Write for your purpose.

There’s this email archive that’s been haunting me for months now and I finally decided this weekend I’d try to tame it. Somewhere in the thousands of emails I found a three-year-old discussion among some editors about someone’s post being not up to this writer’s usual caliber. The main reason? It was painfully obvious that it was an excerpt of a longer piece that just did not work on its own.

Taking a longer piece and paring it down for flash-sized writing is really hard. Flash often requires you to write fresh so you can put your ideas together knowing that there is a hard stop right around the corner. Longer works in progress don’t have that, so typically your earlier drafts, and even later ones, can withstand a little more verbosity. This isn’t to say that you can’t take that idea or theme from the longer piece, but try starting over with the word count in mind rather than trying to find a way to cut your count down from the original.

And, hey, if you’re really into flash, the flashiest of flash, check out the Microprose challenge! It’s opening up on Wednesday at 12:00 AM EST. You’ll get a prompt, a word count, and 22 hours to post it to its grid. We offer this challenge the first Wednesday of every month. Stop by Wednesday for more details!

Nonfiction Know-How: Think Outside the Thesaurus

Word overuse plagues most writers but the solution isn’t always as simple as grabbing a thesaurus. Learn how to avoid the most common traps in both overuse and trying to correct overuse in this month’s Nonfiction Know-How. Fictioneers, you might want to glance at this one, too! Learn more from Rowan here.

How to submit and fully participate in the challenge:

Basic YeahWrite guidelines: 1000 word limit; your entry can be dated no earlier than this past Sunday; nonfiction personal essay, creative opinion piece or mostly true story based on actual events.

1. In the sidebar of this week’s post, please grab the code beneath the nonfiction 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:

Michelle submitted her first entry to YeahWrite in March 2012 and they haven’t been able to get rid of her since. After nearly 20 years in the insurance/employee benefits industry, she decided to give it all up to pursue writing full time. Her work has been featured on The Huffington Post and xoJane, as well as several local sites near her northern NJ home. She blogs at Michelle Longo.

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