Labor Day Means Writing

Day-laborers picking cotton near Clarksdale, M... I am a high school English teacher by trade and a writer of novels in my spare time.  School started two weeks ago and my spare time has dropped to a spare minimum.  I have been writing steadily on Book 2: The U.S.S. Ronald Reagan and am nearing the end of the narrative, but because I have had only the late hours of the evening and weekends to write steadily for a few hours at a time, I am not meeting the personal deadlines I have set for myself.

If I can complete the rough draft by September 31st, I will be well on my way, but I would like to complete the rough draft of Book 2 by the middle of this month.  In this way, I can begin the editing process earlier and get well on my way to completing the rough draft of Book 3: Babylon the Great by December 1st.  I feel, in some ways, that I am writing a NanoWriMo in that I have such speedy deadlines, but since I have an outline completed for the second book, I should be able to finish on time.

Today is Labor Day, the day so ironically named when Americans get to take a day off (except mainly for retail services and restaurants) and do whatever they want that does not include any actual "labor".  I will be sitting in this Panera Bread restaurant most of the day hammering away at the novel with my ear buds firmly planted in my ears.  I would write at home, but my 9 year old daughter's friend is over for a visit and they are both extremely noisy.

I suppose the point of this post is to say that even if independent writers get a day off from their "day job" the book isn't going to write itself.  I will be spending the afternoon with my children and wife and we will probably grill something (inside because the burn ban is still on) and watch a movie together or possibly go see Ice Age: Continental Drift at the dollar movie....

...but I will get a huge chunk of the novel done today.

Perhaps you are in the same boat as an independent novelist.  How do you balance family time with writing, meeting your own personal deadlines, and what do you do to ensure that you focus on finishing the novel?  Sound off!