I often find myself at odds with what I want to write, what I should write, and what I have time to write. My other career requires a lot of technical writing, theory, and exposition, and I find that my story-writing lacks in direction at times - often because of the months or even years that go between writing chapters or picking up a synopsis and proceeding forward with it.
This got me thinking about how other aspiring or established authors handle these worldly pressures - careers, friends, family, children, marriages, deaths, etc. How do you guys and gals find the gumption and time to piece together your novels, despite interruptions, and how long does it typically take you to smooth everything out?
For those that are full time authors, does sticking to a complete outline help? Do you even bother?