^^Save the Cat was my real intro to story structure. I never really "got" the rising action-falling action graph that you learn in school, but this lays it all out in detail, and makes it easy to understand why that structure exists. (And even if you're not a plotter, a solid grasp of beats and structure can help you revise your story after the initial seat-of-the-pants draft is done.)
Anyway. I'm trying this for the first time this year. I am normally a very heavy outliner, but I am considering starting in November with a new project with no outline (or maybe a very minimal one) just to see how it goes. My main flaw with writing is that I tend to overthink things, and "pantsing it" on a strict deadline seems like a good way to learn how to just get stuff on the page. You can't revise what hasn't been written, right?
Alternately, I might chicken out and just work on the novel that's already completely outlined and ready to go.