National Novel Writing Month is almost here!
Yep, this is not a drill! Depending on your time zone, you only have twenty more days to prepare, if preparation is your thing. And let me tell you, even if you're a pantser, a little preparedness can go a long way. This might mean a detailed outline and a world-building bible, or it might mean having a few vague ideas to put on the wall and throw darts at. Either way, Nano is neigh.
Now, some in the Nano trenches are old veterans, like me. I've been doing Nano almost every year since 2005. Want to know how many times I've won? Once. That's it. I've been doing this for twelve years and I completed the 50,000 word goal once. If you're not used to pumping out at least 1,000 words a day, or are squeamish about writing without a thought to plot holes or errors or some just plain awful prose, Nano is a tough mother.
Let me break down my one successful Nano endevor;
1) I wrote when I got up.
Unless I had classes, I sat myself in front of the computer and would not allow for any fun or goofing off until my word count for the day was complete.
2) I made sure to write extra.
I padded my word count by at least 100 words a day. If I wrote more than that, all the better, the idea being that I wanted a safety net in case of writer's block or something unavoidable coming up.
3) I formed a habit.
Writing over 1,000 words as soon as I could during the day stuck after a while, so it seemed more like something I just did, rather than hard work. I think that helped the most.
So, to sum up; I recommend you find a time that's normally free every day to write in, prepare for bad days by taking advantage of the good ones, and make writing a habit by doing it every day for weeks.
And don't feel too bad if you don't make it. Lots of people won't. But there are so many more who will never try. Even if you don't get to 50,000, having work to show for it is always worth it.
I think Hunter S. Thompson said it best;
Buy the ticket, take the ride.