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This week I’m gearing up for what I anticipate is going to be a month of chaos.

November 1 kicks off the annual NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing In a Month) program, designed to help writers and authors write a novel in a month. To produce at least 50,000 words. At 250 words a page, that fills approximately 200 pages. During the 30 days, I have a target goal of churning out 1,666 words a day, or at about six pages. Some days will be more, others less. (I anticipate a Thanksgiving food coma, so maybe a few less on November 28.)

nano_2013_winner_mugsLast year was the first time I competed in NaNoWriMo. Oh what joy I felt in plugging in the copy on the last day. When the word count generator told me I was successful in my task, I did a little dance. Yeah! WINNER! The book I created has since been edited and revised several times, and is now in the capable hands of a great agent.

The challenge of writing a book in a month is exhausting – mentally and physically. Priorities have to change, or at least alter. Families may be neglected. Calls may go unanswered for a few days. Protein bars replace planning meals. The DVR will fill with Sherlock Holmes, Icabod Crane and Richard Castle. And I will be oblivious to the latest Krazy Kardashian news.

During the same time as the novel writing, I also agreed to participate in a 21-day fit challenge with friends. So, I’ll add that commitment of planned workouts into the mix of writing a book, working and having a life.

Two days out from the start of the month and I am thinking, why did I do this? Can I do this?

The answer is, of course, I can! It’s all about time management. I remember my college days when I carried 18 credits, logged 25 hours a week at a law firm, worked out every day, volunteered with a literacy program, danced with a youth group and still had time for a boyfriend (although he may argue that last point). I did it all. I remember being exhausted most of the time, but it was possible. However, I’m fairly certain the spry energy of my 20-year-old self has gone the way of crimped hair and shoulder pads.

So, what will I do to ensure I hit my objectives? First, I’ve inserted all the entries in my Franklin Planner and will have to adhere to my schedule. I’ll set up a rhythm and keep it humming until all the tasks are complete. That’s how most projects run anyway – with goals, strategies and tactics in a timeframe. I know what I want to accomplish this month. I know how to do it and I know what I need to do to get it all done.

I just may need a little extra coffee to help keep me going.

 

NaNoWriMo information can be found at www.nanowrimo.org