Know what? I want to give it a shot this year. I think the most I have written before has been 5k words, so any tips? How should I prepare?
To prepare? No.
Just don't stop writing. Don't overthink. Don't edit as you're going (this is the hardest part for me).
The goal is not to write a perfect novel. The goal is just to write and write and write. It does help, though, to set up goals for word count so you don't get behind.
I personally have a story outline, some character sketches, and a goal to type 2000 words a day. You don't want to get bogged down, but no way I can do 50k without some kind of plan--- still, lots of people do it!
From the website
Outlines and plot notes are very much encouraged, and can be started months ahead of the actual novel-writing adventure. Previously written prose, though, is punishable by death.
If you want to lightly prepare for fun, come up with a character--- and then start taking personality quizzes from that character's perspective! (That's always fun... I have a Miers Briggs for 3 characters now haha).
Also D.C. area probably has an awesome community with a lot of write-ins and meetups. Worth checking out!!