Two Minutes: A Challenge

chipotle2I went to Chipotle for lunch the other day, and as I was munching on my burrito, I noticed the cup had a story! What a great place for flash fiction: limited space, captive audience, holds your sweet tea, etc.

It turns out this writing series, titled Cultivating Thought, is the brainchild of Jonathan Safran Foer, author of Everything Is Illuminated and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. He sees these pieces of writing as gifts that might have beautiful payoffs, which is a lovely sentiment in this world of consumerism. He says, “The question isn’t ‘Is this going to change the world?’ The question is ‘Is this better than having a blank bag?'”

The featured essays and stories are exclusive to this series—you can’t find them anywhere else. The goal of this project is to “allow people to connect with the musings of these writers with whom they may or may not be familiar and create a moment of analog pause in a digital world, provoking introspection or inspiration, and maybe a little laughter.” Anything that promotes reading, writing, and thinking is a win in my book.

The series currently features work from such greats as Lois Lowry, Jonathan Franzen, Mary Roach, and Sue Monk Kidd. You should really check out the full list of authors, though. It’s impressive and makes me want to hoard Chipotle cups. The title of each piece begins with the phrase “Two Minutes,” and it’s interesting to see how each author made the title their own. For instance, Lois Lowry‘s is “Two-Minute Introduction to a Dog,” and Aziz Ansari‘s is “Two Minutes About My Toothbrush.”

Now I’m wondering what my Two Minutes would be about. In fact, Lesley and I are challenging ourselves to write a Two Minute essay or story in April. At the end of the month, we’ll post them here on the blog.

Your part is this: join us in the challenge!

  1. Check out the Two Minute pieces on the Cultivating Thought site by clicking on the various authors.
  2. Write your own Two Minute essay or story in 350 words or fewer.
  3. Send it to me ( with the subject line “Two Minutes.”

We’ll post yours too!

So, what do you say? Let’s roll up our sleeves and start writing!

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