Welcome to Five Minute Friday! This week marks a special milestone — five years under the direction of Kate Motaung. She was handed the reins from founder Lisa-Jo Baker.
Lisa-Jo created the foundation — reaching out to her friends about the prospect of writing for just five unscripted, unedited minutes on a specific prompt word. There were no “rules” except to visit with your neighbor to offer a word of encouragement. The exercise took off … and here we are.
Lisa-Jo e noted, “Sometimes I think we over-glamorize writing.” The quiet secret is we are all writers and our stories matter. As she said, “I decided one ordinary Thursday to throw caution and editing to the wind and invite people to just write without worrying if it was just right or not.” She shifted the emphasis from “a perfect post” or a “profound post” into an exercise in the discipline and joy of writing.
Her first Five Minute Friday post was Jan. 13, 2011. She had two boys under the age of five at the time and was pregnant with a daughter. Her time was frazzled and her writing only happened in stolen snatches. As she pointed out, she wrote more in her head while her hands were in a sink full of dishes or folding laundry than she ever found time to write on paper. And when she got frustrated, she reminded herself. “If you only have one hour in the day to write, don’t spend it frustrated. Spend it writing.”
Continuing, she said, “Sometimes there were only five minutes. But five minutes spent writing is better than five minutes feeling sorry for yourself that you don’t have time to write.”
She yearned to write like her kids ran — “unselfconscious with arms flailing and hearts beating wildly. Running just for the joy of running … writing with abandon.”
She initiated the #fmfparty Twitter party where other like minded and ever expanding writers came to join the writing flash mob. She continued at the helm for four years before handing the baton over to Kate, her “word sister.”
Kate has nourished and expanded the community. She encourages her entourage to set their fingers free and “expect to be surprised by what comes out. That’s all part of the ride. All part of the creativity of our God, of His image reflected in His people.”
She added a Facebook page to encourage more participation and her words have always been, “Above all, have fun! No stress, only smiles.”
She prefaced this week’s assignment with these words.
“Five years ago this week, I was sitting on my bed late Thursday night with a piece of leftover Oreo ice cream cake that my sister had made for my birthday. My laptop screen flashed the usual flurry of tweets during the weekly Five Minute Friday Twitter party, but something was different this time.
“It was my first time acting as hostess of the amazing Five Minute Friday community founded by Lisa-Jo Baker. I felt honored and humbled and elated and in over my head all at the same time.
“And five years later, I still feel the same way.
“It has been such a joy and privilege to serve this community, to find new ways to build community, to share in each other’s joys and sorrows, and to offer blogging tips and writing advice along the way.”
That is what the Five Minute Friday community is all about!
I’ve been sharing snippets taken from Five Minute Friday: A Collection of Stories Written in Five Minutes Flat, compiled by Susan Shipe. They are a testament to the value of the exercise. This week, I’ll share some perspective from Dianne. I hope she inspires you to check us out … and maybe join in?
“The FMF community is not virtual! It’s a real, living community — especially on Thursday nights with the FMF Twitter Party. I remember one time when I was struggling with a particular teenager issue. A mom with kids just older than my own encouraged me in the sweetest way. She gave me hope! Love my #fmfparty family!”
Yes. It’s a great creative outlet. Not everything is perfect … but neither are we. It’s always eye-opening. You should check out the site and see for yourself … or better yet, try it yourself.
The prompt this week is FIVE and the timer is set, so let’s GO…
Happy, Happy Anniversary, Five Minute Friday! And thanks to Kate Motaung for continuing this gem of a community with such grace and excitement.
It’s been five years since Kate took the reins fro Lisa-Jo Baker, originator of the posting community. And I’m proud to say I’ve been here all the time. I actually started about a year earlier under Lisa-Jo’s leadership. And it has become not only an important part of my weekly writing regimen but my life.
The prompts are designed to get you to think — five imperfect minutes at a time — about just one word. When you let the word percolate in the mind, man, anything can come out! And often does!
But more important than letting the fingers translate the thoughts of the mind is the connection you get when you start visiting your FMF neighbors. You find so much in common … and learn so much when their writing … STOP
… veers off in a different direction. It brings your life into balance.
While writing is the vehicle, the driving force behind Five Minute Friday is the fellowship. We’re not only a writing community, but an extended virtual family — ready, willing and able to contribute to a thought, uplift each other, encourage each other and communally look up to the Source if our individual inspiration.
Yes, we are predominately a Christian community — imperfect, flawed or, as I read this morning, caterpillars on our way to butterflies. And the community is predominately composed of women, from many young home schooling mothers to pastors to matronly grandmothers and all stations in between. That’s a plus for me. I need the support from women to keep me from becoming a jaded curmudgeon in this winter season of my life.
While I’ve been a fixture posting, I’ve just recently begun visiting at the weekly Twitter party where many of us congregate to — once again — support and encourage each other. It’s a spot where we share our writing and spiritual needs. It’s a spot where we reach out and hug each other. It’s a spot where we recognize our weaknesses but get wrapped up in the love that comes from above and is filtered through us. It is a powerful time when you can feel the Spirit.
So, Happy, Happy Anniversary! Here’s a toast to the next five!
THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: I believe God is managing affairs and that He doesn’t need any advice from me … So what is there to worry about. — Henry Ford