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NaNoWriMo: Prepare for Success!

Today I’m delighted to welcome my friend and mastermind partner, Marjorie Treu, as my guest blogger. As a team leadership mentor, coach, and trainer, Marjorie is here to teach us how to prepare for success.

Prepare for Success by Marjorie Treu

I’m a team leadership mentor/coach/trainer and don’t normally operate in the world of writers.  But, my good friend and mastermind partner, Rochelle Melander does. It was Rochelle who first introduced me to the National Novel Writing Month–NaNoWriMo–a couple of years back.  I didn’t think it was possible to complete a good piece of work in 30 days.  Rochelle, on the other hand, has done just that on more than one occasion.  In fact, she is breaking another barrier with her just released book, Write-a-thon: Write Your Book in 26 Days (and Live to Tell About It).


What does this have to do with team leadership?  Everything! Truthfully, it had more to do with leading myself as I finished writing The 78 Biggest Mistakes New Managers Make–What You Need to Know to Avoid Career Suicide. The biggest stumbling block leaders (and authors) have is their ability to maintain momentum under deadline pressures.

It took a deeper level of self-understanding to get myself psyched up enough to complete the book in a weekend.  It took not listening to the demons dancing around my brain planting thoughts of…

  • “You’re too lazy to finish this in a weekend.”
  • “Who do you think you are to write a book?”
  • “No one will read it so why even start?”
  • “The deadline is too short and you’ll never make it.”

Here are the tools that worked for me. Use them to create your own successful NaNoWriMo plan!

1.  Plan for every contingency

  • Schedule child care/baby sitting/car pooling/doggy daycare now.
  • Change your phone voice mail message that you are unavailable until the project is finished.
  • TiVo shows you will miss but want to see.
  • Find a laundry service.
  • See if you can get groceries scheduled for delivery.
  • Don’t let mail crowd your work space.  For bills, have checkbook, envelopes, and stamps ready.  Or, pay online.

2. Eliminate distractions

  • Send the kids and spouse to Grandma’s, if possible.  If not, use the lock on your office door to keep everyone out.
  • Turn off all phones, TV, and internet service.
  • Make sure all pets are out of the house and well-loved by good friends.
  • Ignore people knocking at your front door.

3. Take Care of Basic Life

  • Have 5-10 menus from restaurants that deliver available.  Circle the items you like best.  This is the only phone call you will make.  Why?  A hungry mind will not write.
  • Have enough caffeinated products, coffee and filters for the next 2 months (or whatever your writing deadline is).  No reason why you need to be jonesing.  If you are a smoker, be sure you have enough cigarettes to last you.  Why?  A cloudy mind will not write.
  • Have notebooks, pencils, pens, crayons, colored pencils, Playdoh, Legos, sudoku available.  Why?  A bored mind will not write.
  • Have a 10-CD booklet with your favorite CDs or a play list on your MP3 player of your favorite music.  Why?  An unenthused mind will not write.
  • Have enough toiletry products for the next 2 months – towels, soap, toothpaste, toilet paper, tissues, and lotions, whatever you use.  Get a new toothbrush.  Something that says, “Yup, we’re writing.”

Set yourself up for success.  Self-understanding is the catalyst that gives you the ability to lead yourself.  Leading yourself well is what sets apart good leaders from great leaders.  Learn the lessons early and become an exceptional leader.

About the Author. Marjorie Treu is CEO of Team Fusion, LLC, a company dedicated to empowering managers with the tools to create and live their leadership legacy. Marjorie most enjoys sharing her message in person, and has spoken on stages around North America, communicating her message of leadership empowerment in business. Her workshop Management Makeover-Building Your Dream Team in 30 Days is available for immediate booking.



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