Life Lately // NaNoWriMo & Writing Classes

Our first snowstorm hit last week and, as always, Minnesota had to figure out how to drive again. Little One had her first roll of the year in the fluffy, fresh snow. The perks of winter came to mind this weekend on Sunday. I met Kayla for brunch and when I walked into the restaurant we planned to meet at I was hit with the warm air and the scent of waffles as soon as I walked in the door. That’s always the best feeling! And when I came back home I was able to warm up my hands giving tummy rubs to my sweet Little One. These months just seem so cozy. As long as you don’t have to be out in a lot of bad weather!

An update on life, along with thoughts on NaNoWriMo and writing. //

This has been a month! There’s been something on my mind that I’ve been processing. It’s one of the reasons I am behind a NaNo this year, as it has overwhelmed my thoughts. It’s also caused a lot of stress, but I think I’m at a good place in my processing right now. The timing is perfect, because we have a long weekend for Thanksgiving and I should have plenty of time to work on my writing!

Even though I’m not as far along in NaNoWriMo as I would like to be, I don’t feel bad about it at all because I have still written more than I have in previous months and it feels so good! 

Outside of thinking and working, I have been attending a lot of writing classes recently. Some of you have asked which classes I’ve been attending when I’ve talked about it on the blog. The first class I attended was on Silencing Your Inner Critic. I didn’t really know what the class would be like, but we walked through a bunch of exercises to help manage that nagging voice of our inner critic, and it was so helpful! This led me to work on creating a writing routine, which I’ll talk more about next week. The next one was a class about writing an engaging narrative and I found this to be so helpful too. It’s definitely something I’ll keep going back to, especially during those periods when I feel like my writing is a bit dull. I’m also excited to continue reading the book we used in class. And the last class that I took in this recent stretch was about writing descriptive narrative. This can often be one of my weak points in writing. I can visualize things so well, but I don’t always record it as well as I could. This was probably the most helpful class for me right now, not because of the content of the class (which was awesome, but they were all amazing), but because we shared our writing prompts. I’m usually not one to share the really rough, release of thoughts related to a writing prompt that I didn’t have much time to think through because… well, that’s obviously not someone’s best, most polished piece of writing. But, we all shared and it was fun to see what others came up with in their prompts, so of course I shared some of mine as well. The feedback from the teacher was so encouraging–she loved what everyone had written. And toward the end of class one of the other students said she wanted to jot down some of the lines that I had written. I think that kind of feedback was exactly what I needed after a few months of questioning my talents and my abilities. 

So, that was November!

How has life been for you?

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  • Reply
    Bethany Lotulelei
    November 22, 2016 at 9:51 am

    I love the cozy picture of your hot chocolate and keyboard! My corner of Nebraska has not really had her first snow yet. Other parts of NE have had some snow, but where I live we have had a crazy warm autumn season! It is just beginning to get cooler, and we had a few flakes last week, but other than that it has been in the 60’s and 70’s! So wonderful. And yet, it has been hard to get in the holiday spirit when it still feels like September! I love the concept of NaNoWriMo. I have wanted to join in, in the past, but I always had too many responsibilities in college. This was my first year out of college, and I seriously considered it. I think you should definitely NOT beat yourself up for maybe not getting as far as you would have liked, because progress is progress! I tend to be an all or nothing type of gal, but I always have to remind myself that it is better to do something partially than not do it at all. I would have given up on so many opportunities if I had listened to my inner perfectionist. It is such a challenge to silence that inner critic, isn’t it?

    • Reply
      Crystal // Dreams, etc.
      November 28, 2016 at 11:40 am

      Thank you!

      I hear you on the crazy weather! It was very fall-like up until we got our snow, so it was really hard to imagine the holidays approaching without the snow. I think it’s all gone now, though. We had warm weather this weekend and rain. And thank you! I created a writing plan for myself for the next few days that might not be realistic (although it might be, it depends on how my writing sessions go) so this is a good reminder that progress is progress, even if I don’t make it all the way to 50,000 (which definitely won’t happen!) or to my new goal of 25,000.

  • Reply
    November 22, 2016 at 12:10 pm

    Seems like you’ve been busy! Love that you were able to attend so many classes and that you got such positive feedback from your teacher and that student! Way to go!
    Happy Tuesday xxx

    • Reply
      Crystal // Dreams, etc.
      November 28, 2016 at 11:37 am

      I have been! It’s no wonder the year feels like it’s flying by. 🙂

  • Reply
    November 26, 2016 at 10:19 am

    Awww, you’ve had your first snow! I love watching my pup frolic around in the white stuff… he never knows what to do the first time. It’s so cute! And I imagine that reading and releasing your writing to an audience–even before you think it’s ready!–can be immensely helpful to the process. So glad to hear you are doing this and that you are learning and growing in the process 🙂

    Happy weekend to you!!

    • Reply
      Crystal // Dreams, etc.
      November 28, 2016 at 11:37 am

      We did! It’s pretty much gone now, but Little One definitely enjoyed rolling around and plowing through it when she had the chance. 🙂 I also love watching pups get so excited and frolic through it! My enjoyment of winter definitely went up once Mina came into my life. 🙂

      And yes! It’s been so helpful and really encouraging to spend so much time with other writers and investing in these classes. It’s definitely something that I have needed to do during this season of my life. 🙂

      I hope you had a wonderful weekend Charlotte!

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