It is no secret that I am a huge fan of Hannah Brencher. Her TED Talk is amazing, her tweets are hilarious & her Instagram stories are a must watch. I have been reading her blog for as long as I can remember and she is for sure someone I want to be best friends with. (I also interviewed her not too long ago!) So when Hannah tweeted this past January about the chance to win free seats to her writing intensive, I immediately replied. Sure enough sweet Hannah graciously gifted me a chance to be a part of her winter writing intensive. Unfortunately life has been chaotic and I haven’t gotten to sit down to watch the full intensive, but thanks to spring break, here I am.
What is it & how does it work?
The writing intensives are three hour long workshop classes taught by Hannah about the writing process. She has published one, soon to be three books but is also a master at blogging. She walks you through her writing process, how to form a digital prescence and your time is filled with so many tweet worthy quotes. Hannah’s online classes are done through a live stream, where there is a comment box to interact with her and others in the chat. I’d attended her free Craving Faith class not too long ago so I knew what to expect: you will be emailed a link and a time which you can virtually attend or the next day be emailed a recap.
What did I learn?
So. Much. This writing intensive is much more than just writing. Essentially everything Hannah has learned crammed into one class. I took so many pages of notes and my heart was so full by the end of it.
DISCIPLINE. DISCIPLINE. DISCIPLINE:
Small things on repeat = progress = discipline. Something I have been working on and what Junior year has taught me is the importance of discipline. Whether it’s writing the blog, journaling daily, working out or studying, discipline is key. Hannah applied this obviously to writing but it was a point she continously came back to. As she often said “discipline isn’t sexy” it isn’t meant to be appealing but it is necessary. Discipline is going from point A to point B and looking back to see how far you’ve come. No one is going to give you a thing, you have to do it and work it out.
This more so applies to writing but “if something makes you want to throw up, chances are you should write about it” (-Hannah). While I don’t sit here on the blog and completely spill every detail of my heart out, hey sometimes I do, we should challenge ourselves to just go for it. I’ve found this to be especially true in my daily journaling: more often then not if there is something I really don’t want to write about, that probably means I should write about it. Along the lines of writing truth: “That is the truth that needed to come out of you right now and maybe you willl hate it looking back but that is what you said in a moment when you had to give it all.” – in response to writing bad drafts which also applies to life.
Hannah used the analogy of a buffalo to explain how we need to be living and embracing challenges. We can wait in the storm or dance in the rain, the choice is up to us. Something that has been super convicting this school year is how I use my time and how social media really eats up my time. Hannah frequently emphasized that we cannot make our own stories by watching others. We can’t have our own super cool Instagram page if we don’t stop sitting around looking at others. We can’t write cool blog posts without living. This doesn’t just apply to writing and storytelling but every single situation in life. As a student, I can’t learn if I don’t stop comparing my grades to others and stop sitting around “wishing”. As a believer in my faith I can’t grow without planting my feet in and really trying. As a friend and daughter I can’t become better without going out and learning. If we sit and watch everyone’s lives go by without living our own, we won’t have stories to tell.
I could ramble on and on about the different things I learned but her classes are so rich and obviously more eloquently worded than how I just explained.
Disclaimer: I won Hannah’s writing intensive through a giveaway on her Twitter but as always my opinions are authentic and real.