NaNoWriMo stands for ‘National November Writing Month.’ It is the time when writers all over the world pledge to write 50,000 words during the month. (This is 1,666 words per day – but you can do more or less some days, depending on how life is treating you.)
There is a site you can log onto and register your intended novel. You can also look for writing buddies to encourage you through the process and there are excellent tips and ideas on characters, settings and structure. You can upload your total on a daily basis if you wish to and see your ‘bank’ of words grow. All your work should be in one file and you shouldn’t import anything from elsewhere on your computer. You can write whatever you like – nobody will be checking what you’re doing. When you’ve completed your 50,000 words, you can download a certificate if you wish to.
There is nothing to stop you doing your own version of this. I have taken part in NaNoWriMo for the last seven years and it has always yielded a rich crop of ideas and first drafts. You can work on more than one idea. I always do. Keep a list at the beginning of what is in the file and then separate out the various strands when you get to the end of the month.
Treat it as a time of exploration. Have fun dumping all your ideas for a novel onto the page. Don’t worry about the right order for the moment. Keep moving. Good luck – happy writing.