About this time of year, when many people start to get into fall/winter vacation/break mode, I hear most writer types say "I wanna start/finish my novel."
"How did you do it?" is the question I hear next, of me. "How should I do it?"
Of course there's no real or good answer. You have to do it in YOUR way and YOUR pace. But somewhere in you, you have to make a commitment and follow through on your writing. It's an individual process for everyone. Only you know what'll work for your commitment and follow through.
But... if still needing some inspiration from outside yourself, check out this cool collection of authors talking about their writing process in the Wall Street Journal article, "How To Write a Great Novel." These published authors, from all walks of life and experience, share what works for them. Great anecdotes they share.
For me... there has been no rhyme or reason.
Book one, Down For Whatever, I wrote in evenings, after work, and as part of a writers' workshop class. I had to produce... we met every Monday.
Book two, Right Side of the Wrong Bed, I wrote starting at 4 am and ended around 7 am so I could get ready for work. This, I might add, was the most productive and quick writing process for me. Something about early hours, no interruptions, no thought baggage of the day yet.
Book three, tentatively titled Blame It On My Youth (and publication date still to be announced), I wrote primarily during vacation/break times as I'd taken on more responsibility in my day job at the University. Not so productive or quick a process. Lots of thought baggage of the day. But I finished eventually.
The point is... you gotta do what works for you. No one has the writing process answer but you.