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.
Yeah, some planning is definitely not going to hurt you. I've got many of my characters already figured out in my head, and I have a rough mental outline of some random parts of my story, but beyond that I have nothing.
I did spend the last part of my work day making my own little NaNo Report Card to track my progress, though. To get to 50,000 words, you need to write 1,667 words per day. It just makes it a lot easier in the long run to bump that up to 2,000, just incase you miss a day or start to fall behind.