One of the greatest threats to an inspiring writer is trying to find the time to get the words out of your head and onto the page. There's all kinds of distractions around us. Kids, job, errands, family, school, etc. You name it. It's probably there. Holidays and summer vacation are the worst times for most writers. You want to spend time with your family but you have that manuscript in your head. Your characters won't leave you alone. You think about the plot, the characters, the setting and you do so much of it people start complaining your not spending enough time in reality.
It's really hard for people who aren't writers to understand the drive we have to write an entire book. But it is possible to be a writer and still have a life. I started my writing career in 2008. I wrote 700 pages in two months. But it took a toll. I spend more time writing than I did with my husband. I felt like I just had to get the story out. While I ended up with a great novel and the beginnings of several sequels I had sacrificed time with my family. It didn't break my marriage. I struggled with the time management thing early on in my writing career. In 2012, I discovered NaNoWriMo while working on my MFA in Creative Writing from Full Sail University. It was a GODSEND!
NaNoWriMo taught me how to budget my writing time with my personal life. It helped me to establish a writing routine. My daily goal is to write a chapter or two per day on my current WIP. That roughly gives me 1300 words per day. I can easily complete a first draft within a couple of months. I aim for 50,000 words the first month and 50,000 words the following month. Sometimes, I'll go back into my previously written chapters and edit them. Once my first draft is completed I send forward to my editor and work on my next writing project while she's editing.
I constantly have writing projects. I have an organizer in my room that has my next writing projects listed in order of when I want to write them. The titles are written on erasable sentence strips. Once a writing project is completed I just remove the title, move the other up, erase the sentence strip and add another project to the bottom of the list.
If I have a story idea I just writing down in a notebook and keep it for later. Sometimes, I'll get spin off story ideas while I'm writing. I don't let my characters change my writing topic. I just keep moving forward after I write the idea down. That's how I came up with Bailey's Revenge. Bailey's Revenge is actually a spin off from my first book, Calico. It tells the story of Calico's grandmother in Ireland.
Organization is key to having a meaningful writing time. If you find a quiet place to write, establish and maintain a writing routine, plus keep organized you won't have a problem chasing after your writing dreams.