What I Didn’t Do In November

A Month of Gratitude and Reflection

Tammy Breitweiser
Nov 26 · 3 min read
Photo by John Christian Fjellestad on Unsplash

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!

Tammy Breitweiser

Written by

Tammy is force of nature; woman of honor; seer of nuance; ; & an accidental inspirationalist who writes. https://mailchi.mp/e19e03e6cd33/tammynews

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