How do you keep focused on writing a novel while juggling life & other writing projects?
Set aside an hour each day to write, and don't do anything else.
I know, easier said than done..
Get all of your notes and research together and then see if you can take a sabbatical or even holiday from work and then just closet yourself away. Hopefully, that might help kickstart the writing process and then you might be motivated enough to be able to write 1-2 hours a day...
Not having the luxury to seclude myself, I find that each time I sit down to write (which is not every day might add!) I spend most of the hour put aside reviewing what I did previously and making amendments! I can only dream about taking a sabbatical...
I ask myself the same question every day I've tried several things; spending a small alotted chunk of time writing each day, or at least each week; spending one or two FULL days just working on my novels and the devoting the rest of the week to getting everything else in life completed so that when the next week, comes, I'm caught up enough to take another one or two full days off; spending the days strictly on 'real life' stuff and the nights on writing creatively (when the kids are in bed and the house is shutting down for the night). What usually works best for me, in that I get the most new writing done, is spending one or two full days a week just writing, and though writing takes precedence on these days, it's difficult to ignore the phone, the mail that needs immediate attention, the laundry pile in your peripheral view, etc., etc. But when I have to break for these things I try to keep a running thought process going in my head to keep the story alive until I can return to it, and sometimes my best plot progressions happen at these times.
I have found that a daily discipline of writing really helps keep me focused. Just as a person has to go to work a certain number of hours a day and nothing except health can interupt that. I have set aside a basic number of hours a day for writing...and when I am there...I am at work! It took my husband and I a little adjusting but now my hours are "work" hours and I am not there for the phone or any of the other things that 'might' call one away. If I was at work I wouldn't be there for them either! The friends and people in my life have adjusted to this as well with little to no permenant damage...and the stuff well it's amazing how it can disappear for those few hours. We actually can make time for what is really important to us.
It's very hard to do but you just have to write a bit every day, even if it's just a page. Just think of it this way, if you took a year to write your novel and wrote a page a day you would have 365 pages by the end of the year. Also if I'm not writing, i'm usually researching for the project that I'm currently working on so either way I'm working on one task at a time.
I don't really have an answer for this. I have the same problem myself. I have been trying to do this for 5 years and I have been stuck for 3 of those 5 years.
Wow, everyone's suggestions are really good and I'd definitely support everything they've already said.
Another thing I have done is to carry a small notepad and pen around with me whenever I'm running errands or travelling. That way if you're stuck by inspiration when you're out, you have the chance to get it down before it vanishes
Good luck with the novel!
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