NaNoWriMo 2023 was amazing! Overall, 2023’s NaNoWriMo felt a lot easier than NaNoWriMo 2022. I only warmed up with 5,000 words in the month of October, which was better than October 2022, though there still is room for improvement in 2024. In fact, my number one lesson learned from NaNoWriMo 2023 is eerily similar to my number one lesson learned from NaNoWriMo 2022.

Below were my three favorite parts of NaNoWriMo 2023:

Conquering The Hydra. This year was the first year I took down a Hydra! The Hydra is this fabulous NaNoWriMo lore challenge to write 500 words in 5 minutes. The NaNoWriMo lore is that back in the early days of NaNoWriMo (this year 2023 was the 25th anniversary of NaNoWriMo, if you’re curious), there was an intern who was racing to get words in for an end-of-day deadline. In the five minute sprint, the intern managed to write 500 words, reaching their goal – but due to the typing speed every word was misspelled except for the words “fifty headed hydra.” That’s how the challenge came about! For more details on the story, check out

The NaNoWriMo discords. Over and over, these discords are the greatest place for fantastic ideas, links to writing resources, and a vibrant and friendly community. In particular, the NaNoWriMo Coffeehouse is my jam year round, and the NaNoLanta and NaNoDenver Discords are superb!

The Global Write-In Crawl. Part of the NaNoWriMo discord experience is this amazing event hosted in November called the Global Write-In Crawl (GWIC). GWIC is a 4-5-day long writing marathon event usually held the first weekend of NaNoWriMo, hosted by dozens of incredible volunteers from around the world. GWIC has its own Discord server, and the different regions of NaNoWriMo around the world host 2–3-hour write-ins around the clock during the event. All time zones are covered. Many countries from around the world are represented, and each write-in will have a theme, often about some quirk of the region that is hosting the write-in. During GWIC this year, I requested the time off from work in advance and was able to participate most of the day Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, which was superb. I attended stops hosted by the terrific volunteers of Redding California, NorthShore Massachusetts, AuvergneRhoneAlpes France, Hungary, Saskatoon Saskatchewan Canada, New Mexico, Columbus Ohio, and Minnesota.

The spirit of GWIC is unique. It is powerful to know that in every writing sprint there are dozens of people from countries around the world who are sitting in their homes/libraries/coffee shops and writing with you. I’m writing in Colorado at the same time as someone is writing in Switzerland and someone is writing in Japan and someone is writing in Cornwall and someone is writing in Los Angeles and someone is writing in Australia. There’s something really really cool about that.

Thank you to everyone who encouraged me, wrote with me, or asked about my writing in November 2023! Your support has a huge impact on me.

View from SkyPond July 2023. This is one of my favorite views in the world. New 2024 goal is to write for part of NaNoWriMo at Skypond again (was lucky to write there for some of my April 2023 Camp NaNoWriMo!).


Murrie · January 4, 2024 at 9:36 am

What a lovely picture. How long is the hike to get there?

And – as always – your joy in writing is inspiring. Thank you for that!


    M. R. R. Dixon · March 23, 2024 at 6:33 pm

    Thank you for supporting my writing! The hike to reach Sky Pond from the Glacier Gorge trailhead is about 5 miles. Let’s go!

Leave a Reply

Avatar placeholder

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *