Write Fifteen Minutes A Day (WFMAD) – Day 1

Start your engines!! Write Fifteen Minutes A Day© is here!

Get ready to scribble!

The rules are simple. In fact, they aren’t even rules. They’re more like guidelines, the Pirate Code of Writing.

1. Commit to write for 15 minutes a day for the entire month of August.
2. Just do it.

Seriously. That’s all there is to it. You don’t have to sign up anywhere, or meet minimum word count goals or complete a whole freaking novel in 30 days. You can write fiction, non-fiction, memoir or poetry. Personally, I don’t think blog writing should count because that is immediately published and you always have your audience in mind. I think this month should be a chance for you to go deeper inside yourself. But if blog writing makes you happy, go for it.

Just. Write. Every Day. This. Month.
15 Minutes.

This is not the time for editing or outlining. Just keep your pen, pencil, crayon, or fingers on the keyboard moving for 15 minutes. You can use the entire time to write “I don’t know what to write and LHA is crazy” the whole time if you want.

I’ll give a prompt a day for anyone who is feeling stuck. But you don’t have to use it if you don’t want to.

I would love it if you guys checked in with me by posting in the comments section. There will be a prize each week for the person who wrote the most intriguing or funniest or most moving comment. Be shameless. (I will disclose the prize in a day or so.) Tell me where you wrote today or for how long, or what you were working on. Tell me what kind of resistance thoughts cropped up as you were writing, or trying to start writing. Tell me what it felt like when the 15 minutes were up.

OK, that’s enough blathering.


Disconnect from the Internet.

Turn off your phone.

Today’s prompt*** Give yourself permission. Write yourself an excuse note that gives you permission to not do something else in your life for fifteen minutes a day for the next 31 days. Be specific and clear about when you are going to write. Bonus points for writing about what might get in the way of your WFMAD writing, and how you are going to combat it.


***LEGAL STUFF: These prompts, like all the rest of the stuff I write for WFMAD and my blog entries, are my material and, thus, under my copyright. You have permission to reproduce them for classroom use only. Yes, you may link to these posts. Spread the word! The more the merrier!!


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  1. Sue Weber
    Posted August 2, 2010 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    I’m giving myself permission to disconnect from my non-writing life for 15 minutes a day. Laurie, your whiteboard schedule was my inspiration. No internet and no email and giving myself permission to ignore random derailing thoughts like what I should cook for dinner, what to do this weekend, I wonder when that yoga class is scheduled – maybe it’s now!. Distractions, all. I’m inspired. On to Day 2.

  2. Posted August 2, 2010 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    yay this is just what I need, after a wonderful summer of chaos alternating periods of extreme business with languish, writing 15 mins a day is so achievable and perfect to get those gears grinding ready for full speed once school is back – and the kids are away!

    Thanks for the jump start Laurie!

  3. Posted August 2, 2010 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

    I’m a day late, but not a dollar short. Starting NOW!

  4. KT
    Posted August 2, 2010 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    Posted a day late, but I did start yesterday! Wrote a nice long piece about my sister’s graduation party the other day, and how wonderful it felt to play again.

  5. deb
    Posted August 2, 2010 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

    I just saw this today. I’m going to jump in and start today.

  6. Posted August 2, 2010 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

    Count me in. Teacher orientations start next week, and I’m going to be busy. But 15 minutes… heck, I can do that no matter HOW busy I am!

  7. Lillian
    Posted August 2, 2010 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    Thank you! Thank you! I’ve been beating myself up because this summer I’ve let work and family commitments squeeze out my writing time so much that I’ve gotten out of the habit of writing. And, that has led to my wondering if I can write–should write–who’s going to care about these characters that I love anyway. I’ve been swamped by the big picture of how can I get back into this story and why should I? But, 15 minutes? I can do that! Reading your entry about the challenge just melted everything down and I can do 15 minutes. So, thank you–I’ve got some writing to do!

  8. Posted August 2, 2010 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

    wrote yesterday on a boat out in tracy arm fjord, surrounded by icebergs (yes!), curious hair seals, sealions, orcas in the distance, humpback whales….marbled murrelets, pigeon guillamots, rafts of scoders, clouds of seagulls. oh, it is sooo much easier to find time to write far from computers, phones, childcare, eldercare, dogcare. wahoo! now….to hold onto that inner spaciousness in the midst of all these other things which are, of course, part of the richness of my life……

  9. Ramona
    Posted August 2, 2010 at 11:16 pm | Permalink

    I am committed. I am on going to write long hand for my 15 minutes per day.

  10. Kate Lacy
    Posted August 3, 2010 at 6:27 am | Permalink

    Thank goodness! Conferences and visitors are over and gone……I needed a challenge! I’m sening on the message and getting disconnected!

  11. Posted August 3, 2010 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    Love it! I know I missed days 1 & 2, but I want to dive in. I assume it’s legal to write more if we feel so led?

  12. Posted August 3, 2010 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    Okay, I’m in. But, be assured, all my phone calls will come during the allotted time I have for writing. A notice will pop up that I have an email from a friend I haven’t heard from in thirty years and, if that isn’t enough, my answering machine will inform me I have won a million dollars. All I have to do is pick up the phone. Will I give in to any of these distractions. NOT! Well . . . maybe the last one.

  13. Sheri Olson
    Posted August 4, 2010 at 6:08 am | Permalink

    Exactly what I needed. I’m a few days late but I just did my 15 minutes and it felt GREAT. I started a brand new story with this “gentle” nudge. Thank you!

  14. Posted August 4, 2010 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    I’m a little late to this, but I’m going to join in! It’s a perfect way for me to get back into writing regularly. Thank you!

  15. Posted August 4, 2010 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    Followed Belle here so am also late, but eager to join in! Thanks so much. 🙂

  16. Posted August 12, 2010 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    I am REALLLY late in joining in. I have a GOOOOD excuse, family I had not seen in five or so years was here for a visit. Better late than never right? So I give myself permission to write for fifteen minutes each day for the rest of the month.

  17. Pam Matar
    Posted August 15, 2010 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    I love doing this. I just may use some of the things I wrote in my book.

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