Scribble & Scrawl 15 Minute Challenge: Litany Against Your Bad Habit

In the interest of keeping things fresh around here I would like to introduce a space for us to play. I will be posting a challenge each week and it may take a little while for my hatchling of an idea to sprout but I’ve heard these things take patience and measured hitting of the refresh button.

I propose a 15 minute writing challenge (you may use 20 if you need to make a caffeinated beverage or do some kind of warm up stretches and/or dance beforehand). Each week(ish) I will post a prompt and, when you choose, you may create and post your 15-minute composition in the comments. I’ll highlight the best posts and their blogs at the end of the week.

The important features of the challenge are that you don’t exceed the time limit and that you don’t stray tooooo far off task. The time limit is for two reasons, the first being that impromptu compositions are charming and rare. The second is that while I whole-heartedly endorse the art of procrastination, I’d like you to be able to get on with your day. Think of this more as an alternative to poking your eye out with a pen as a way of bringing variety to a long stint at your desk or whatever your daily activity may be.

Format is up to you. Humour will rank very highly. If I have to remove your comment because it would offend my very open-minded and not at all conservative mother… well you get the idea.

When you truly need a break, the only place to look for inspiration is elsewhere.

This week’s challenge is to write a Litany Against Your Bad Habit. For example, I am going to refer you to the Litany Against Fear from Frank Herbert’s Dune, beautifully showcased in this freshly pressed post from Rollings Reliable, Brownies with Bite. Maybe you have a problem with nail-biting, drinking from the carton, leaving your socks on till last, ignoring the laundry basket or your deadlines. I will not judge. But maybe you can help yourself?

In the interest of getting things rolling, I will start with mine.

Litany Against Rumination

You are thinking again. Stop.
Stop thinking.
Do something.
Write. Make tea and breathe.
Breathe in and out and in and out and out and out and out.
Are you still thinking?
Nothing is good or bad, but thinking makes it so.
Hamlet said that.
You are not now, nor will you ever be, Hamlet-crazy.
But the crazy man has a point.
Stop thinking. Goose. Eat chocolate if you must.
Tomorrow you will know more.
Likely, understand less.
And pickles are a constant.

Let the musings begin.

11 responses to “Scribble & Scrawl 15 Minute Challenge: Litany Against Your Bad Habit

  1. Pingback: Our Sunday Best: The Mancala Hour « Bluebird Blvd.·

  2. Thanks for the link and I love it! I often get caught up spending more time planning out to do things than actually doing them. I need a litany against spinning my wheels haha.

    • Hi Olivia! Your post started Courtenay and I on quite the tangent. It was great fun! If you to write that litany against spinning your wheels, this is the place.


    Jeans, I will hem you
    with the sharp needles and clean thread
    my grandmother gave me—

    with the knots tamed by her teeth
    with the scissors’ flashing hand—
    but not today. Today, I am writing.

    **Wow, this prompt was a tough one for me, Kate! After multiple revisions, this is what remains.

  4. I like it Courtenay 🙂 It is concise. It is abrupt. Sometimes, bad habits need a firm hand. I have a constant battle with jeans that are about 2 inches too long for me.

  5. Dear Self-Doubt,

    You are looking very smart and attractive today, and I love you….What’s that? You don’t believe me?

    Of course you don’t. You never do.

    You’re actually very tiresome, and I’ve decided I’m not getting much out of this relationship anymore. I’m going to take my animal crackers and my ball and go play with Self-Assurance.

    …Huh? NO. Animal crackers are NOT childish. Or fattening. They make me happy. See? You always do this.

    And by the way, “Citizen Kane” DOES suck. It does! It just does. You don’t need to say you like it just so people think you’re smart. Just because it had some innovative stuff doesn’t make it a good movie. It’s like making a cake with a new recipe or a few good ingredients; it doesn’t automatically mean it’s going to taste good.

    Ugh. This is exactly why no one wants to hang out with you.

    If you ever want to join S.A. and me, leave that scowl at home.

    Until then,

  6. I LOVE it Jules! I’m pretty sure you should never trust anyone who doesn’t believe in animal crackers. No good could come of it.

  7. Pingback: Scribble & Scrawl 15 Minute Challenge: Ode To A Trivial Thing That Is Making Your Day | Old, new or true·

  8. Litany Against Talking To Mozilla Firefox…

    “Not Responding” is just plain rude.
    I am not in the mood
    and I will keep pressing!
    I’m fine, I’m fine. I am not, not stressing.
    Come on come on come on, do something! Do whatever.
    If we all just went around not responding… we’d never
    get any…
    Oh, aaaahhhh!

    Do what you’re meant to.

    This is irksome.
    Yep. Irksome.
    Very irksome indeed. I. am. irked.
    You are hurting me in the head. My. Head. Hurts.

    (Yes, I just said grrr out loud. Respond to that, why don’t you?)


    If you belonged to me, I would have thrown you through a window by now.
    You’re lucky. Work! Or I will actually stamp on you. With my toes. And cry. And growl.
    Don’t be such a bum-pocket! Respond, you mouldy wine-stain! You plum snot!
    Oh for God’s sake, for God’s sake, for God’s sake- you know what?
    I’m gonna use Internet Explorer instead. Watch me!

    I’m not.

    Click, click, click…. Ha! Thought that’d get you.

    (Though I really shouldn’t spend this long talking to you, should I…)
    Share this:

    Press This

    • This is great! I am thinking you must have quite a bit of difficulty with the ol wordpress stats counter. It’s a time sink if ever I found one! Whenever I find myself getting frustrated at the ‘slow’ pace of the web-browser I try to think back to the days of dialup. At least I get to laugh a little during the wait.

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