So, You’re a Writer?
Earlier today, I was volunteering with some people from my Day Job. One of them, a woman I don’t have occasion to speak to very often said to me, “So, you’re a writer? Do you have a book or something?” Now, I do marketing, social media, and blog writing for this company, but my personal writing doesn’t come up much. I was caught a little off guard. I answered that I’m in the process of editing a book and I hope to be done with it soon. We chatted briefly about that, but I’ve been thinking about our conversation since.
I’m past the stage where I call myself “aspiring” or “wanna be” or whatever the cool kids are saying. Yet I still felt that little twinge when she asked if I had a book, as if that’s the only validation of being a writer. While I do have the book, it’s not done, not published. It’s nothing more than a large word doc hanging out on my laptop (and on three different thumb drives, just in case). It wasn’t until I got home, though, that I even let what she said hit me and cause any self-reflection. And as quickly as I thought of it, I let it go. I know who I am.
My point here is to tell you that you should know who you are, too. Not only should you know and not doubt it, but you don’t need to prove it, or do it a certain way, or anything like that. In fact, you never even need to talk about how much of a writer you are. You simply need to BE writing. Every time we stop to make sure we’re still writers, to write about writing, or anything of the sort, we play into this idea that we have to be doing anything but writing. Of course, this kickoff doesn’t count, even though it’s writing about writing and being okay with being a writer. It’s very meta. Do the cool kids still say “meta?” Did I even use it correctly?
Anyway, go write, okay?
YeahWrite Super Challenge
Our fourth Super Challenge is officially open for registration! We’re heading back to the land of fiction for Super Challenge #4. Early registration is open from now until 11:59pm ET on April 12 (this Wednesday!) so sign up today to take advantage of our discounted rate. Please be sure to also sign up for our email blast so you don’t miss out on any announcements for the upcoming challenge.
Bring us your personal essays and creative nonfiction!
The Nonfiction Challenge grid opens on Monday at midnight EST. This is the best place on the ‘net to showcase your best writing. Make us laugh, make us cry, make us think, and above all: make us care.
Nonfiction Know-How: Constructive Criticism Part II
Ever hear “it’s better to give than receive?” Well, in the case of criticism, it’s certainly easier to give than receive. For part two of what has now turned into a two part post, we’re going to dive into receiving criticism. Because you know what? It kind of sucks, but it’s good for us as individuals and as a community. Like vaccines. Learn even more from Rowan here.
Is fiction more your thing?
The Fiction|Poetry Challenge grid opens on Tuesday. Grab a mic and join our monthly poetry slam or check out our weekly prompt up!
Prompt up is our optional weekly writing prompt for the fiction|poetry challenge! Here’s how it works: we announce a sentence prompt from last week’s winning nonfiction post. It’s your job to use that prompt in your story or poem in some way. Feel free to use it as your first sentence, move it somewhere else, change it, or float it down to other territories.
Rowan told us a secret about herself, kind of, in her essay Schadenfriends. The prompt taken from her work is: “I’ve peed on cars.”
April ‘Poetry’ Slam: Microprose
Charles Dickens was paid by the word, and it shows. I mean, if you’ve ever read Oliver Twist, we bet you found yourself wondering if all those words were really necessary to move the story forward. It’s a question we should all face every day while editing our own work, to be honest: why all these words? How can we tell our story without forcing the reader to slog through a whole bunch of extra text and without losing the essence or the voice? This month, instead of looking for ways to flesh out your writing, we’ll be talking about ways to trim it down – just in time for the first grid of our monthly microprose challenge! Learn more from Christine here.
In case you missed them, you can find last week’s YeahWrite staff picks and crowd favorites all laid out for you on Friday’s winners’ post. Leave the winners some love in the comments. They will love you right back, we guarantee it.
Weekend Writing Showcase
The weekend’s not over: the yeah write Weekend Writing Showcase is still open. Have something to add? Old posts and new are welcome. No moderation, no voting. It’s a laid-back relaxed kind of place. Just leave your commercial or sponsored posts at home. Drop by, share your work, and while you’re there, visit your fellow yeah writers.
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.