this one.

Kevin, Bob, and the invitational

Everyone knows Kevin by now! He’s that stylish kiwi with the scarf and hat, rooting around for an exceptional post on the grid. Each week we’re under 30 posts entries in the challenge, a randomly selected editor will choose her favorite post and award that post the week’s kiwi badge.

If we hit 30 entries, the invitational grid, which is exactly what it sounds like, will be unlocked. Editors will select the posts they feel most represent the yeah write way and move them to a special grid where they will compete for the jury prize. This honor has it’s own badge, too, so there’s always a chance for bling.

What’s the one word you hear around here all the time? Community! We love the community spirit here at yeah write and to foster that, we like to offer up a badge to someone who personifies community. Comment Bob, our spirit mascot, loves it when you comment on or share the other entries on the grid. Support your fellow writers and share the yeah write love, and you may just end up with a Bob badge of your very own!

More entries means more votes

Regardless of the number of entries, we will host a popular vote where you’ll be able to select your favorites from the grid. The number of votes allotted is determined by the number of submissions on the grid:

  • 01-10 submissions: one vote
  • 11-20 submissions: two votes
  • 21-30 submissions: three votes
  • 31-40 submissions: four votes
  • 41-50 submissions: five votes

The more submissions, the more votes. Write a blurb beside your yeah write challenge button inviting your friends to join us. Send a personal email. Talk us up in your writing circles. Stumble over a blog post you think would be perfect for the challenge grid? Email us the link, and if it’s a good fit, we’ll add it ourselves.

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

Voting is open at the gargleblaster! If you have a chance, stop by, read all the 42-word entries, then vote on the best three of the gargleblaster grid. It’s yeah write’s newest challenge, and we’re quite proud of it.

Yeah write #160 traditional challenge grid is open right here…

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