words and images by mk swanson
NaNoWriMo is Nigh

NaNoWriMo is Nigh

A Clip of NaNoWriMo’s Banner

Last year, I participated in my first NaNoWriMo, which stands for National Novel Writing Month. The goal is to write 50,000 words of a new novel in the 30 days of November.

I loved it. I wrote “Ephemeral,” a novel I consider to be my most grown-up, I’m-actually-a-novelist novel yet. Plus, it made me realize that even while working a full-time job (and even in the midst of changing jobs), I can average 1,666.66667 words a day, without even losing sleep. It was amazing.

The best thing about NaNoWriMo? — Chris Baty, the director, who sends funny emails to encourage you.
The best thing I got from NaNoWriMo? — My third complete 1st draft of a novel.

This year, I didn’t have a novel in mind, but now I’m considering one that I found in my ideas pile, tentatively titled “Habitas.” Also in the running is the 2nd installment of my Zini series, which keeps intruding when I try to write the first one.
So, a challenge: Write a novel in a month!



  1. Wow. That is quite a challenge and one that very few could meet. I applaud you! I love Zini so I'm hoping she will win out. I, myself have trouble with the self-discipline of getting my butt in the chair to write so I will not be dong this…but I will cheer you on and take you out for a celebratory drink on Dec 1st!

  2. I'll take that drink, if Dec 1 ever happens!
    Today I was planning to work on character sketches and an outline, but instead I have done nothing but read 50 pages of a book called Biocentricism, and consider regretting getting a laser treatment. Now, both my skin and my brain hurt, and I'm no closer to being ready for NaNoWriMo.

  3. Oh, Susan! You are one of the most dastardly dedicated folk I know. You have, like, superpowers when it comes to commitment.

    I didn't even comment on Fallow Through because I'm such a weak-headed baldness when it comes to shouting out a whole bunch of definite goals and then deciding it's much more fulfilling to just go take a nap.

    Like now.

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