Thanks for the list request, @LizDawson!
  1. Stock your fridge.
    We're not gonna lie: NaNoWriMo can be overwhelming. Make things easier on yourself: Buy some frozen meals or spend this weekend making big batches of lasagne and other easily freezable dishes. And snacks! Brain food. Whatever inspires you. Writing comes first this month, and if that means you have to binge on Trader Joe's brownie bites, well, don't we all have to suffer for our art?
  2. Stock up on office supplies.
    If you hand write, go out and buy some lovely notebooks with soft paper and pretty covers if that is what inspires you. Or just stock up on legal pads and regular ballpoint pens. Chances are, you might find pen and paper useful to doodle and brainstorm on even if you are typing.
  3. Make sure your computer is updated.
    You might find a program like Scrivener is useful. But make sure you have Word updated and space on your computer to save your work. If your computer has been glitchy lately, either go and get it fixed this weekend or resolve to write by hand or, if funds allow, go and buy a cheap and basic netbook. You don't want to lose any of your work and you don't want to lose the brain space and the emotional resilience taken up by dealing with these things.
  4. Warn your friends and family.
    You might not see a whole lot of them this month. Over Thanksgiving, you might need to sneak away for a couple of hours here and there. Explain to them that you still love them, that you will need to say no to things sometimes, that it's not forever, but just this one month writing comes first. If you have kids, think about organising childcare if needed and gen them up about the excitement of getting to eat frozen pizza a lot this month.
  5. Sign up on
    You'll get tips and encouragement throughout the month, and find a community of like-minded crazy writers there. One of the best things about NaNoWriMo is this community aspect. Some people find write-ins (writing meetups) to be extremely helpful and motivating. When you sign up to a particular region on the website, you'll be able to see details of the ones near you.
  6. Think about your project.
    The NaNo world is divided into plotters and pantsers - as in, people who flight by the seat of theirs. If you're a plotter, you probably spent all of October figuring out timelines and character backstories and maybe even the structure of your book. (And if not, there's still time! Two whole days!) If you're a pantser, it's a good idea to scribble down some thoughts to help guide you and keep you on track. Or to wander around your neighbourhood, seeing it through your characters' eyes.
  7. Get some sleep!
    The next time that will happen might be December. But you'll have the first draft of a novel by then, and how exciting is that?