Write 15 Minutes a Day Challenge (WFMAD) – Day Three

Welcome to everyone who wandered over here from Sarah Dessen’s blog! (Sarah has not stopped writing even though she had a baby last year, btw.) And before I go any further, Happy Birthday, Kate Messner!

I spent a big part of yesterday running errands, which is right up there with dentistry on my list of things that I hate to do. I had to take my laptop into the Apple store to see if the seizure it suffered in California was from too much sunshine or a symptom of a larger problem. The computer is going to get a physical, then a spa treatment. If I’m lucky, they’ll replace the keys I’ve worn out, too.

The other big part of yesterday was wrestling the jungle that used to be my garden. The weeds went nuts when I was away. I got two of the three vegetable beds under control, popped a blister, got dirt in it, and then poured hydrogen peroxide on it and made up new curse words. The broccoli is pretty much done for the season, but we still have lettuce. I planted cabbage yesterday and new eggplant plants (that sounds silly) because the ones I planted last month never exactly grew. The tomato plants are ridiculously huge.

When did I write? First thing in the morning. I also took a notebook on my errands and when I stopped for lunch at the grocery store deli, I wrote for half an hour. I also snuck in a few paragraphs while I was waiting for the shade to hit the garden.


Several people have written to me asking if blogging or email “counts” for this challenge. I suppose all writing counts, technically. But I’d like you to ask yourself why you’re writing.

Self: “Why am I writing?”

If the answer is because you’d like to write a novel and have it published, then perhaps you’ll reconsider having email count for your 15 minutes. If you want to write a novel, then write a novel! Write a page of it. write a paragraph. Write a physical description of a character or a snippet of dialog.

The holiday weekend approacheth. You are going to be tempted away from your writing by parades, softball games, grilled hot dogs, potato salad, fireworks and parties. You can enjoy all of them. Just wake up fifteen minutes early and write.

Today’s advice: Don’t judge, criticize, or edit what you’re writing this month. (There will be time for that later.) Right now, we’re concentrating on getting the words down on the page. You can do that.

Today’s prompt: Describe someone you know, but don’t give us the typical physical characteristics like hair and eye color. Try to show some of that person’s personality by showing them in action.


23 Replies to “Write 15 Minutes a Day Challenge (WFMAD) – Day Three”

  1. Today’s Advice is just what I needed to hear. I’ve been second-guessing my decision to not go back and edit my current WIP until it is completely finished. I do need to just get the words down on the page! Thanks 🙂

  2. Thanks Laurie! I love this challenge…and you are right…sometimes we just need to get the words on the page..worry about other things later..

    By the way…. I am so envious of anyone with such a great garden! I just WISH I had one to weed!

  3. I joined the 15 minute challenge but didn’t want to say anything – just in case I flaked out. :/ But I love how reasonable and…well, easy you’ve made this seem. I tend to get overwhelmed easily and then I get discouraged, but I can handle this! I still have a problem expecting every word to be perfect, but at least I’m putting words down.

    Thank you for this, for the encouragement and the inspiration and the simple motivation. :}

  4. Wooo, maybe I’m psychic! ‘Cause I took today’s advice last night. Only WIP words count, and I’m just playing around in the scene, trying to get it on paper in whatever rough form is possible.

    Now, it did take some sorting of WIP-notes and a short IM conversation with a cousin I haven’t talked to for a couple of years to procrastinate me into the WIP, but I got there. And only stopped ’cause it was after 11 and I was yawning. Thanks, Laurie!

  5. So which keys do you wear out?

    I’m leaving gaps and ?s and XXXs for things I have to find out about later. It’s remarkably exhilarating to tell my inner perfectionist to go play somewhere else.

  6. Your prompt is tempting, and I may try that later too. I think in the big picture, you’re spot on. Today’s writing was more in tune with “Why am I writing?” And it was much harder to stop. I don’t think e-mails, blogging and teechnical writing fully count. This challenge is going to work best for me when I stay focused. Good advice. Again.

  7. Today’s advice is so true! Normally I tend to revise a lot as I write the first draft, but this month my focus is entirely on getting the words down first!

    Did my writing already this morning–feels great!

  8. Today’s advice really smacked me in the face..haha! When I write I constantly revise and criticize myself, causing me to go basically nowhere with my story. Maybe that’s why I find it so hard to finish one?

  9. I wander over from Sarah’s blog. I read speak for class and pleaser, wonderfully written. Anyway, I’m an aspiring journalism student. Only two more years of college to go (score)! Besides, working for a magazine or newspaper, I also want to write my own book someday. Hopefully I will find more time to write this sumer. With your new 15 writing prompts I should have no excuse, right? Hope you have a great 4th!

  10. writing vs writing

    I’m really glad I did my 15 before I tackled a paying job. Immersed my self in the rough draft and now my brain is drained.

    It’s tricky. The writing I love–children’s and YA–doesn’t pay yet. The writing that pays I enjoy (and not just because it pays some bills), but don’t love.

    Time to replenish.

  11. Can I say how happy I am that you have come up with this challenge? It’s fabulous to have a reason to write everyday. I hope it’s like this if I ever get published.

  12. This morning I told my classmates in my MFA writing tutorial about WFMAD, so hopefully there will be some others joining in!

    Got my 15 minutes in with revising, but am contemplating the prompt as well. Character description is something I have a hard time with sometimes, so this one’s really helpful!

  13. Fifteen minutes done, plus a mild confidence boost; I was forced to re-type an entry that got an honorable mention in a recent (local) short story contest. They asked me to email a copy and my laptop recently crashed, so I only had a hard copy–hence the typing. It was a nice confidence boost, though. I always enjoy my work more when I’ve been away from it for awhile (although it was hard to resist making changes to the very piece that got me the honorable mention!).

    I’m glad to have this challenge, and plan on doing a bit of editing on an older piece. The heat is killing me, though!

  14. Day One

    I came across your blog yesterday, linked through Sarah Dessen’s, and as you stated in your blog, I made excuses to not write yesterday, but I started today, and the 15 minutes absolutely flew by! I didn’t want it to stop. I may continue writing after I post this comment to you. But I wrote at my desk, a rarity. The purpose of my desk is to just collect dust and hold old papers and notebooks. So for me to have a clean space to write at is a shocker. Perhaps I’ll make this a routine. Write at the desk. Be a traditionalist. Great idea for 15 minutes a day for 30 days! 🙂


  15. Your advice is something I need to keep in mind whenever I write. My internal critic is powerful, and I usually struggle over each and every word. My daughter’s 3rd grade teacher essentially said the same thing about her – that Molly tries too hard to be perfect and it stifles her creativity and her ability to write. She suggested that Molly keep a journal this summer (of course, that feels too much like “work” to her!). Have you ever read Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg? I’ve tried to do writing practice as she describes it – sometimes that helps too.

  16. day three

    Made room for another half hour, but only 177 words. I let my editor out and she dragged me back over last nights words, tweaking and changing. I must remember to keep her caged up until I finish the first draft. Chant: Practice makes perfect, but trying to be perfect stops all practice.


  17. I was making the excuse the first two days of the month that I was writing a lot of essays to finish up the summer term (I actually graduate in TWO WEEKS!), but I decided to be brave and give myself a little more of a push. So now I’m WFMADIMWIPing it (writing fifteen minutes a day in my work in progress). Thanks for giving me that extra push I really needed!

  18. My darling children played together like angels this morning, and I got nearly thirty minutes of writing time from that. I had hoped to get in more during naptime, but, sadly, the little one did not sleep. So I’m grateful I got my morning session.

  19. I did fifteen minutes describing our quirky city today. No fireworks tomorrow for us, but then ended up doing nearly a full hour of email that was basically the prompt. It’s a good prompt, but explaining to someone else how you see you them, can be really painful. It did also require copious editing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.