I knew about NaNoWriMo for a few years, but 2015 was the first year I participated. On November 1st the goal is to write 50,000 words before the end of the month. That’s an average of 1,667 words per day, every day. By November 30th, you will have 50,000 words toward your novel. I shoot for 2,000 words a day to make up for times when life interferes with writing. The prime example being I host Thanksgiving for a large extended family in November. I prep my world (create the world map, name plants/animals/people/places, and identify plot points) but otherwise, I do no writing before November 1st.
I decided to use November 2015 to write a first draft of the 1st book in my Finding Earth series. I meet some nice folks, had a wonderful time, and learned a few things. Flash fiction and maps of the Finding Earth worlds can be found HERE. I published Drifters Rising this year. My 2016 NaNoWriMo book was the beginning of the 2nd book in my Finding Earth series, The Maiden Voyage of the Okar Lane. It is scheduled for publication in 2018. This year I will work on the 3rd book, working title Scorpius Landing.
I have found NaNoWriMo to be an excellent way to focus on my new series for a month. My other series, Farseen Chronicles, is where I spend most of my time the rest of the year.
If you try NaNoWriMo, look me up. I go by Taviar.