Well, I've never actually entered a contest, so I can't really give a lot of first hand experience on the subject. I'll take a cue from Nichole and toss the topic aside this week...
Bzzzz...Bzzzz The alarm clock, otherwise known as 'time demon from h**l' alerted me another wonderful morning has occurred and I'm supposed to crawl out of bed and enjoy it. It's 5:00 a.m. I'd set the clock half an hour early, just for the sole purpose of writing. Everyone is still sleeping and I think 'Finally, I can get a chapter done.' I'm all set up to work while breakfast cooks and then I hear feet. 'No, not feet! It's not six yet!' I look mournfully at my laptop and set in out of harm's way. By the time I get back to my laptop its 7:50 and I have to get to work.
So where do you find time to write?
I try to write late at night, after everyone has gone to sleep or early in the morning. The weekend house remodeling has taken over my 'weekend writing marathons'(Unless its raining, since I've been told it is better not to bash in floors with a sledgehammer or paint on rainy days.) I find when I only get five minutes in I have to scrap what I've written and go back. My muse seems to pout and dissapear if I don't give her at least an hour. Between the day job and family that's not easy. I certainly don't want to take any of my time away from them, but I writer who can't write is like a fish out of water.
So what tips do you use to stay on track?