Taking It Easy (On Yourself)

We just wrapped up a busy weekend of the YeahWrite Nonfiction Super Challenge and other writing contests. The adrenaline resulting from having to write an essay or a short story on a tight deadline is addictive, but it can also jangle insecurities. How many times have I read a new prompt and thought “I am never going to pull this off?” Answer: Every. Single. Time. How many times have I panicked midway through my scheduled writing time because a cloud of doubt has descended upon me? Answer: Every. Single. Time. How many times have I submitted a piece knowing that my idea was much better than my execution? Answer: Every. Single. Time.

You too? Oh, good. Let’s do this exercise together then. Take a deep breath. Repeat after me:

I have been given seemingly impossible prompts, and I have found a way to create a story from them every single time.

I have been consumed in self-doubt before, and I have found a way through it every single time.

I have been challenged to complete an essay/a short story in an incredibly short amount of time, and I did my best to execute the best work I could.

Take another deep breath. Good. Now get back to writing. 🙂

July Poetry Slam: Palinode

This month’s Poetry Slam features the palinode, which Greek for “counterpoem” – retract your own ideas or join Team Petty as we recycle and revise poetry that needs a second look. Learn more from Rowan here.

Prompt Up!

Prompt Up is our optional weekly writing prompt for the fiction|poetry challenge! Here’s how it works: we choose a sentence prompt from last week’s winning nonfiction post and announce it in the kickoff. It’s your job to use that prompt in your poem or story and then run with it. The prompt is just a springboard, though: feel free to use it as your first sentence, move it, change it, or float it down to other territories.

Margaret had a revelation about writing in her essay Marketing. This week’s photo prompt, inspired by her adventures at the Portland Saturday Market, is the photo at the top of this post.

How to submit and fully participate in the challenge:

Basic YeahWrite guidelines: 750 word limit; your entry can be dated no earlier than this past Sunday; fiction or poetry only.

1. In the sidebar of this week’s post, please grab the code beneath the fiction|poetry badge and paste it into the HTML view of your entry;
2. Follow the Inlinkz instructions after clicking “add your link” to upload your entry to this week’s challenge grid;
3. Your entry should appear immediately on the grid if you don’t receive an error message;
4. Please make the rounds to read all the entries in this week’s challenge; and
5. Consider turning off moderated comments and CAPTCHA on your own blog.

Submissions for this week’s challenges will close on Wednesday at 10pm ET. Voting will then open immediately thereafter and close on Thursday at 10pm ET. The winners, as always, will be celebrated on Friday.

Thank you for sharing with us your hard work! Good luck in the challenge…

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About the author:

As a professional editor and writer, Nate has published his work in numerous English and history textbooks and in on-line reading programs. In February 2014, he found his way back to creative writing and began submitting to YeahWrite. Soon after, he became an editor of the Fiction|Poetry challenge. You can read his work at The Relative Cartographer, a blog that has been recognized by WordPress, Five Star Mix-tape, Genealogy á la Cart, and BlogHer’s Voice of the Year. He lives in Chicago with his partner, a French princess, and a jungle explorer.

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