My last thought on making gaming not a chore, but fun, like it should be, is to keep it simple. I like great story arcs, spanning lots of adventures. (Thus the writing thing. Who would have guessed?) But you don't have to be so elaborate. Sometimes, just smashing some orcs or saving a group of slaves is enough. I know when we prepared for exams in college, smashing orcs was always a good way to blow off steam. I wouldn't recommend this sort of adventure every time, otherwise you're just playing a video game only slower, but on those weeks when you realize you don't have time to really work on a great adventure, throw a couple of random encounters in as the party goes from one point to another. This is a rough time. There aren't police and there are lots of bandits in those wide open wilds. Use that to your advantage!