Writing | Monthly Challenge
A couple years back, a good friend of mine bought me a wonderful book for Christmas in the hopes of inspiring my writing. It was a book called “The Five Minute Writer” an exercise and inspiration book for writers (you can find it here). It is what it says on the tin really, it provides you with a number of exercises that you’ll have five minutes to complete.
From time to time I’ve picked up this book and given it a quick go, and found myself quite enjoying it. Recently I’ve been in a bit of a writers slump, not motivated to write anything. As I want to use 2021 as my year to actually finish one of my writing projects, I thought I’d end the year by doing one of these exercises every day of December to get me in the mood. I won’t publish each day, I’m just combining them in weekly posts to save the trouble. Feel free to join in and let me know what you think…
December 5th – #35. Write a circular story from the perspective of two characters
December 6th – #49. Describe a street; what does it look like? who lives there?
December 7th – #11. Take one minute to write a single sentence (I did this 5 times)
- A sentence about water: It trickles down streams and crashes as waves, it’ll freeze into solid ice and dispearse into gaseous vapour that can burn, while also cooling once again to fall from the sky.
- A sentence beginning with “How…”: How is it that writing a sentence in one minute can somehow seem like such a painfully long and arduous task? (Side note – that was 30 seconds of trying not to end).
- A sentence starting with an expletive: Fuck me, writing one sentence in a minute is proving a lot harder than I initially thought; then again, if I try super hard to think of the correct use of punctuation, and even lose the ability to type correctly, it doesn’t seem to be that difficult.
- A sentence about death: For me, death is a rather strange yet helpful topic to inspire stories; from the archaicly dark to the witty yet humorous stories that decended from the mind of many a great author – Terry Pratchett being one of the greats.
- A sentence about love: Nothing has given me a more greater joy than finally understanding what it feels like to be truly loved by someone kind and caring, a person who will look out for me while equally challenging me to be the best version of myself that I can be without compromising who I really am.
December 8th – #46. Write a minimal story based around the theme of… (I chose guilt)
Jacob felt the pang of guilt as he heard his mum yelling at his brother for breaking the priceless plate that she had got from her mother, Jacob's grandma. The feeling of guilty only amplified as he heard his brother starting to cry, trying to plead his case. This was exactly why Jacob had avoided coming clean, instead leaving his wayward brother to take the blame. Only now he couldn't shake the gut-wrenching feeling of disappointment he felt. He knew what he had to do in order to make the feeling go away. He took a deep breath and left his room, the sound of his mum's yelling getting louder. Slowly he made his way down the stairs, his brother's tear ridden face coming into view. Jacob moved in front of his brother, ending the torrent of anger from their mother. Jacobs gulped, "I broke the plate, i'm so sorry". There was a moment of silence, soon filled with more of his mother's rage. Did Jacob feel any better? Not really, although he felt slightly lighter from having finally confessed to his crime and omitted his younger brother from the argument that he had been embroiled in.
December 9th – #41. Create a mind map on a beautiful word… (I chose Sweetheart)
December 10th – #48. Bullet point the details of a character you’re writing/reading about
Jacob Green (Aged 30)
- Whom does your character turn to for advice? No one, he doesn’t think he should burden people with his troubles. Preferring to face them alone.
- What are you characters hidden attributes (the character would prefer others not to know)? Much like the above, he wants to hide that he actually needs help. He is suffering but wants to maintain his confident and assured persona.
- What are you characters blind attributes (the character isn’t aware of them)? Deep down he is scared that if he gets too close to anyone they will leave him in some form or another.
- Identify a frightening situation ro moment from your character’s childhood. When his younger brother fell out of a tree that they were climbing. Jacob thought that he had died, when really he had just broken his arm.
- With whom does you character feel most relaxed or at ease? His younger sister Kate.
December 11th – #30. Write 250 words or more in 5 minutes on something inately boring… (I chose being stuck in traffic)
God why am I stuck in the car again? I knew I should’ve driven back home sooner, then again I desperately needed to finish that work. Was it really worth it though? Now, look at me, sat in back to back traffic that is so bad I’ve turned the engine off. Urgh why can’t the car be warm without the engine being on? Its the middle of winter and its freezing. I would try playing games on my phone, but for some reason there is no signal on this one part of the motorway. You would’ve thought that after all the huge advances we made with cars and building new roads, we would’ve made sure there was signal available for the people stuck in the copious amounts of traffic that we are inevitably stuck in.
Ok, deep breath, it can’t be that bad. The news on your phone did say that the traffic should be moving soon. Then again, it did say that about ten minutes ago and it still hasn’t moved more than a foot. I’m actually going to lose my mind in this metal contraption. Its not even like its comfortable to be sat in such a small space after half an hour. Of course I also forgot to put a book in the car on the one day when I could’ve really done with being destracted. My fiance isn’t helping, he keeps telling me that it’ll be ok and i’ll be home soon, easy for him to say seeing as he is already home and in the warmth.
I feel like the title of this article is a bit wrong, I technically did hit the second week I’ve just been unable to get on to my computer to actually get this thing published on the usual Friday. So, instead we have “Five Minute Fridays” on Monday.