WFMAD Day 3 – Hungry Monday

I’m off to give a speech this morning… a speech about writing. To teachers. I’ll be telling them about this challenge, among other things, and trying to help them shift out of editor mode and into writer mode. I’m also going to explain why focusing on publication can create problems for young writers.

Focusing on publication can create problems for ALL writers, come to think about it.

People at the beginning of their writing journey often assume that getting published is the goal, the end of their road. I did. I was willing to put all of my energy into tracking trends and editors and networking with other writers and thinking about how to market my books if they were ever published.

That was a mistake.

Yes, you do need to put some energy into those things, but the most important thing is to develop your craft. The best thing any of us can do for our careers is not to network, not to attend workshops, not to go to writer’s group, or read a blog or enter a contest or work on a website.

The best thing we can do for our careers, and more importantly, our souls, is to sit down, every day, and write. Like you are going to do right now. Just fifteen minutes, buddy. You can do this.


Today’s advice:
Here’s a quote from author Sue Grafton: “Writing isn’t about the destination — writing is the journey that transforms the soul and gives meaning to all else."


Today’s prompt: Last night my husband made me an incredible dinner; the kind of meal that you make for someone you’re dating when you are ready for the relationship to go to the next level. (Is there anything as nice as being courted by your spouse? I don’t think so.)

Write about preparing that kind of meal. It can be from your POV or that of a character. It could be the meal you’d like your beloved to make for you. Focus on taste and smell and making your reader very, very hungry.


16 Replies to “WFMAD Day 3 – Hungry Monday”

  1. I love this series. I’m doing the 15 minute a day thing and it’s helping me a lot- a very realistic, very doable goal, and both days (I know- only two days in)I have gone over the 15 minute minimum by some. Thank you for doing this!

  2. I actually wrote for about 30 minutes between my aspirin and the Niaspan I take for high cholesterol. I have to wait the half hour so the aspirin does something so that I don’t get a niacin flush, one of the worst experiences of my life. First you itch and feel hot. If you scratch, it burns, and then you feel like you are on fire all over, itching everywhere. It can last an hour.
    the writing was fun nd I kept getting more insights into this family I am inventing, which is a lot like my own childhood family.

  3. Here’s another quote you may like:

    “Writing is like driving through the fog at night. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.”
    – E.L. Doctorow

  4. Day 3: the pieces begin to fall into place

    The first couple of days were a struggle. I want to write and had a few fragment of an idea- a glimpse of the setting, an inkling of a piece of the conflict, and a shadow of the character. But nothing was coming into focus. I didn’t really know where to begin. This morning I talk with one of my best friends and found out some very disheartening news about some mutual friends. I sat down to try to sort out my thoughts and emotions on the situation and that sorting (in my writer’s notebook!) turned into about 20 minutes of brainstorming as more pieces of the idea shifted into place. I’m excited, but at the same time I’m not sure if this is a story I want to write. It’s going to be hard and scary, but if my character is forming her identity and wants her story told, it will eventually come.

  5. As someone with a first book coming out, this post interested me. I wonder, for you – when did you start to shift your energy away from networking/trend-studying/promotion and more towards your craft? Did it happen after getting published? I find it hard to know the right balance sometimes. I would much rather work on my book than building my web site for example, but I feel like I ought to be doing both.

  6. Writing every day

    Thanks for the inspiration! This is a great strategy in many fields. I’m an artist, and drawing every day for 15 minutes is equally as valuable – difficult – frustrating – engaging – etc, etc… Good luck with your month!

  7. Remedy for the muddy middle!

    Thanks for doing this again, Laurie. I’ve always been a slow, meticulous writer trying to cling to the comfort of “quality over quantity.” Right now I’m in the muddy middle of a ya novel, which I picked up again after completing a quick deadline project. I need to keep up the momentum and the challenge is working beautifully.


  8. Excellent prompt. I’m saving it for when I may need it, later in my wip.

    (Nice to be courted by your spouse–oh, yes indeedy.)

    wfmad — check! (After a day off because sometimes the other parts of life have to come first, no matter what.)

  9. I would love to hear more about your speech for teachers because I teach middle school writing. If you by chance have any notes that you would be able to share, my email is

    I am starting something new this year, Author Tip Tuesday, and I have been gathering tips from authors. Some are from authors who I specifically requested advice they would give to my middle school students, and I plan on later emailing more authors. Others are tips I find on various blogs. Your tips that you have been posting along with WFMAD will be great.

    I know that I also want to incorporate in quick writing/prompts, but I am still deciding exactly how. I have considered doing prompts one day a week. I will be able to talk to my students about how prompts have positively effected my writing. I thought I might even call it Free-Flowing Friday. We’ll see…

  10. Day Three – done! So far, I’ve only done your prompts, and no writing on my own. I’ve always had a great respect for writers, and believe me, that’s increasing exponentially each day that I try writing for a mere 15 minutes!

  11. Another successful day.

    I have got some really weird things floating around inside my head. Sometimes I don’t even know what’s in there until I get it out onto the paper and take a look at it. At least this is proving that YA sci-fi seems to be what I write best.

    Today’s writing is here.

  12. Three days and counting. I should be good to go…until the 17th. First day back to school. But what an achievement if I can do it even after school starts! Sweet!

  13. I skipped yesterday but today it seemed to flow really well and I was very excited. Thank you so much for the inspiration and that push to just write for fifteen minutes a day.

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