Five Minute Friday

So, here’s the skinny: every Friday for nearly four years hundreds of people joined a kind of writing flash mob over here.

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We write for five minutes flat. All on the same prompt that I post here starting at 10pm EST on Thursday night and all through Friday. And we 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’s been. What a ride. What a wild meeting of minds and spirits and writers who believe that they were given a message no matter how many people end up reading it.

It’s outgrown my wildest expectations.

Five Minute Friday with Lisa-Jo Baker

FMF in real life at Allume

FMF with Trina Holden

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A weekly flash mob of writers. Who gather 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.

We write on.

We adventure on.

Man I love this place.

This wide open space of voices and the echoes of hundreds of women cheering each other on. A battle cry of encouragement.

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You can’t edit that.

You can’t erase it.

You did that. You and me and her and the woman who only writes every other month.

We wrote beauty like fireworks across the dark sky of the Internet.

We wrote a love story.

To the small places of the day – the five minutes that become art in our hands – when we put them on paper.

We did that together.

(Have I got to the part yet where I tell you that I love you?)

Because it’s time for me to finish now. As much as it aches to write that.

It’s my finish and someone else’s beginning. Because stories they just keep going as long as there’s a reader and a writer. As long as there’s five minutes to snatch right there in the middle of your extraordinary ordinary. I am unbelievable grateful for our four years together.

I’ve prayed and I’ve thought and I’ve pondered. And I have found the right friend to come and keep hosting a space for your weekly five minutes of writing. And I will become the reader now. And I love that I can sit down in the shade and rest while she leads you all on.

(Did I get to the part where I tell you that she lived my South Africa story for years? Because she did.)

(And what about the part where I share that she’s in Michigan now – my other home away from Africa home. Because she is.)

(Did I tell you the part of the story where I am sad but also I am certain? Because I am.)

Meet my friend Kate Motaung – my word sister, my fellow lover of Five Minute Friday and women and the courage it takes to put their words down on paper – she will be taking the baton now and running with it.

I hope you continue to run with her.

I hope you continue to pour your hearts out in five minutes.

To challenge yourself. To turn off the critic in your head. To 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 join in, just:

  1. Check what the prompt is on Kate’s blog.
  2. Write a post in only five minutes on that topic on your blog.
  3. {And if you don’t have a blog, no worries! Just leave your writing as a comment on the post}
  4. Link over to Kate’s place and invite friends to join in.
  5. Select the permalink to your post {so not your blog url but your post url }
  6. Using the blue linky tool at the bottom of Kate’s Five Minute Friday post enter your link.
  7. It will also walk you through selecting which photo you want to show up in the linky.
  8. Your post will show up in our Five Minute Friday linky.
  9. Be sure and encourage the person who linked up before you!

Our most important requirement for participation: There’s really only one absolute, no ifs, ands or buts about it Five Minute Friday rule: you must visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community.

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