Normally, today would be a post on the prompt word from Kate Motaung and released at last night’s Twitter party for our FMF writing group. However, because of the busyness of Christmas, the visits, the baking, the exhaustion, we’ve taken a couple of weeks off. So here I am — writing with no prompt.
Last year at this time, I spent the two week hiatus hyping the change in format on the blog. Two years ago, I had missed a couple of posts and used the time to catch up. In years before that I just skipped posts completely or chose another topic.
This year, I’ll share a commercial — for Five Minute Friday. It’s a primer on what it is all about with the hope you might be inclined to join our group in the new year and contribute your two cents worth — in five minutes or so.
Lisa-Jo Baker created the foundation back in 2011 — 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 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.
I joined the community in 2013 — one of the few men — and witnessed the transition from Lisa-Jo’s capable hands to Kate’s leadership. She has nourished and expanded the community by encouraging 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 advice has always been, “Above all, have fun! No stress, only smiles.”
When she took over, she stated, “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.”
The Five Minute Friday exercise 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 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 of our individual inspiration.
To entice you to check us out, I’ve been including some of the experiences my fellow writers have shared as chronicled in Five Minute Friday: A Collection of Stories Written in Five Minutes Flat. This week, the words were contributed by Lizzy. I hope her thoughts inspire you to join our writing club.
“Five Minute Friday has meant to me a way to sit down and write, almost journal, snippet like entries of of what my life at any given point of time looks like. A way to record and share these so that these simple moments aren’t lost. It’s a time to put memories in my treasure box.”
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.
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.
THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: Remember no one can make you feel inferior without your consent. — Eleanor Roosevelt