We're just under a month away from the glorious time known as NaNoWriMo and as somebody who has failed many times to complete this task I am well qualified to write this OP. The month leading up to nano is a great time to get some preparation in for your writing.
Maybe this is your first time here and in that case Nanowrimo stands for National Novel Writing Month. The goal is to write 50,000 words over the month of November which will give you most of a rough draft of a novel. https://nanowrimo.org/
is the official site for nano and lets you sign up and get a cool thing to put in your signature that shows your progress.
You may be thinking that 50k words is a lot, and it might be, but really it's just 1666 words a day. The bigger secret is that it's just way to focus on writing and get it to become an everyday habit that you keep going. In fact you can set your own goal and hit that. Some people do way more, some do less it's all about getting writing done for yourself. If you want to write a bunch of short stories or essays instead that's fine. If you're working on a novel, but you also do blog posts you can count those words to. Maybe you've already started a novel, you can just keep working on that and count your new words. It's just a fun contest and a great way to get motivated to write by being held accountable to something by other people.
Some might say a lot of the advice I just gave in the last paragraph is cheating. I don't care and they're probably right. But I've got lots more cheating advice. As a traditionally seat of the pants writer I can tell you that preparation is key for Nano. First you're going to need to have a playlist ready. I do generally like the same play list every day, but a couple hours long one so you won't necessarily be repeating it daily. Also you're going to want to know what you're going to be drinking when you're writing. Got to have the right kind of mentality for the mood you are writing at that point in the book.
Oh, wait for serious preparation there are several good things to have handy when writing your nano book. Number 1 is a list of names for people, places, and things. Nothing can kill a good writing groove faster than having to name something and trying to come up with one off the top of your head. This is especially important in genre fiction where you can just call somebody Eric or Sarah and call it good. An outline of some kind is probably a good idea as well, but that depends on your writing style. I'd also recommend writing up bios for your main characters and places on index cards. Remember to add any major changes as you write.
Remember when I said you'd be held accountable? Well that's because we often get into a chat room and do sprints and help each other write. We have an IRC channel, but that's the old shit so I started a Discord room for Nano instead that this link should take you to. https://discord.gg/xKjWkWF
I'm going to try and be in there daily.
So there are 29 days of prep left to get work done. I'm going to be in the discord tomorrow morning at like 9 brainstorming ideas if anybody is interested.