an open letter to the yeah write community

My mom was a writer. She was, in fact, the best writer I know. And I don’t say that because she passed away in December. I’ve always thought it and said it and believed it to be true.

That’s why it meant so much to me when she provided feedback on my writing. Despite having a public blog for the past 10 years, Mom was the only one who read anything I wrote. Or at least she’s the only one who cared enough to write back.

She sent many of her comments via email. And I saved them. Filed them away for safekeeping so I could read them again one day. So I could hear her encouraging words in my head.

Genna,

I was reading a little of your blog, and I think it is so amazing. And so YOU.

And you are one special woman on this earth. I’m glad the earth gets to share its circling with you.

I think you are a phenomenon!

Love,

Mom

Or in response to a specific piece I sent her:

Genna,

What you’ve written here is absolutely stunning–it moved me. YOU are such a gifted writer or words–a woman of exquisite depth that few at your age GET. I’m proud to be your mother–to watch your stars shine.

THANK YOU for sending me this part of you.

Mom

When Mom left, I wanted to write. I wanted to write out the grief. I wanted to write out the incomprehension. I wanted to write out the numbness. But for me, part of wanting to write is wanting someone…anyone to read.

And so I decided to give WordPress a try. I moved over my works from other blogs, started writeamuck.com, and wrote my little heart out. All while trying not to think about how much I wanted to send links to Mom–to hear her gush over it in the sweet way that mothers do.

I’d only been on WordPress for a little over a month when I noticed a small uptick in blog visitors.

I looked at the referral links; the new traffic was all coming from a single source: YeahWrite.me.

That’s when I discovered this community, the first community of writers—outside of just me and my mother—that I’ve ever been a part of.

Excited to find this gem, I set out to write my first post specifically for the Challenge Grid. Like never before, I searched for inspiration and a strong theme. And once again Mom was there to nudge me along; I wrote a post titled “the lost and the found” about losing her and how we remember.

That post was voted audience favorite that week on the grid and was later picked up by Freshly Pressed. I mention it not to brag but to say thank you. Because if I’d never found this community, I doubt I’d ever have written it.

Now I look forward to the grids every week. I’m pushed to improve. I’m encouraged to continue. And I’m inspired by reading what everyone else writes.

On the days that I long to send something to Mom, on the days that I wish she was still here to be my favorite writer and most dedicated reader, I’ll skim through the comments left for me by my Yeah Write friends. And read through new stuff by my favorite writers who blog and bloggers who write.

And it lifts my spirits. And it restores my confidence. And above all else, it makes me want to keep writing.

 

36 thoughts on “an open letter to the yeah write community

  1. Jeez. This made me cry. Seriously. I don’t know if you’ve read Erica’s post yet, but I think she (especially) will really appreciate this. You are a beautiful writer and deserve all the awards and recognition you get. Thank you for reminding me, all of us, to take time for gratitude. :)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Not many people can make me cry, and you’re now on the list. Thank you so much for these wonderful words and for seeing right away what the yeah write community is all about: building friendships around a shared love for writing. Your mom sounds like an amazing woman, and I am grateful to her for sending you our way.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Genna, thank you for this. I echo Erica’s words. We are so happy to have you. I’ve been hanging out at yeah write for a little over a year now and I’m 99.9% sure it is the only reason my blog is still active. Welcome to the family :)

    Now if you’ll excuse me, I think there’s a bug in my eye…

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I’m crying as I write this, too. My mom passed away ten years ago, and it still seems like it happened yesterday. I’ve come to realize that it will always feel that way but I wouldn’t have it any other way. You are a gifted writer. Your mom is proud, without a doubt. Write on, Sister!

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  5. You’re talented and fortunate to have this support. Yeah write is a wonderful community and your spirit and ability are exactly what it needs.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so sorry about your mom. It’s the hardest thing. Moms are so special. They leave a whole in your life that simply can’t be filled.

      If you can’t write, that’s okay. You have to do what feels right for you.

      To me, if I don’t write, that’s when the tears start flowing unexpectedly. Because I’ve trapped them all inside. I write to give myself moments of release. And it’s hard. But I think it helps too.

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  6. Yes, I know exactly how you feel, because I feel the same way about the community of yeahwrite. I’m new here, also, and have only been here a couple of weeks. Even though I haven’t even made it to the top row, I’m still impressed by the warmth and friendliness of everyone here, and I’m thrilled to be part of the community. This is a lovely entry!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I love this. Love love love it. I know how hard it is to lose someone you love so much and it isn’t for the faint of heart. As for YeahWrite, they are the best darn community ever. I feel all of your words 1,000 %!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Whoa, that’s a powerful post. I think it’s wonderful your mom read your writing and gave you feedback. My mom doesn’t read English well so she’s never read my writing, and my mother in law never read it either before she passed.

    Even though your mom was probably your biggest fan, you have new fans from yeah write who do enjoy your writing. :) press on.

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  9. This is such a sweet post. I’m sorry about your mom, sending you hugs. Yeah write really is such a great community (I’m not just saying that as an editor, I’m saying it as a participant). And I am sure my blog would go dormant quite often if not for the challenge grid. So glad to have you hanging out with us.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Well put, GennaClaire. I’m sure Mom is ecstatic you found a community to support you. And although I can’t speak for all yeahwriters, I know your writing has inspired me.

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      1. some days i wonder if i’m an over the top mom– maybe making up for what i lacked from my own mother? but then i read stories like this and i realize… so what if i am? can you really ever show your child you love them too much? no. NO. case in point, in my opinion, those letters. just fabulous. thanks again for sharing. really. xo

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  11. Genna…I’m so sorry for your loss. Your mom sounds like an amazing human being. But I’m grateful that you have chosen writing as your outlet because (selfishly) we all benefit from your lovely work. It takes a long time to get past the grief of losing a parent. I lost both of mine 20 years ago and I still find grieving sometimes takes my breath. But it does get easier if you think of them as still with you. Thank you for sharing a fragile experience so bravely.

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    1. Meg, this comment is too kind. I’m so sorry to hear about your parents, but I appreciate your encouraging words.

      P.S.–I heard we may be in the same silver lounge at the end of the month. I’m really looking forward to it. :)

      Liked by 1 person

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