WFMAD Day 1 – Welcome to the Write Fifteen Minutes A Day Challenge



Welcome to the Fifth Annual Write Fifteen Minutes A Day Challenge©!


The rules of the WFMAD Challenge are simple.

  1. Commit to write for 15 minutes every single day this month.
  2. Write, just like you promised yourself.
  3. There is no Rule #3. Life is already too complicated. Two rules are easy to remember. The point is to get you to write, not bog you down with silly regulations.


How Does This WFMAD Thing Work?

Every day for the month of August, I’ll post a quote about writing or art, and a writing prompt. I’ll probably ramble a bit, too, though expect to see less of that this year than in years past. After the ups and downs of the last year, I’m finally back in the writing groove, and that’s where my focus needs to stay. (That, btw, is why I haven’t been blogging or hanging out much on social media sites recently.)

The prompts are written without assuming anything about your experience or abilities. I believe that pretty much anyone can write about pretty much anything if they give themselves permission to do it, and put in the requisite time and attention to craft.

Many of the prompts are written so that you can respond with your personal feelings, memories, or experience. Feel free to respond, instead, from the viewpoint of a fictional character. Use a character from your Work In Progress. Make up a new one every day, if you want.


Where Do I Sign Up?

No sign-ups, although in years past, writers have double-dog-dared their writer friends to join them in the Challenge. I suggest a high-stakes bet with your friend, if you choose to do that.


Do I Have To Respond To Your Prompts?

Goodness, no! Write what you want, write what the little voice in your head is whispering. But if you are stuck, try out the prompt.


How Can You Tell If I Am Doing It?

I can’t. It’s between you and your Muse, unless you tell your friends or leave a note in the Comments section of my blog. (I must admit, I like it when people do that.) Sometimes people post their day’s writing in the Comments section. (I like that, too.)

You are accountable only to yourself, ever, for the amount of time you choose to spend writing. Or if you blow it off. This is a good place to begin the daily discipline, and to get in the habit of that accountability. Here you are with friends who understand the struggle. Feel free to tell us all about your writing challenges, or ask me questions in the Comments section.


Is This Connected to NANOWRIMO?

Nope, but I am a big fan of that project and strongly encourage all of you to sign up for it this year.


Will You Read What I Wrote?

Thank you for asking, but I have to say no. There are not enough hours in the day for what I want to do right now. Sorry.


 Can I Use Your Prompts In My Class?

Yes! Please cite me properly, that’s all I ask. If you get a moment, I’d love to know what kind of feedback you receive from your students. (Permission is only given for classroom use. The prompts, like all of my blog writing, remain my property.)


Why Are You Doing This?

Because the arts flourish in community. When kindred spirits gather they raise each other up. The differences between someone who has been published and someone who hasn’t are not nearly as dramatic as you might think. I still struggle to make time everyday to write. I still choke at the thought of the blank page.  I never write as well or as thoughtfully, or as fast as I want to. But I love writing. I’d be scribbling stories if I had never been published. It is the writing – surrendering to the magic – that is the best part of my day. It balances me, and makes me feel alive. I want to share that with you.


Ready? Set your timers to 15 minutes and get going.


“If the angel deigns to come, it will be because you have convinced her, not by tears, but by your humble resolve to be always beginning; to be a beginner.”

Rainer Maria Rilke


Today’s Prompt:  What things do you allow to get in the way of your writing? Be specific, detailed, and brutally honest.


Scribble… scribble… scribble…

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  1. Court
    Posted August 10, 2012 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    My ten-year-old daughter (who did YWP last year and is planning on doing so again this year) and I just stumbled across this because of a link from I-don’t-remember-who on Twitter. She’s already filling out her NANOWRIMO workbook in prep for November and can’t wait to try some of these prompts with her characters. Thank you!

  2. Cali
    Posted August 27, 2012 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    Dear Laurie, I just discovered this today on August 27th and this has helped me immensely. I wish I had found your blog earlier, but I will just start now. I’m definitely going to do NaNoWriMo this year. I have been wanting to do it for 2 years now. I am doing it this November! Woo Hoo! I wanted to tell you that I have a brilliant teacher at school that has us do “Free Writing” It sounds scary and kind of boring but it is great. He had us write in our journals ” How do I know what I think until I see what I say?” A quote by E.M. Forster. We write for 3-4 minutes about a quote, or something he wants us to think about. Our teacher started doing free writing when he was in high school. His creative writing teacher told him to write about “dead skunks in the middle of the road”. His teacher just wanted him to write about that for 15 minutes. His teacher told him to write about that, and it didn’t really matter what was written. He said that he found this extremely liberating.It helps to write and listen to your self write. Your WFMAD challenge reminds me of this. I wanted to tell you that I am so excited about this and it is helping me greatly. 🙂

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