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AccountabilityBecause I’m a busy gal and am usually juggling multiple projects in the midst of a very full life, people often ask me how I get it all done. There are many different ways I go about actually seeing my projects. But as I’m in serious crunch mode at the moment, I thought I’d share with you what I’m trying to accomplish in a short period of time, as well as my plan for getting it done.

Here’s the situation: I am currently writing a book for teen girls called Doable: How to Accomplish Just About Anything to come out in Spring 2015. My publisher, Beyond Words/Simon Pulse, wants a first draft in their hot little hands by October 1.

This date normally wouldn’t have been an issue, but remember that little cross-continental move that has recently come up? Yes…organizing and executing an international relocation is happening right smack in the middle of what would normally have been my core writing time.

In early June, I set a deadline for myself of having a shitty first draft of the manuscript completed by July 31. That would leave me two months to edit and clean up the manuscript, as well as interview the girls I want to feature in the book. I’ve been steadily working towards that goal, but I woke up this morning with a start and the realization that July 31 is um, like, one week away.

Well, to that I say, game on. I’ve got two-and-a-half chapters left to go. I know I can hit this deadline, but it’s going to take some serious focus and planning.

Here’s my strategy:

1. Publicly declare my goal and post updates daily on Facebook as a way of crowdsourcing accountability (feel free to bug, remind, and encourage at will on any and all social media!)

2. Leave my lovely new laptop perched next to my comfy writing spot on the chaise, ready to let these fingers to do their thing

3. Wake up at 6:30am every day to handle emails and other online work so that the time my son is in camp can be used exclusively for writing

4. If I get tired and think I may need a nap (writing does this to me!), take my dog for a brisk walk around the block instead

5. Exercise every (yes, every) day

6. Write an average of 1500 words per day between now and deadline

7. Let other things, things that don’t have to be done in the next week, go

8. Treat myself with frozen yogurt every night after I’ve hit my word target

9. More green smoothies, less frozen Thin Mints

10. Don’t worry about things that are beyond my control (when the house will sell, where we’ll live in Amsterdam, etc.)

So that’s what I’ve got. That’s my plan. If I stick to it, I know I’ll hit my deadline.

And now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some writing to do!