What I Didn’t Do in November

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A Month of Gratitude and Reflection

November is full of words for a writer. This month was no different. National Novel Writing Month as a challenge on top of the regular challenges I impose on myself.

There are some things I didn’t do this November.

  • I didn’t conduct my annual ANONYMOUS LETTER project. Every November I have my students write anonymous thank you letters to someone in the school. It has to be an adult working in the building currently so I am able to deliver the letters. This could be a teacher, the principal, the lunch lady, the custodian. The rules of the letter are to thank the person for something specific and to give clues to who you are. One of the reason I started this project was because I was tired of the same trite writing of being thankful every year. I also could never remember how to spell “anonymous”. This project hit both those targets. Plus, the ripple effect bonus was the joy and mystery that surrounded these letters. Sneaky smiles and “did you get a letter?” questions as students went past adults added an air of fun and joy. For that, I was truly grateful.
  • I didn’t read IN NOVEMBER by Cynthia Rylant to any group of people. Last year I used the picture book as a brain drainer for a Workshop Wednesday I conducted. I love this book for the prose and the imagery.
  • I didn’t answer work email when I was not at work. There are a few exceptions to this practice but 99% of of them go unread and unanswered until I am “on the clock.” I had taken my work email off my phone but realized with Google it was required for the calendar to be synced. The calendar is necessary, but I ignore the emails.
  • I didn’t go to the Writer UNboxed UNCON. This was heartbreaking really. My plans early in the year were to go to Salem the first week of November and be immersed in writing and learning. Due to some glitches I was not able to attend. Luckily, I have two writer friends who did attend and gracefully shared some of their knowledge and insights with me.
  • I didn’t do yoga every day. My 100 day end of year goal was to do a pose every day. I usually do a couple after my shower in the morning but that routine has fallen away a few days. Not a lot of them, but enough for it to bother me that I forgot.
  • I didn’t finish my NANOWRIMO novel in flash stories….yet. This will get finished but it might not be 50,000 words and that is OK. The story will be wrapped up though for certain by the end of November.

What didn’t you do in November?

There are a few days left!

You can read this article on Medium here and support me as a writer.

8 thoughts on “What I Didn’t Do in November

  1. There are so many things that I did not do this November, including not walking every single day and not eating as healthy as I could eat.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Your post encouraged me to reflect on the month of November, so I anticipate that I will be jotting down some ideas in my writer’s notebook. I think that the biggest thing that I didn’t do this month was to continue my journey of eating healthy and exercising to combat diabetes. I really got off track and need to refocus my attention on this.

    I love the idea of writing an anonymous thank you letter and plan to incorporate this into my writing instruction. Thank you for inspiring me!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You could do it other months as well but November seemed to be the right fit. I started walking more myself but haven’t gotten back to running yet. The new shoes are in transit though…I hope you have some wonderful thoughts for your notebook!


  3. I didn’t finish my first draft from my second novel but that was wishful thinking. First drafts always take time for me. As for you: Don’t feel bad about the things you didn’t do. You’ll get to them. Plus, it’s much more fun when you get to them on your own time.

    Liked by 1 person

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