WFMAD Day 13 – a dousing rod for your soul

I tried to make a poll this morning, but I couldn’t quite figure it out. Instead, I’m posting some questions below. Please answer in the comments section. If you feel the need to write an essay about any of this, mail it to laurie AT writerlady DOT com.

How many days a week do you write?

How do you claim your writing time?

What is the biggest distraction from your writing?

Do you have a Bubble Buddy?


Today’s advice: You don’t have to know exactly where you’re going on your next adventure, but having a couple of maps will probably prevent a screaming death match in the car.


Today’s prompt: Find the biggest piece of paper you can. If necessary, tape together four our more pieces of notebook paper into a very large square. Now get out pens, crayons, markers, and/or colored pencils.

Draw a map of the neighborhood you lived in when you were a kid, or the neighborhood your character lives in. Start outwith roads and houses. Identify who lives where. Add in gossip about the different families when it pops into your head. Any stores? Where’s the bus stop? Cracks in the sidewalk? What happened on that corner? What did the air smell like? What was the best time of year to live there? Why? Keep writing and drawing and writing and drawing until you have not only a neighborhood map, but a memory map, too.


20 Replies to “WFMAD Day 13 – a dousing rod for your soul”

  1. I write 3-5 days a week, sometimes more, sometimes less.

    I claim my writing time by waking up super early while my husband is still sleeping and writing till I have to get ready for work. If I write in the evening I just let him know and I usually put in my earbuds and listen to music while I write so he can play video games or watch a movie.

    Biggest distraction: the internet. Checking email, livejournal, twitter, etc.

    I have a Bubble Buddy or something similar if you are talking about the dog toy?

  2. 1. About 2-3 days a week, sometimes more, not usually less.
    2. When P (my husband) asks what I want to watch (we’re big on Netflix), I say I’m in a writing mood. Sometimes he joins, sometimes he doesn’t.
    3. Hmm. Wanting to cuddle on the couch and watch tv or a movie rather than going back to the library to write.
    4. Huh? What’s a bubble buddy?

    And this prompt looks awesome! Can’t wait to try this tonight!

  3. I write 6-7 days a week and I’m *really* making an effort to take one day off a week.

    I start writing in mid-morning and go until I hit my word count goal for the day. I usually watch TV or listen to music.

    I just moved to NYC and the biggest distraction is wanting to hang out with my friends and have fun in my neighborhood.

    Bubble buddy? *perplexed* 🙂

  4. This prompt will be so fun. I am going to do it with my own neighborhood, but I am glad that it will make me think about my own character’s neighborhood as well.

    I write daily in some form or another: blogging, example writing for my students, journaling, WFMAD, my work in progress… However, I have not been spending enough time on my WIP.

    Claiming my writing time is the hardest, and it ties right in with my distractions. I also love to read and a lot of the time by the time the girls are in bed I feel so exhausted that I want to curl up in my rocking chair with a good book. I struggle with making writing a priority even when I am tired.

    I also am not sure what a bubble buddy is. I don’t have any type of writing group though, if that is what the prompt is referring to.

  5. How many days a week do you write? 7

    How do you claim your writing time? I plug in headphones and ignore everyone.

    What is the biggest distraction from your writing? My family, who haven’t figured out this writing thing I do yet.

    Do you have a Bubble Buddy? I don’t, unless Mr. Bubble counts.

  6. writing

    well… in august i’ve been writing everyday! 😀 if i’m in a good routine i will write every work day. when things get busy thats usually the first thing to go unfortunately. i would love to stay in the routine to write everyday though. loving this challenge.

  7. I try to write daily even when away. I claim my time by literally saying to myself I need to write where’s my journal. TV & the phone are my biggest distractions. What is a Bubble buddy? I think I know but not sure. I also want to say thanks for this impetus to writing…I read your prompts but sometimes just write what’s in my head and safe your thoughts for later…have a good one.

  8. I write every single day.

    I don’t think I do claim my writing time. I need help with that. But everyone around me knows I write and knows it’s important, and they don’t give me crap anymore when I say. “I don’t want to go out with you. Leave me alone. I’m writing.”

    My biggest distraction is my own self-critic. When I start thinking my WIP is never going to be good enough, I don’t feel like writing/editing. I guess it just becomes too daunting, and then I read and wish I could write like the people I read.

    What is a Bubble Buddy? Will you be mine?

  9. The minute the baby goes down for a nap I hit the computer.

    Biggest distractions are email. blogs, twitter and facebook, so easy to get sucked in and lose the hour!

    I’m guessing I don’t have one as I have no idea what a bubble buddy is!


  10. The number of days a week I write varies a lot. In the past week I think it’s been four, but I have a deadline coming up so that’s more than usual.

    I claim my writing time by shutting my door, turning off my phone, and doing most of my writing after everyone in the house has gone to bed.

    My biggest distraction is the internet. Sometimes I’ll want to look up a word or a fact that I need while writing, and then I’ll just end up on livejournal.

    I’m not sure what a bubble buddy is, so I guess I don’t have one.

  11. I write three to four days a week, if you count my blogs and my private journal along with fictional pieces I’m working on.

    I can’t say I claim my writing time.

    My freelance work eats up a lot of my writing time. It’s often difficult to justify writing to myself when there’s something to be done for which I will be paid.

    A bubble buddy? Apparently no.

  12. Pesky poll answerer

    1. I write every day if I count morning scribbling and actual paid employment. But the answer to the spirit of the question is that I write maybe four days out of seven. Trying to improve, though.

    2. I claim writing time by growling very loudly at those who try to interrupt. I also get up early, refuse to answer the phone and sometimes (rarely) work at night. I hate working at night.

    3. The biggest distraction from writing is real life — the demands of paid employment, family and house. I absolutely long to be a Victorian gentleman with a study and a housekeeper.

    4. I have an imaginary friend named Mo. He is made of bubbles. Well, now he is because he’s very susceptible to suggestion.

  13. How many days a week do you write? 5 most weeks, 6 if we’re not off on the Great Sorting. But it depends on what sort of writing we’re talking about. This week: paying work (reporting/journalism) 4 days and counting. Fiction: 0

    How do you claim your writing time? I walk upstairs to my office.

    What is the biggest distraction from your writing? Email and writing of the paying variety.

    Do you have a Bubble Buddy? A what? I guess I’d better catch up on your LJ posts.

  14. How many days a week do you write?
    Almost everyday. Mostly in a journal, but I do write little snippets of short stories and one novel I’m working on. My goal is to just finish it, for now. I think that’s always a good goal.

    How do you claim your writing time?
    I make sure to walk the puppy first, so he is good and tired out. That way I will not get jumped on while I’m trying to write. I then go to my awesome, ancient writing desk and . . . write. Usually no one will disturb me if I’m there.

    What is the biggest distraction from your writing?
    Oh gosh, let’s see: Facebook, e-mail, Twitter, Livejournal (this blog 😉 ), the pup, and last but not least, my cell phone. So basically, technology and people.

    Do you have a Bubble Buddy?
    How sad is it that I actually Googled this and all I could come up with was the Bubble Buddy from Spongebob?

  15. Hmm. I write pretty much every day if I’m working on something new. I’m less motivated in the revision phase.

    How do I claim my writing time? Well, I have four little boys, so I grab it in snatches when no one is hungry, thirsty, fighting, or bleeding. 🙂 Then, after they’re all asleep, I brew another pot of coffee and write until it wears off. Sometimes, if I’m crabby enough, my husband will send me off the the library or my favorite coffee shop for a while.

    My biggest distraction (besides my boys!) is definitely the internet.

    And assuming your “bubble buddy” question is refering to Sponge Bob (knew that one right away–one of the advantages of having so many kiddos!), I used to have an imaginary friend named Sandy, who was named after one of my dolls, who was named after my dad’s cousin, an athletic, dark-haired teenager that I stood in awe of when I was three years old. Sandy floated away when I was about eleven.

  16. How many days a week do you write? I try to write everyday, but it really depends on what else I’ve got going on. Right now, I’m getting back into the swing of work so I don’t have as much time as I would like for my writing.

    How do you claim your writing time? I claim it by sitting down and writing. I tend to write with my sister, so we just sit down and write together. I must admit that I don’t always use the time wisely though.

    What is the biggest distraction from your writing? The internet.

    Do you have a Bubble Buddy? What’s a Bubble Buddy? And how can I get one? LoL

  17. Writing habits

    I try to write everyday, but I’m in college full time and I have a part time job. I try and write one scene a day and my biggest distraction is probably a nagging to do list that’s always present in my head. So i try and get everything important done before I sit down to write in the afternoons. On the days I work, I wing it and squeeze in time whenever I can. I enjoy writing so I get it done. Do you mean bubble buddy like on Spongebob lol?

  18. Neighborhood Map

    The neighborhood map was the best WFMAD yet. Loved dredging up some childhood memories which I can mine later for good character and plot ideas. Also, I am flying across the country next week to spend time with my elderly Mom and she will enjoy reminiscing with me about what I scribbled on ye olde neighborhood map. Laurie, thanks for a creative and fun exercise.
    Also, it was a refreshing break because this prompt was easy and had flow! Some of the other WFMAD prompts have been quite challenging for me! Yeah, I know this is just free-writing but I am taking it very seriously and sometimes I get off to such a sucky start, that I just have to back up and start over and 15 minutes becomes 45. But that’s OK – I need the practice!
    Older Woman, Newer Writer in Chicago

  19. Wow!! Such a beautiful place to work! The love, thought, care, and hard work makes that cottage truly special.

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