I've gone crazy and signed up with http://www.nanowrimo.org. That's 'write a 50,000 word novel in a month (November)' ... actually 'National Novel Writing Month' - but it's international. Yes, it's possible! 6000 people succeeded last year.
Deadlines really do work to bring achievement. Thinking about the perfect opening, the perfect dialogue, the perfect ..., really do hold me back. You are bound to do re-writes and kick it around hard afterwards, but wouldn't it just be nice to have something actually 'there' to work on later??? That was my logic anyway.
But novels are really not my thing, so I'll give it a go to write 'a book' in a month - even though it is more likely to be non-fiction or 'fiction-faction' ... whatever it is you call a non-fiction story with fictional dialogue. I want to write the story of 'Mad James Lucas' for children.
I was amazed with what I could actually write and produce when I worked in another simililar scheme 'to create and put an ebook on a site in a month'.
I definitely work best to deadlines and with constant kicks / encouragement from others trying to do the same thing.
You can register up to November 29th! Even if you don't write or finish the novel, it's worth signing up just to be able to use the forum - there are so many friendly positive people who freely offer great advice and support. I hope I can reciprocate too.
Better get to work quickly and develop a plot ...