The Countdown to November and a Month of Challenges

Posted On October 28, 2013

In my last post, I announced I signed up for NaNoWriMo, the insane, inspiring, rush to compose at least 50,000 words in a novel between November 1 and November 30. My enthusiasm and drive have shown no waning. In fact, the opposite has caught my attention. Instead of contemplating feelings of overwhelm and wondering how I’m going to “win” NaNoWriMo, I’ve decided to embrace a few other challenges.

1) NaNoWriMo-completing 50K words in the third novel of my trilogy

2) Poem a day-heard a couple of fellow writers speaking of this, and thought I’d add this to my list of challenges. Just found out there’s an official site through Writer’s Digest that gives a prompt a day.

3) Plank-a fellow yogi posted on Facebook a challenge for holding plank (top of a push-up) starting at 20 seconds on November 1, increasing the time until one holds the pose for 5 minutes on November 30. I explain to people, “It’s not about arm strength. It’s about core strength.” And saying this, it is not lost on me that my “core” is not just the pictures in my mind when I write, or the strength in my heart when I teach the kind of kids that seem to find their way to Homebound, but the strength I’ll need to meet and “win” each of these challenges.

4) Meditation-it has long been part of my daily practices, but has been recently pushed aside. Beginning with pranayama (breath work) and concluding with 20 minutes on my Zafu every morning, will add to everything that I’m attempting to complete.

5) Walk-I don’t have a dog, but it’s been said, “Walk your dog every day, even if you don’t have one.” The practice of “butt-in-chair” takes it toll. Exercise increases endorphins in the brain, increases circulation and breath, which increases the flow of oxygen to the brain. It gets me out in nature, which is inspirational to me. AND, it will fight the “spread” that threatens by spending so much time sitting on my bum.

6) H&H edits-as if writing my next novel and a poem a day aren’t enough when it comes to playing with words, I’m also committing to working on my rewrites/edits for the second book in the trilogy, Of Hoof Prints and Heartbeats. I’ll attempt to do one in the morning and the other in the evening, as writing and editing are two different thought processes.

Besides all this, I’m also completing my book tour, starting up my yoga and education blogs again, and challenging myself to use a bit more technology in order to post inspirational photos on my Facebook pages. All of these are challenges, and I think with my intentions firmly in place, there’s a better than a “good” chance I’ll complete each of them.

How about you? Are there any challenges that you wish to instigate for yourself? Are you doing NaNoWriMo? Leave me a comment. At some point, finishing each of my books was a challenge! You can view them at


Written by Michele Venne

Writer of immersive and intriguing stories.

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  1. 2unpublishedgirls

    Wow, awesome goals! Your list is making me feel extremely lazy. 😉 I love #3. Holding the plank position, for me at least, for thirty seconds is extremely hard. To hold it for five minutes?!? Crazy. Good luck and happy writing! -RB

    • michelevenne

      Thanks, RB! We’ll see how I do with plank, and with my writing challenges. I’ll be posting on Nov. 3, then again the first week of December to discuss what worked, and what didn’t.

    • michelevenne

      Thanks, Rita! I don’t know about “brave”. I think there’s a fine line between courage and insanity.

      • Rita Ackerman

        That’s true but I happen to know with you courage fits.


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