So, here’s the skinny: every Friday for nearly four years hundreds of people joined a kind of writing flash mob over here.
We called it, Five Minute Friday. Because that’s the time limit we gave ourselves for each post. Each unedited, perfectly flawed post. Much like each of us who gathered here.
I wrote 172 Five Minute Friday posts.
We would write for five minutes flat. All on the same prompt that I posted here starting at 10pm EST on Thursday night and all through Friday. And we would connect on Twitter with the hashtag #FMFParty (It stands for Five Minute Friday Party).
No extreme editing; no worrying about perfect grammar, font, or punctuation.
Unscripted. Unedited. Real.
I wrote the first Five Minute Friday post on January 13, 2011. You can click here to read it and find out how it started on a whim and I never could have imagined it would still be going.
What a pilgrimage it was. What a ride. What a wild meeting of minds and spirits and writers who believed that they were given a message no matter how many people ended up reading it.
It outgrew my wildest expectations.
A weekly flash mob of writers. Who gathered over kitchen sinks and in conference rooms. Around virtual coffee tables, on Facebook, between the car pool drop offs and every Thursday night on Twitter.
And then we passed the baton on to Kate Motaung who has been hosting Five Minute Friday since late 2014.
And now, five years since Five Minute Friday first started, there’s going to be a book. A collection of Five Minute Friday posts compiled by one of our own – Susan Shipe.
A celebration of the writing that comes out when you challenge yourself. When you turn off the critic in your head. When you remember you already are a writer; no one needs to name you what you already are.
Your words. This shared feast.
It’s easy to submit a post to the Five Minute Friday compilation, just:
- Pick your favorite Five Minute Friday post you ever wrote.
- Email it to Susan Shipe at firstname.lastname@example.org
- BEFORE March 31.
- And if you have a testimony you’d like to share about what Five Minute Friday has meant to you – you’re welcome to include that in your cover email. We may feature a few of those in the book too.
And because Five Minute Friday is all about community – any and ALL proceeds from this book will be donated to the projects that Kate and I support in South Africa.
So, I sure hope if you’re a current Five Minute Friday writer or an alum that you’ll consider submitting a piece.
And for old time’s sake – the writing prompt this week is the word SURPRISE. Here goes, five minutes, unedited:
She was the last thing I was expecting. Those two pink stripes I thought would be born a bundle of blue. But they weren’t. You came instead and you are all things pink and twirly and sparkle and glitter. I wasn’t ready for it. I was afraid. I didn’t think I could live up to all your world of girl expectations. But you cupped my face in two chubby hands and looked me in the eye and told me, “Mama, I wuv you.”
And that was enough. That was all the things. That was the whole world in the palm of your fingernail-paint-streaked fingers. I was won over and I will spend all my days learning your ways. We will paint tiny lips and slip into pink ballet slippers and sing each other love songs across cookie trays and I will always treasure the way each day I unwrap more and more and more of the same.
This surprise set on repeat that gets up and calls me, mama. And BFF. And mom. And I am. I am your mother. I am the mother to a daughter and how could I possibly have known what that would mean. All these feelings that bubble out of you and catch my breath as I catch hold of your hand and spin you around again to that old tune. You my small little sugar. Thank you for remembering to find me when I least expected it.
You’re welcome to come and join us and link up your own five minutes on the prompt, “Surprise” over at Kate’s place.
SUCH a treat to have you back with us this week! Five Minute Friday will always have your fingerprints ALL over it. So very grateful for the gift of this community that you started, and how it carries on.
SO fun to hang with the most encouraging writers on the web again. Love you guys so much. Love how you host so tenderly and with such encouragement.
Just before reading this post I was attending to a surprise…Bella, The Miracle Dog. She’s a Toto-like bundle of spirit whom we found in a flooded ditch in 2013, her back broken.
But while her spine is fractured and displaced, her spinal cord is partially intact. She has re-learned to stand, and to hop, with lateral support.
She still needs help with her ‘duties’. I have a regular 0550 wakeup…Bella calling!
And I would not change it for the world. I’m glad she’s here.
#3 at FMF this week
Hey there Andrew – great to see a brave male voice in this group of writers. Thanks for stopping by and saying, hey.
Glad to have you back!! I never participated in it while you were hosting but heard wonderful stories about you!!
Aw man, I just love these folks like crazy cakes!
Thanks for encouraging us mommas to embrace all the surprises that come with motherhood. It’s such a beautiful, crazy journey.
So much beautiful and so much crazy :)
Awww, Lisa-Jo. I love that God surprised you with a girl. He gave me—the oldest of three girls—two amazing boys, and waaaay surprised me with the first one. I love that God knows just how to surprise us with His love in the most unexpected of ways.
So glad you joined in tonight.
I started participating in FMF a few months before you handed the reins over to Kate. :)
I have two boys as well so I know how much fun they can be! Nice to meet you and I love that you’re writing with FMF and Kate!
I love you so! I’m sad I missed chatting with you tonight but was so happy to see you here! My tbt facebook memory today was from when SurprisedbyMotherhood released… so you have been on my mind and in my heart right up at the surface all day long! Praying blessings over you, sweet friend!
Oh Karrilee – you’ll always have such a special place in my heart – thank you for loving on that book and this community so very generously. So grateful for you!
Hey Lisa Jo so glad to see you joining with us today.
LOVED being back together with one of my favorite groups on the web!
As you might say… All. The. Feels!!! Those pics from Allume fill me with so much joy. If that makes it into the book I’ll be more than blessed. Miss you! Also, happy fifth birthday to the spunky bundle of dancing glitter!! ;)
Amazing how long we’ve all been doing this together, eh? Those Allume meetups were so very special.
As a new writer on FMF, it’s great to meet the founder of it all! Beautiful writing and thank you for starting this inspiring group!
LOVE this community and that it’s continued with Kate and that at the end of the day it belongs to us all.
So nice to see you in the FMF link this week. Happy birthday to your lovely little daughter. My girls are 25 and 27 and this too is a sweet sweet season. I have so loved mothering daughters.
Thanks Joyce – so fun to be with you all again.
My girl came first, then two boys. She is the reflection in my mirror. The beat of my heart. And, she is still those things at 47. Lovely post, Lisa-Jo. xo
Lisa-Jo, thank you for starting FMF. It has blessed my life in so many ways. Some of my best friends are people I’ve met right over there and some of them I haven’t even met in real life YET! I love the idea for the book and submitted my fave already. Oh and little girls melt my heart. I’m not a mom but desire to be one some day.
It is so fun to have your writing here. I love your soulful approach to the word.
Loved reading your post. I have two girls and recognized a lot of what you shared. God’s beautiful blessing.
Thank you so much for starting Five Minute Friday and for choosing such a beautiful soul to take over from you. I didn’t start joining in till the end of last year, when I started blogging, but if my memory serves me correctly I first heard about FMF via your blog: because I read your beautiful book (crying through it), which took me here. FMF has been a huge blessing in such a short time: both the community and Kate’s God-given ministry and heart.
Aw, I loved our little girls-now-my-two-best-friends from the moment they were born. I always thought I’d be a boy mom (my husband has one sibling, a brother), and I always felt I related to my boy students better (because I wasn’t that girlie, I guess). But God has used them to grow me, make me, create in me a host of things I didn’t even know I needed. They bless my life every single day. And now our oldest will be having her own bundle of joy–and surprise! It’s a boy!
Fun to see you back at a 5mf.
I’ve got 6 of those girlies… oldest one is off at her first year of college; just got off the phone with her. Loving this parenting of one who is becoming an honest to goodness friend.
Your girl is just beautiful, like her mama.
What a sweet tribute to the beauty your daughter gives. I have two daughters. I remember wanting a daughter—only allowing myself to admit it well into my pregancy. She never let us know she was a girl until she was born.
I remember feeling fear too. Will I have what it takes to love her well? I feared the dreaded mother-daughter conflicts I imagined would come.
My second daughter came as a gift to my first daughter. “Thank you for giving me a sister,” she told me.
With two boys and two girls, my house knows the joys of painting nails and Nerf bullets.
Thank you for sharing the treasure of your girl. Best friends mother-daughter love is awesomeness.
Glad to have you back! I wouldn’t miss this weekly writefest because you and the girls were so gracious to me when I first joined. Hope all is going well! Blessings.
So fun that you got to join in this week!
From the bottom of my heart, thank you for starting this “Five Minute Friday” thing. I have been hanging with this crew for almost two years and I can’t imagine my life without them. There’s nothing but encouragement, grace and real friendship flowing in that community.
I so enjoyed the description of your relationship with your daughter. You and she are blessed to have each other!