I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve written anything in the last year. See, a year ago last Sunday I had a baby. I am not the sort of person to do anything by halves, so every ounce of my energy has gone into keeping him alive and clinging to my day job. Yay for me, I’ve succeeded at both.

But it’s come at a cost. At the end of each day, after I’ve poured my heart and soul into raising my little bundle of spirit and cuddles, I am wiped. Wiped. If I’m ambitious I’ll do some yoga after he goes to sleep, but mostly, I read. Reading is what fills me up. When we’re empty, we have to fill ourselves some way so that we have enough to give the next day. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Writing is an act of emptying, too. It is an outpouring of all that brews within us all day: the emotion, the imagination, the moments. This is why it is so important to fill yourself as a writer. Whether it’s books — and all writers should be extensive readers — art, running, meditation, spelunking, fire-eating, do something that regenerates the life inside you.

Someday soon, when my little guy requires less of me, I will be able to write more freely again. Until then, I keep filling.

August Poetry Slam: Prompts

We’re wrapping up our summer break with a break from poetry and looking forward to our next Super Challenge as Rowan breaks down what a prompt is and how to use it from the other side of the judging table. Looking for ideas? She’ll even throw in some prompts at the end to stretch your brain.

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.

This week’s prompt up comes from Margaret at Unfolding From the Fog. Your prompt, should you choose to accept it, is: “There is a drought coming.”

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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