So in a week, I start a new day job in marketing and communications. (I can hear you asking: “What? Yeah write isn’t your day job?!” As much as I wish it was, alas, I do have a family to support. Or help support.)
Anyhow, that’s neither here nor there. The point is, the university where I work is starting a new campaign all about being fearless, and I got to thinking: What is more fearless than sharing your heart and mind through the written word, putting it out there for everyone to see? It’s a brave thing you all do, all of you bloggers and novelists and poets and essayists. Take a moment to pat yourself on the back, then pick up that pen and get back to writing.
Writing is scary. It takes courage to accept that your work isn’t perfect the first time around. Be bold with your red pen – but not reckless. Look at your own work with fresh eyes, or invite fresh eyes to look at your work. (In one of our critique lounges, for example). Even if you think your piece is going nowhere, don’t give up. Remember that the first rule of writing, according to the ever-inspirational Neil Gaiman, is write. Rules two and three amount to essentially the same thing. Rules four through six are all about editing and accepting criticism. And rules seven and eight remind us to be true to ourselves. But if you put it all together, my dear yeah writers, it boils down to this: be fearless. You’re doing it already. Keep it up.
Summer grid week 2 winners!
Thirty-three of you showed up this week, and you really brought it! With four votes this week we have four winners, which comprise a nice mix of fiction and nonfiction, microfiction and essay. With no further ado, this week’s crowd favorites are: Christine at Trudging Through Fog (!) with Adagio Unstrung; Meg at Pigspittle, Ohio, with Shining Armor; Lisa at Priscilla Queen of the Dessert with Sh*t Happens; and Michael at mjshorts with Rabbit Stew.
Congratulations, folks! Pick up your summer series crowd favorite badges from the sidebar.
I’d also like to point out that four of you brought pieces that you have been working on over in the bronze lounge, including one of this week’s winners: Lisa. Really great work, everyone!
Need help figuring out how to vote across genres? Give Arden R’s thoughtful advice a read.
Week 3 writing topics
Each week we’ll be focusing on one or two topics that we think are important in our journey to becoming better writers. We’ll preview the topics on Sundays, and the writing topics themselves will be posted on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Consider these topics when creating your summer grid entries. If you’re participating in one of our critique lounges, you’ll want to pay particular attention.
This week Suzanne P will be giving a refresher in some of the basics: grammar and punctuation. They may seem like small things, but the difference between its and it’s can make the difference between a winning piece and a piece that discerning readers will skip over. Tuesday’s post will cover using punctuation properly (commas, colons, semi-colons, etc.) and clue us in to what’s essential and what’s flexible. On Thursday Suzanne will address other technical/mechanical issues, such as paragraph structure, formatting dialogue, using italics, etc. Tune in later this week for more!
Even though the speakeasy and gargleblaster are closed for the summer, we know sometimes it’s hard to start writing without a little extra push. Since we can’t put coffee through your monitor, we’ll do the next best thing and feature an optional prompt each week that you can use to strike your creative spark.
This week’s optional prompt is: Should I stay or should I go?
Go ahead and answer that question in a 42-word gargleblaster, incorporate it in your longer fiction, or use it as inspiration for your nonfiction. You can also feel free to ignore it entirely if you’ve already got a great idea! Remember: be creative, think out of the box, and deliver the unexpected. Did I just say the same thing three times three different ways? I must really mean it. The best pieces are the ones that push the boundaries.
Let’s get serious
Did you submit a piece to the summer supergrid that didn’t do as well as you expected in the voting? Or maybe it never quite gelled for you, though you liked the idea behind it. Drop into one of our critique lounges for a little extra feedback.
- The bronze lounge is free and open to all. Register for the lounge to gain access, and you can join in the peer-to-peer critique fun.
- The silver lounge is a week-long small group writing workshop, and costs $25. Groups of no more than 4 plus an editor will get together for a more traditional workshopping experience.
- The gold lounge is for those who want to work one-on-one with one of our editors. Suzanne P. and Natalie D. are on tap to help you really dig into your writing, from the nuts and bolts of grammar and punctuation to the broader topics of themes and storylines. For only $50 you won’t find a better place to review your work.
Take that piece you submitted this past week and edit it. Pay attention to what your peers and editors have to say. Then go ahead and submit your revised piece to the next supergrid. Don’t forget to link back to the original piece so you can show off your improvement! We’d love to see a footnote telling us what you learned in the process. (Don’t tell anyone, but our Cerberus, Rowan G, said she’d give you a little more room in your word count for this, since your original and revised posts might run right up to your limit. Just don’t abuse the privilege, ok? Shoot for 50-100 words, tops. If you have more to say than that, just make another post and link to it from your revised post so curious folks can read.)
Remember, if you’re not signed up already you can register for any lounge at any time. Just try to give us a little heads up for the silver lounge so that we can put together our workshop groups.
Below you’ll find the badge for the summer supergrid #172. Copy the code under the badge and paste it into the html or text view of your blog editor. Having trouble? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for tech support.
<a href="http://yeahwrite.me/summer-series-172/"> <img src="http://yeahwrite.me/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/summer172.png"> </a>
In a nutshell, here’s how the summer will play out. All times are Eastern US.
- Sunday, 12:01 am: Kickoff post with preview of upcoming writing topics, summary of summer grid winners, moonshine grid closes
- Tuesday, 12:01 am: Writing topic post #1, summer grid opens for submissions
- Thursday, 12:01 am: Writing topic post #2, summer grid opens for voting
- Friday, 12:00 noon: Voting closes, moonshine grid opens
Yeah write coffeehouse
The coffeehouse is open for business! Planned as a year-round endeavor, the coffeehouse is yeah write’s casual corner where you can meet up for casual small talk, introductions, and other writing-related conversations. The link is in the menu over there to the left, and we’re open 24-7. Stop by and say hello.
And if you’re not signed up for the yeah write e-mail blast, you might want to change that. It’s the fastest way to get all the news. See that little form over there in the left-hand sidebar? Fill that out and you’ll be among the first to know what’s going on!