For starters, it took me until last summer to learn I had to buckle down and write every day. Who knew dreaming of writing a novel would not actually get it written for you?! Then there is this whole pesky ordeal of finding an agent, which is not unlike trying to find a game token dropped in the ball crawl at Chuck E Cheese (no, I don't have kids. I just worked there in my youth, and trust me when I say there were far worse things found in the ball crawl from time to time. Blech!)
Over the past year, I've learned just how much time writing actually takes ... and it's something I don't think non-writers can really comprehend. I've learned, a novel is never truly finished. The one I'm in the process of shopping to agents now is highly polished, yet every time I go back through it there is something minor I can tweak or tighten. I'm convinced this will continue, until I finally sell the story or get so sick of it I put it away to never be seen again ... at least for a really, really, really long time. None of this takes into consideration the writing of the query letter (which is harder than writing a freaking novel, if you ask me), writing a synopsis, composing query submissions to be mailed/emailed since every agent likes theirs a little different than the last, reading over all the agents and fellow writers blogs (which I admittedly spend too much time doing) ... and last but not least, writing a new story.
How is everything else supposed to fit? Especially for those who need to work full time as well? I'm currently still looking for work after being laid off, which is like a job unto itself sometimes...but I know I'll be back to the 9-5 in the near future, so I am keeping that consideration in mind. I'm not complaining, because I've finally found myself doing something I really enjoy, but it is far from stress free.
How do you all manage your time so you still get stuff accomplished in your writing, but not to the exclusion of everything else? And are there any pre-conceived notions you had about being a writer that you can now say "How in the hell did I ever believe that?"