NSW Writers' Centre. It was a brilliant gathering of like-minded writers. One of the questions asked of the successful novelists on the panels was whether or not they had to give up anything to pursue their careers.
In summary, here are the answers to facing the mammoth task of writing novels for a living:
Expect hard work. You have to know what you are getting into from the start. Don't get sucked into the romance of becoming a novelist. It's a lot of hard, slow, lonely work. Going in with eyes wide open, will help prepare you for what is to come.
Get organised. If you are organised and set yourself priorities, then you won't have to give up anything. The only thing you may have to do is cut back on some things when a deadline is looming.
Hold onto the Joy. Try to remember why you started writing in the first place. Try not to think of it as a chore, but a creative outlet.
Take short breaks. If a large project is causing you difficulties, allow yourself a break from it. This doesn't mean you have to stop writing. Try writing short stories or articles.
And, in extreme circumstances when a story begins to stagnate:
The Traffic Light Rule: One author says she uses the theory that if she isn't passionate enough about a novel that she isn't thinking about it when she's doing nothing eg sitting at traffic lights, then it might be time to let the story go until she can find the passion for it again. I will add, this isn't for everyone and sometimes Grim Determination is what it takes to finish a novel.
How do you get over the huge task of finishing a novel?