Participants are being pushed towards the cliff called Nano, or NaNoWriMo (it sounds like a miniature rhinoceros).
For me, there's a hint of panic (I'm not ready!) and anticipation (come on, start, damn it!) The first chapter is swirling - though sometimes I think that's the drain it's swirling around - and I am ready to write; what comes after is up to the characters.
For those who need that little bit extra help, Paperback Writer has 20 hints for you. I'd like to add to number 19, the reminder of where you left off. When you finish writing the day before, stop in the middle of a sentence. When you're ready to continue, you can read back the previous paragraph to get an idea of where you were up to and finish off the sentence with a clearer idea of where you were headed when you stopped.
For me, I do take a coffee break, rather than water. It's too easy to have a water jug nearby and I have to physically leave the computer to make coffee. It matters not if I finish the drink, only that I have that small distraction.
I also have my essential books nearby: a dictionary (Oxford), a thesaurus (also Oxford) and a baby name book (for those irritating characters who don't want their identities known). A notebook and sticky notes are also important for the 'scathingly brilliant idea' for a future chapter.
I should note that I've already got the beginning and the end of the work. All I have to do is connect them via the muddle, er, middle. And I have the significant clue ready to write within the first three chapters.
The last thing to do is clear the desk... oh, and hope it all comes together by the end of the month.