We are who we are

Think about the most difficult thing you’ve ever written. What was hard about it? Why was it outside your comfort zone? For me, I tend to have an easier time writing emotional content – feeling hurt, sad, or scared. I can also write impersonal copy that makes a boring or complex topic seem more simple, like explaining the differences between comprehensive, collision and liability coverage on your auto insurance policy. Do you want me to stress for days? Ask me to write something funny. I will agonize over it.

I know I can be kind of funny. I get laughs. But I don’t plan it; it just happens. Later, I tend to wonder if I had been too bold or too loud or too wacky or too loose with the swear words. (That last one is almost always a definite yes.) So when I try to write “funny,” the same thing happens. It all pours out and then I second guess the whole thing. The parts of my personality that don’t come out so easily are the hardest for me to convey in writing. Sad and boring? I’m your gal. Funny and upbeat? What if I don’t sound like me?

It’s important to write in your authentic voice! Whatever that means to you, because you know who you are, that’s how you should write. You might get nervous and second guess yourself and that’s fine. But don’t let it stop you. Be bold and be brave. Be you!

My challenge for you this week is to let that piece of you that scares you but you know is the real deal shine. Be unabashedly yourself.

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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