Writing a novel isn't rocket science (get idea, write idea, edit idea, pray for agent on good day). However, there is a lot of multi-tasking that goes into the whole shebang.
I'm discovering more and more of my time is going into the whole networking thing. Twitter this, Facebook that, self-promote this, "Look at me!" that. All of that is necessary, yes, especially in this day and age of the interwebs and everybody being able to talk to anybody.
But don't forget why you're doing all of that stuff. And don't forget where you have to go. All the friends in the universe won't help you get published if you don't have the thing they want - the dang book!
There are a number of things to do in this decathlon of trying to become a published author. But never forget the book. The writing is the most important thing. All that other stuff takes time, and it can be a little intimidating when it isn't going as fast as maybe you would like. But never take your eyes off the writing.
Any writing has goals. I've set deadlines for myself to get stuff done, but sometimes you go off course. If the detour was faster, it wouldn't be called a detour.