I found out about Nano on November 6th, 2008. I had already "lost" six precious days, but I thought that if I could write 50,000 words in 24 days, I could do anything. Keep in mind that November is my busiest month of the year, including three birthdays and our annual Thanksgiving Feast that we host for our extended family. That year my baby was two years old, and against all the odds stacked against me, I "won" NaNo, that is to say, I reached and even passed the 50,000 word mark. I had never had a feeling of euphoria as fantastic as typing The End a couple of hours before midnight marked the end of my month of literary insanity.
Don't spend so much time online though. You'll beed every minute to work on your story. But here are some links with great advice for this month:
From former agent and now author Nathan Bransford's blog:
From the Galley Cat blog.
And from Larry Brooks, the master of story architecture.
I love NaNo because the deadline gives me an incentive to get the first draft out of my system, but most of all because it's fun. I imagine writers all over the world, cranking up the words, these worlds and peoples and stories coming to life.
Take the challenge, have fun, and in December, when you have a brand new manuscript, rest for a few days (or weeks!) and then go back and revise it.
If you wish, "buddy" me on the NaNowriMo website. That way we can cheer each other up as we strive to achieve this crazy goal, my NaNo name is cheboricuas.