Winning NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMo 2011 is over. Finally! I’m so happy to say that I wrote more than 50,000 words in the month of November. What did I win? The privilege of posting the winner badge on my page. I can also buy a winner a t-shirt. But I gained so much more than that.

I turned off my internal editor for an entire month. Her name is Mrs. Peabody and she’s loud and mean. (Do I sound like a nutcase for having named her?) She’s the reason it can sometimes take me two hours to write one paragraph only to delete it the next day. Without Mrs. Peabody, I worked faster and there were several days when I wrote 1,000 words in an hour.

I have a few more chapters to write before I reach The End of my NaNo manuscript. The 50,110 words I do have are rough, but I’m not stuck at the end of Chapter One, unable to move forward with my story. I have 165 pages for Mrs. Peabody to edit. I wish she’d be more gentle in her criticism, but she’s pretty good at her job.

She’s been on vacation for a month, so I’m hoping that she’ll come back to work with a better attitude. If she doesn’t, at least now I know how to shut her up. I’ll just give her more vacation time.


Filed under editing, free writing, Manuscript, NaNoWriMo, novels, Writing

26 responses to “Winning NaNoWriMo

  1. Congratulations Shary!! I’m so proud of you and can’t wait to hear all about your writing experience and your manuscript. And good job leaving Mrs. Peabody behind – nobody invited her to NaNoWritMo!!

  2. That is just fantastic, Shary, I’m sure you feel so good about yourself!! I have a hard time shutting off my editor too. I am impressed you could do it!

  3. Congrats!!!! This is what I call sticking with it!!! WOW 50,110 words!

  4. anitra

    excellent ! Perhaps Mrs. P could be sent somewhere far away and long ago.

  5. Thanks so much Susan, Michael Ann, Ariana and Anitra. Your support means so much! And I just might fire Mrs. Peabody for good. I bet I can find a better editor to hire in her place.

  6. Andrea Thomson Viner @ Iowa Dog Blog

    Congrats, Shary! That is quite an accomplishment. And I think it’s hilarious that you named your inner critic Mrs. Peabody. Perfect.

  7. I love your description of Mrs. Peabody. But, seriously, is she just the edit application that is part of Word, or is she a separate, special software you purchased to help with editing? Just curious.

    Congrats on finishing. It’s quite an accomplishment!

    • Thank you, Monica!
      I wish Mrs. Peabody was just software. Unfortunately, she’s that voice in my head who criticizes everything I write. Maybe I’ll have to do a post on her so you can see just how mean she is.

  8. Congratulations on making your NaMoWriMo goal. I bet it was great to give Mrs. Peabody a vacation, and I hope she comes back with some constructive – but nice – editing to help you clean up your manuscript. Would love to see a post on her – I bet it would be funny.

  9. Well done Shary! It is a fantastic achievement. Try not to be too hard on Mrs. Peabody – she knows what she is doing and you love her really! 🙂

  10. Thanks, Bongo and Bassa. NaNoWriMo wasn’t easy, but I’m so glad I did it. We’ll just have to wait and see about Mrs. P. She’s one tough cookie!

  11. Shary, congratulations! We have missed you but really, that Lola has done such a fine job at filling in for you! I have enjoyed her posts sooo much! As a matter of fact, I think she should have her own blog! Roxy would be her first follower! hee hee! Something tells me Mrs. P is in a fine mood with your win and will be extra gentle and kind with her editing! 🙂

    • Lola likes subbing for me, but I don’t know if she wants her own blog. She keeps pretty busy patroling the garden and cajoling me to walk her or play with her. She’d love to read Roxy’s blog, though. 🙂

  12. Congratulations Shary on your great NaMoWriMo accomplishment! I have been so impressed reading about all of the NaMoWriMo participants. Very impressive. I hope you are enjoying accomplishing your goal and the momentum keeps you moving forward — with or without Peabody! Congrats!

  13. I love that you’ve named your inner critic (and I may have to follow suit!!) but I love more that you achieved the 50K+ words. WOW!! (Take THAT Mrs. Peabody!!) Nice job!

  14. Thanks, Caryn & Julia. It does feel good to have finished. I’m still tired, but starting to get inspired again. Looking forward to seeing how Mrs. P. behaves when we get back to work.

  15. Nel

    Congratulations Shary!
    Writing 50,000 words in a month is a currently distant dream. I just don’t know how you stayed so inspired (other than Mrs. Peabody breathing down your neck).
    I’m looking forward to reading your work soon; that is if you intend for it to be published.


  16. Good for you, Shary! I’m proud of you. You must feel so accomplished. So when do we get to read your work?

  17. Nel & Leah,
    Thanks for your support. I hope to publish my work one day, but I don’t see it happening soon. My current WIP is very rough. I may do some short stories and post excerpts of those, but I’m not sure about that yet either. I guess Mrs. Peabody still has me feeling inadequate. :/

  18. Oh, Shary! You must be so, so proud. I’m so happy that the NaNo method worked for you this time around. I have my own Mrs. Peabody (though not as strict), and I am still an edit-as-you-go gal. But what an accomplishment for you to have reached this milestone. Keep going!

    • Thanks, Melissa! As soon as I’ve caught my breath, I’ll finish this draft and then it will be time for rewrites. Still lots of work, but pushing myself to write quickly helped me leap ahead of my normal writing pace. Maybe it won’t take me six years to finish this novel. 🙂

  19. Good for you! Isn’t liberating to shut that witch of a critic up for awhile? I don’ know when (or if) I will ever get back to that terrible first draft, but I love the fact that I created it I a month.

  20. Hey! I did NaNo too and won this year! Feels great, right? Congratualtions! Kx