Each week I participate in a link-up hosted by Lisa-Jo Baker. The idea is to write for five minutes flat about the prompt of the week. But the very idea of writing for only five minutes is enough to scare some people away. “There is no way in the whole wide world I can write in five minutes,” admitted one beautiful and talented blogger I know.
But Five Minute Friday isn’t about timed writing—it’s not a contest. Five Minute Friday is about not letting perfectionism get in the way of getting our words on paper or on screen. Five Minute Friday is a time to “just write, without worrying about whether it’s just right or not.”
I like to check the word prompt before I go to bed Thursday night, then mull it over and let the words tumble out Friday morning. Some people write the moment the word is announced at the #FMFParty Twitter party or Lisa-Jo’s post shows up in their feed reader.
I’ve found that God often has a real message for me in the Five Minute Friday word for the week. Sometimes it takes a lot longer than five minutes to get that lesson into words. I’ve even written a post on one aspect of the word, just to get it linked up on Friday, only to realize the next week that it was another area He wanted to speak to me about.
I know that some of my friends find that the word often probes so deep into their story that their Five Minute Friday posts never see the light of their blog. But we’re not writing for the rest of the web; we’re writing for that audience of One, and often to process the lesson or healing He is leading us through. Don’t let the fact that you may not publish your post keep you from writing it.
The only hard and fast, “no ifs ands or buts” rule of Five Minute Friday is to leave some comment love for the person who linked up before you. But if I’m honest, I’m sure there’s been a time or two I’ve completely forgotten to do that. That’s the beauty of the Five Minute Friday community, though—there’s always more than one visitor from the link-up, and there are faithful commenters like Denise who comment on every single post they visit (and she visits a lot!). The Five Minute Friday community isn’t built on rules: it is about grace and freedom and throwing caution to the wind to write, whether it’s for five minutes or fifty.
Some people use a timer or stop watch. I glance at my computer’s clock for a rough estimation of how long I’ve been writing. Some weeks it turns into a Ten Minute Tuesday post. Other weeks, it takes about an hour to get five minutes of actual writing in, between the phone calls and the diaper changes and the fact that the little farmer dropped his tractor out of his bed when he was supposed to be napping.
Don’t let a timer keep you from one of the best writing prompts on the web. There is no wrong way to do Five Minute Friday; the right way to do it is to write.
P.S. This week’s prompt is “broken”, because Lisa-Jo’s blog has been just that this week, so we’re linking up on Facebook instead. If you’ve never joined in Five Minute Friday before, perhaps you’ll join the rest of us imperfect and broken writers as we write for the fun of it and for what God is teaching us through it? Don’t worry about how long it takes you: just write!